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We all have in the trenches experience that can help others caring for loved ones with dementia - lets share them

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Dear Friends,

Thank you for all your kind help this year. I'm keeping these tips for my next go around.
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If they have trouble with brushing teeth & spitting out then use children's toothpaste as it is less of a problem if swallowed
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I have had to learn a new language with my wife since her dementia includes aphasia.
She ask me once if she should go the power. Translation of power was restroom.
No could be yes. She has tried to eat soup with a fork or putting it in a glass and use a straw. Or she may eat her rice with a spatula. She has tried to go out with her bra on the outside of her blouse.
She can dress herself but needs supervision on the proper order of clothing.
And so many other things I have learned to deal with. Time for her is of no essence and changing the bed at four in the morning with me sleeping in it means nothing to her.
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Irishgirl,
Keep walking! That is a good thing.
Can you stop at a coffeeshop for a cup of tea?
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Give it time. Let her get used to you. Keep offering. It may be that genuinely she can't summon any interest in anything any more, or it may be that one day when she gets to know and trust you she'll try something you suggest.

You could also look round her home for clues. Ask tactful (!) questions, draw her into conversation.

Walking's good for her anyway, so even if she doesn't need to go to a particular store try to make up a reason. Or just smell the flowers on the way!
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I'm new to care giving. My client is not interested in any suggestions of doing anything. Not music, not coloring, not puzzles, not TV. She does like to walk but we have been to every store near by. She doesn't engage what she does like. Its hard to help. What do I do?
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Thanks to all of you who shared. Some of the tips I've been doing, but did find a few I wasn't. It is really nice knowing I'm not alone in this caregiver role. I'm glad I "stumbled" across this website and forum.
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Just discovered great online resource for 'adaptive care' clothing. The
Website is: buck and buck.com - here I found men's slacks with a Velcro fly as well as men's shirts with Velcro closures (they look like buttons down the front), very clever.
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Thank you I found a lot of these will help today & some ill file away til needed. This is my support group,my hobby, my knowledge base & my source of laughter, thanks for being here
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Mom2mom - thanks for your tip on bed sheets and pads. So simple, obvious- sometimes we get so close to the issues to really see clearly.
We'll implement this right away!
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When making the bed, layer pad/sheet/pad/sheet and so on so that middle of the night accidents can be cleaned up without entirely stripping and remaking the bed.

Put pads down on any piece of furniture that they may possibly sit on... and then expect them to sit on the one piece of furniture that you missed.
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Would like to add a tip or two - dad just started wetting bed overnight. He's been wearing top & bottom type pjs which are not only time consuming to help him change after an accident but pants are hard to get down in emergency. We just bought him a man's night shirt to try - let's see how it goes.
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Thanks for starting this thread moecam. Its much appreciated. I know we all have good intentions when we start our roles, but I would say don't be afraid to recognize when it gets to be too much. I wanted to be the hero, but sometimes it was too much. I needed to learn to ask for help and sooner.
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Carry a pix of your loved one if you are out together so you can show it if you get separated
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I used Tupperware sippy cups with a bendy straw pushed down the spout, I see they still sell them.
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My grandmother had trouble seeing her food or drink in front of her. I was able to find mugs with handles that had lids with built in permanent straws. The plastic-mug-with-handle-and-lid-with-straw allowed me to keep drinks in front of her all day knowing she could pick it up and sip anytime. The mugs were designed for summer drinks for kids, I found them at Target.
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My mom has dementia and was having a hard time recognizing her toothpaste (even though it was right next to her toothbrush) so I switched from Sensodyne (it has a big cap similar to a lotion) to Arm & Hammer Sensitive (it has a regular, old style toothpaste cap). It seems to be easier for her to see it as toothpaste. (The old aluminum tubes would be nice to keep the toothpast at the top too...like the good old days.) Keep in mind that something that has been re-designed may look like something entirely different to an elderly person with dementia. Try to keep things as old school as possible...it makes more sense to them.
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Sendhelp: Aww, thank you! The thing was that my mother didn't know many "cuss" words, God bless her. She still laughed along with us! So glad you were able to get that quickie (insert LOL) meal at KFC!
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Still amazed at the many coincidences on the forum...
Llama, it was just yesterday my hubs and I had Kenf###tied chicken....the first time in over 4 months, but we were in a big hurry.
U R So funny!
Please just ignore the new poster who unjustly criticized you. We've got your back. imo.
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store all cleansers and dish liquids away from reach or with child proof latches or locks on cabinet door. (my mom poured herself a nice glass of orange dish liquid)
They will not be able to tell toothpaste tube from denture cream/hemoroid cream tube. Will not be able to tell liquid soap from hand lotion.
When they cannot deal with phone calls turn off the ringer.
Go online and pay their bills and go paperless. Call all the magazines and charities to stop the paper billing.
( they were coercing her to think she had to go door to door for them!)
You have heard it before, but soon they wont be able to talk or know who you are..... and all you will wish is to see a smile one last time...
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Send: (I insert bow)...actually the joke was pretty goofy! One time years ago my late mother tried to say "Kentucky Fried Chicken." "Kenf#### Tied Chicken " came tumbling out of her mouth! We all laughed for days! Those were the good times!
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By bringing something when you visit then your loved one will start to associate you with something positive - my mom loves TIMBITS - I limit her to 2 which I string out timewise - once or twice a month is as much as she gets [diabeteis] -

I change 'the treat' up often - if you take a plant make sure it doesn't need watering more often than you visit - cactus/succulants are best
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I thought you were making a pun... and I LOVE puns lol! Either way, I laughed at the silliness of it, thank you!

Good night, all.  Many Hugs.
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No, Ali I really thought it was Pasta la vista.............:P Did I forget to tell you all that I am known for getting quotes, names of things, you name it......I say it wrong. For instance, once Mom and I were out, I was getting peckish, so we stopped for coffee. There is this pastry that I quite like called a copenhagen. I happily marched up to the counter and asked for a davenport. LOL............well, it has some of the same letters right?
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Send, you wild thing
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If your loved one wears pull up diapers then tear them down the side to remove easily rather than pulling off their pants first

If you're really clever you can put a fresh pull-up back on without removing their outer pants too
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Llamalover made a joke, lol. Tip, always take time to support your caregiving community by laughing at their jokes.

Ha ha ha ha, lol!
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I thought of a good motto and funny...He Hasta eat his Pasta! LOL
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Have an outside interest. A hobby that you can do even when you only have a few minutes at the end of your day. In other words...do not make car giving you entire existence
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Be sure to read all the prior tips to avoid duplication....
ha ha ha, NOT!

My tip for today is:
Caregiver, Stop for a minute to figure out why you are so angry, so over the top angry about what your loved one with a broken brain did. What exactly did they do wrong, and what were your expectations?
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