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I am hiring two caregivers to help my husband and me at night. Each works on different nights, not together the same nights. I am fine with them, but my husband is having a hard time. How can I help my husband bond with these folks? Any helpful tips?

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Thank you all for answering my question. And sorry for the late reply. I've been busy dealing with other issues.

My husband has aphasia, so it is difficult for him to talk. The caregiver does not live with us; he is only there in the morning to get my husband ready for breakfast and for adult day care while I am at work. I think my husband is still adjusting to having someone in the house in the morning, but I hope that will soon end. It's only been 2 weeks. The caregiver and I get along fine, but I am not the one with dementia and aphasia. I hope in time, everything will be fine. Fingers crossed.
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Usually the patient is asleep while the caregiver works a 12-hour shift. Is this not how your caregivers' situation will work?
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Is he capable of conversing? Perhaps the caregivers could get him talking about his childhood or whatever he liked doing when he was working or something similar. Just for the time it takes to settle him for the night.
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TouchMatters,
Thumbs up on your response for WorriedSpouse!

WorriedSpouse,
As others have asked, this would pertain to what hours he is up with the caregiver: If your husband likes to play cards, Dominoes, use puzzles etc, that can help with creating a bond. A caregiver spending some 'fun time' with your husband may be able to help your husband lighten up. But, as TouchMatters brought up, he may not be capable of bonding.
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In learning about brain chemistry, it is possible that your husband doesn't have the ability to bond - in a way you would like that relationship to be for his benefit. Having a 'stranger' help with intimate areas of his life, when he feels vulnerable, frustrated and anxious to even need help, fearful of the unknown/not trusting a person he doesn't know - coupled with the mindset and experience of a care provider, it makes for a challenging duo. I believe a care provider who smiles, has an even tone of voice (comforting), maintains her/his composure when your husband is activated (emotional, angry, etc) will help. It is important though to understand your own expectations. Many care providers have difficulty dealing with dementia clients exhibiting their anger and frustration towards a care provider. This is understandable and so the revolving door of care providers. It may be a combination of being patient with the process, perhaps you offering some guidelines/training to a potential care provider (discuss in advance), and looking at your own expectations. It might help your husband if you (or a care provider) talk to him about how he feels needing this help (give him a clear outlet for him to express his frustration and anger about the situation he is in - if he is able to express himself to this degree). Releasing some of this 'energy' in a specific, even controlled timeframe, may reduce his need to express resentment (or anger) when actually interacting with a care provider when he is vulnerable and when needing the help he'd rather not have to need. I hope this makes sense.
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Hi, Worriedspouse, great question and one a lot of us struggle with. My mom is 82 and in the later stages of dementia. When I first started bringing a caregiver in about 2 years ago, she fought it tooth and nail. I mean screaming, kicking, hitting, etc. and then after about 6 months, she seemed to calm down and except the help. However, she never, even after a year and a half, bonded with this one person. I didn't know that until after she was gone that mom never cared for her. What a difference in mom's behavior after she left.
I have since had to hire several caregivers, unfortunately, it's a struggle to find good caregivers, and my mom has been more accepting of them. When dealing with dementia, you can't always tell what your person is thinking and feeling because every day is a new day with its own challenges and behaviors.
So, I think that first you have to feel comfortable with them and have a level of confidence in their ability and compassion for your husband. Then you just have to give it time. It always helped, I think, for mom to see me talking and getting along with the person. Hiring a male caregiver with similar interests or at least knowledge in the areas of interest of your husband would be a great idea. I agree that they are hard to find but worth looking into. Good luck, your husband is very lucky to have you stand by his side. Take care of yourself ;)
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I know you want your husband to bond with his caregiver and its also important keep a professional distance so that it is clear the role of caregiver and patient. I speak from the experience of caregivers getting too friendly and overstepping their bounds. I think the idea of a male caregiver is great.
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A male caregiver is a great idea! They're in short supply so if you want to try a male caregiver and can find one grab him.
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I further support two bits above: are they chatting with you more than him - try to redirect them; and are they asking him about himself; that's they way to almost anyone's heart. My mother is still getting used to a daytime visitor she's had for a few months.. one day she thinks she's a jerk, on another she's pretty cool. I just try to keep the mood swings at even keel so she doesn't 'fire' her. If these workers have improved your life, that's wonderful and things will smooth out over time. This is probably a very big adjustment for him. You could also consider switching one to a male nurse if it comes to that? Good luck.
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Worriedspouse, what time does the night shift arrive? Is your hubby tired by that time of the day? Does he sleep thought the night, or does he need help at night for various things? I see from your profile that he has Alzheimer's/Dementia.

Or is he a night owl and likes to talk, then it would be important to find the right fit, caregivers who have the same interest as he does. If your husband has a good sense of humor then a caregiver should have a similar sense of humor. All these things worked quite well for my Dad.
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Is your husband opposed to having caregivers overnight? If he is that will interfere with his bonding with them?

Also, it's hard to bond on a nightshift. I assume your husband is asleep overnight as opposed to sitting in the living room chatting with the caregiver. I wonder what the caregiver's hours are? If it's an 8pm-8am shift she would get there before your husband goes to bed and be able to spend some time with him.

Are your caregivers outgoing without being annoying? Do they smile when speaking to your husband? Do they ask him questions about himself to get to know him or do they just chat with you? Are they calm and even-keeled? A night shift caregiver shouldn't have the same energy as a day shift caregiver.

Are there barriers to them bonding with your husband such as hearing loss, dementia, or depression?

Give them a chance. It won't happen automatically. The caregivers are also going to want to bond with your husband. They need to establish trust. This takes time.
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