Do You C.A.R.E?
6 Things You NEED to Consider
People across the Northshore have a family member living with some kind of cognitive impairment. Caring for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires an incredible amount of understanding and patience. Individuals caring for their family members have their own lives, their own needs and their own obstacles to overcome. The things that occur in their personal lives probably use up a lot of their patience and understanding, so needing to have more when providing care can be a challenge.
As caregivers encounter different situations with people who have dementia, it is easy to react with their first instincts. Often times it is difficult to determine if these reactions are right or wrong. Consider the acronym, C.A.R.E, for what not to do when caring for a loved one. Do not:
If someone living with dementia talks about an event that happened years in the past as if it was the present, or insists that something bizarre is a fact, the last thing for a caregiver to do is C.A.R.E. There is no benefit in creating an argument about who is right or wrong in a situation where someone has cognitive impairment.
Sometimes white lies need to be told to elderly loved love to keep them calm or redirect the conversation. Creating confusion or unnecessary arguments causes elderly people with dementia a great deal of stress. White lies, or fiblets, are beneficial because it eliminates any potential distress the senior may end up feeling. Brain disease cannot be cured by telling the truth.
Below is a list from The Alzheimer’s Association, which shares ways to help prevent agitation in a senior living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Create a calm and peaceful environment
- Simplify daily activities
- Avoid anything that may trigger a negative reaction (i.e. noise)
- Monitor comfort levels
- Provide opportunities for exercise
- Think about the best ways to respond in a given situation
- Avoid arguments
- Reassure the senior things are okay
- Keep senior engaged in activities
- Contact medical professionals as necessary
Agreeing with what a senior that has Alzheimer’s or dementia reduces or eliminates arguments, so if they say the sky is green, just say “yes.”
For resources on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please visit www.dementiahelpers.com.