In this video, Cindy Keith shares tips for interacting with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease. She shares a number of ideas that will help caregivers handle situations with creativity, compassion and a smile. She also reminds caregivers that the difficult behavior of a loved one with dementia is due to the disease and not the person intentionally being destructive or hurtful. Keep in mind that the person is actually suffering from brain damage that affects behavior and communication skills!
Avoid doing these five when caring for someone with dementia:
1. Avoid overstimulating the person.
2. Avoid telling the person “No.” or “You can’t.”
3. Avoid insisting the person do something he or she does not want to do.
4. Avoid taking his or her comments personally.
5. Avoid giving the person multiple choices.
Cindy’s plan for getting a person up and out of bed in the morning is especially clever. Her technique turns a potentially argumentative situation into a special bonding opportunity. If your loved one does not want to get up in the morning, enter the room and open the blinds or turn on the lights. Let the person know you will be in the kitchen making breakfast. Mention you will be preparing one of his or her favorite foods and you would love to have some company.
Check back in ten or so minutes, and see if the person is ready to get up. Don’t remind your loved one that this is the third time you have been in the room. If the your loved one has fallen asleep, wake him or her with a smile. It is more likely your loved one will do what you want, if you are smiling instead of scolding!