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74 tips for coping with the many faces of dementia

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 17:33

Dementia caregivers have to deal with somebody who cannot communicate, with a paranoid individual, with someone who can’t sleep at night, and another who wets the bed when they do sleep, and an overall unpredictable person – all of them embodied by a single loved one. The following pieces of advice may come in handy when tackling each different area.

How to handle Alzheimer’s disease’s erratic behavior

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 17:41

How to handle Alzheimers diseases erratic behaviorAlzheimer’s disease can be to patients like gamma radiation to Dr. David Bruce Banner; if triggered, it’s all “you won’t like me when I’m angry” or anxious, or aggressive, or frustrated, or confused. It is up to the caregiver to identify and address these negative behaviors before anyone gets hurt.

New at Dementia Caregiving? Here are a few tips!

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 17:40

New at Dementia CaregivingDementia might affect someone’s ability to reason or impair them from performing everyday activities, however, someone who suffers from this cruel illness is able to feel and respond to love and other emotions. People with dementia should be treated with respect for their uniqueness and value despite their condition.

When someone becomes aware of the fact that they are suffering from dementia or are made aware by the doctor they experience vulnerability and fear. They become uncertain of their future and although they get irritated and difficult to deal with, they need to be re-assured by their loved ones, family and care-givers that they are not alone.  One important detail to remember is that the last part of the brain affected by dementia is the parts where emotions are present. 

Communication tips for each Alzheimer’s disease stage

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 10:17

The progress of Alzheimer’s disease may feel like a Three Stages of Hell match between the caregiver and the care receiver. However, these tips may help you get the three count on your dementia communications issues. But first let’s establish what communication is and is not.

Let’s communicate with people who have dementia

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 13:14

Have dementia

People with dementia – for example Alzheimer’s disease – are often perceived as being worse off than they may actually be. As a result, people around them may treat them as subhuman beings – sort of like the Apes treated the humans in The Planet of the former. This lack of proper interaction may cause the patient – in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy – to actually descend to unreachable depths of non-communication. As a caregiver, it is upon you to maintain a link with the person with dementia in such a way that they are neither overwhelmed nor unstimulated.

Cool Caregiver: Serenity now, Alzheimer’s disease later

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 13:42

Cool caregiver

The mental and physical challenge of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease would break even a trained professional, let alone an unpaid caregiver. The tension can build up to the level of a Mexican stand-off. But like Sam Jackson said in Pulp Fiction, we’re gonna be a bunch of Fonzies. And what’s Fonzie like? Come on, what’s Fonzie like? He’s cool? Correct-amundo! And that's what we're gonna be, we're gonna be cool. However, we cannot be like a cucumber – as in ‘cool as a’ – if we’re all stressed out. Problem is, we can’t always tell when we’re stressed; perhaps we even think that’s the normal state of being a caregiver. So the very first step is to be able to recognize the signs of caregiver stress.

How to help Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer people understand each other

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:50

How to help

As a caregiver your will often fulfill the role of interpreter between a person with Alzheimer’s disease and other, secondary caregivers or with that person’s relatives and loved ones. Here are nine pieces of advice to help an Alzheimer patient – or the receiver – understand another person – or the speaker.

  1. Don’t hate the patient, hate the disease. Even before there is any understanding between the involved parties, the speaker must understand that any shortcomings on the receiver’s part are a result of the disease, and not a conscious effort to be antagonistic.

You’re a poet and didn’t know it… Cause you have Alzheimer

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:55


Fewer than 50% of people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are actually told about their diagnosis, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Doctors tend to leave out this tidbit because they don’t want to distress the patient, but they’re actually doing them a disservice. First of all, “there are lots of other fatal diseases a doctor give diagnoses for,” as vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association Beth Kallmyer put it. Moreover, the patient’s family is left with less time to make financial plans and establish a caregiving team. Regarding that, the report also highlighted the financial toll of the condition – approximately $218 billion for the 85% of patient relatives who provide unpaid caregiving duties. The direct cost of Alzheimer is expected to reach $226 billion this year, in terms of medical, hospice, and long-term care.

In addition to doctors not wanting to be the bearers of bad news – and if that’s the case, they might want to revise their career choice – they may also lack the time and/or the training to provide a diagnosis. “Primary care doctors have very, very limited time to spend with patients. And to assess someone with brain failure, you need a substantial bit of time,” geriatric psychiatrist and director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute Pierre Tariot said. “Everybody understands that doctors are under enormous pressure to do a lot in a short period of time, and talking about Alzheimer's disease takes time,” Kallmyer added. Doctors were found more likely to offer a diagnosis in the later stages of the disease.

10 ways to promote self-expression in Alzheimer’s patients

Submitted by Pablo Retana on 16:47

Promote alz

Like Madonna once said, “you know, you know you’ve got to make him express how he feels.” Or help her express how she feels too. The following pieces of advice may help caregivers help Alzheimer’s disease patients to express themselves.

  1. Be a good listener. You can’t tell people with dementia “don’t bore us, get to the chorus;” you have to listen to the whole song – which may involve a repetitive refrain – to get to what you really need to hear. Just like when you listen patiently to all of Cheap Trick’s Surrender to get to the “we’re all alright” part. Be patient and go one step at a time, listen without interrupting, and nod in agreement and say things to signify that you’re interested and paying attention.

Caregiving: What is compassion fatigue?

Submitted by Mariela Miranda on 13:50

Compassion fatigue

In caregiving we are used to hear and read about caregiver stress, caregiving fatigue or caregiver burnout; however the term compassion fatigue is not commonly mentioned yet it  holds the same importance and need of attention.  

Compassion fatigue was first discovered back in the 1950s on health workers such as nurses, doctors and first responders.  This condition has also been called secondary traumatic stress or STS, and it results in levels of compassion towards a patient decreasing over time.  The symptoms exposed by sufferers of STS are among the following:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Decreased experiences of pleasure
  • Ongoing stress and anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nightmares
  • Persuasive Negativity


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