Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to live with dementia

This ia a fabulous article, by Carol. She has lived this and understands what it takes. As a family caregiver, as I have been, she understands that you do what you have to do to get through the day.

Volunteering with those who have dementia, I have learned to transfer my experiences to share with others.
We have to live in the care recipient's world, as we all know, those of us who successfully work with dementia patients. My father's brain tumour changed him and I had to change the way I interacted with him. It was not possible for HIM to change.

Carol bought into her father's world: acted as his secretary, taking memos for him. Many role play along with a client. You have to. Fighting with them isn't an option. They can become angry and argumentative. There is no need to respond in kind. Just love them. Become who they think you are: long-lost family member, friend, employee. You will make your life easier, and theirs.
One woman, in a place where I volunteered, kept losing her 'baby', a doll she dressed and cuddled. It was comforting. I suggest you do the same as a caregiver, paid or unpaid!

When a Cure Is Not Possible We Sometimes Have to Settle for Contentment

by Carol Bradley Bursack

I drew from my heart a type of "therapy," now recognized as validation therapy. It works. I was scolded by psychiatrists at the time, because what I was doing - validating my dad's thoughts and feelings at any given moment and taking myself into his world rather than demanding he come back to mine - was considered just plain wrong. Five years into Dad's care, I was complimented by another psychiatrist. He asked me where I learned how to do this with Dad -get into his world. I just looked at him and said, "He's my Dad. I had no other choice. I wasn't going torture him by demanding of him something that he obviously couldn't do." That psychiatrist shook my hand and smiled. Read more

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