Who Caregiver Cards are for:

  • Family Caregivers
  • Family Members
  • Friends
  • Paid Caregivers
  • Health Care Professionals (nurses, doctors, therapists, etc.)
  • Activity Directors
  • Memory Care or Assisted Living Administrators

When and How to Use Caregiver Cards:

  • Visual Communication
  • Prompts for Daily Routine
  • Use to Orient in Unfamiliar Surroundings
  • Help Communicate Needs or Desires
  • Help Identify Causes of Behaviors
  • Show the Desired Activity/Task at Hand
  • Help Reduce Repetitive Talk
  • As a Conversational Activity
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Promote Anxiety
  • Promote Independence
  • Bridge the Communication Gap
  • Reduce the Thinking to Get the Message Across
  • Add or Remove Cards to Fit Your Needs

 

As a Memory Book:

Marshall P., whose mother has dementia, chose to modify a few of Caregiver Cards illustrations to create a memory care book. “My mother has dementia and lives in long-term care. While not rocket science it is hoped that clustering the services in this manner will facilitate recognition and learning of the services actually being made available at the nursing home. My mother is in their long-term care component which is separated from their skilled care unit.  Hopefully it will also make it less easy to ‘gloss over’ the value of what is being provided. I would hope the Caregiver Cards (placed on three pages) may increase her recognition of the value of the care she receives.  She may be more cooperative (and assimilate more) with the grouped card format.  We look at her memory book with her during almost every visit.”

 

As a Daily Activity Board:

“During one of my visits as a volunteer to a local memory care community, I sat next to a dear friend who no longer speaks English. She has regressed into the Alzheimer’s disease to the point that she mostly speaks her native language, Spanish. I couldn’t understand her words and my English wasn’t working. She started to get more frustrated and her words became louder. I stopped talking and just gave her my attention. I watched her body language and noticed she kept pointing to my face a lot. I took out my set of Caregiver Cards and started showing her illustrations that involved the face. When I came upon the card ‘hearing aid’ she stopped me, and said ‘Si. Hearing aids (in English!)’ then proceeded to write the word hearing aid on paper. She then continued speaking in Spanish, but she was calmer. We had made a connection. It was awesome!”

“My father has been suffering from mild cognitive impairment due to a brain tumor in his right frontal lobe. This has affected his short term memory and his ability to transition to tasks (In other words, what to do next). Using Caregiver Cards, I created a ‘Daily Communication Activity Board’ to help him understand what activities he has to do, what he has already done, and what is next. With help from myself, or his caregiver, my Dad is able to understand and complete his daily tasks with little confusion. What once was a person who would only stay in bed or sit in the chair, because he didn’t understand or was anxious to what was required of him, is now a man who is more confident and independent in his routine and care. That makes all the difference in the world for everybody!”

 

To Help Manage Behaviors and Complete Tasks:

“I had the opportunity to use Caregiver Cards on a recent trip to an adult day care/retreat. The use of caregiver cards was able to communicate & help ‘get the message across’ to assist a sweet lady, who lives with dementia, overcome confusion and prior irritability and get to the table to enjoy lunch. Just prior to engaging with this lady, she was anxious and eager to go home. I used the illustrations ‘Come to the Table’ and ‘Lunch’ (found in Caregiver Cards Basic Activities of Daily Living Section) to express the activity I wanted her to engage in. I got down to her level, and focused her attention to the illustration. She read the card. I offered her my hand and said, ‘Let’s go to the table for lunch’ and we were on our way.”

YouTube

If you need help on how to use Caregiver Cards and other beneficial tips, go to my YouTube Channel

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