As caregivers to persons living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, this is an all to common reaction. Alzheimer's behaviors are difficult.
How do I know this? Because I used to do just that sometimes while I was a full-time caregiver to my grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s,, or even now, with my father who has dementia and cognitive impairment. I had to learn to “Please BREATHE“.
Recently, I was asked by the wonderful online caregiver community, The Caregiver Space, to write a guest blog about what knowledge would I share with people who might have difficulty understanding Alzheimer's and it's effect on their loved one, especially when it comes to behaviors or changes in personality.
Often people, even the closest friends and family members become nervous at visiting or spending time with their loved one because of behavioral problems simply because they are uneducated as to what behaviors actually mean.
In my Grandmother's case, or even my father's case nowadays, behaviors that would show themselves in the form or worrying, repetitive questions, having a short temper, pacing, tuning out, etc. are ways of sharing how both of them were/are coping with their disease(s).
They don't need to change! We do! For someone with dementia, they are expressing, they are communicating; it's just in a way we are unaccustomed to. We, as caregivers, need to explore their new world, make it our own, and learn just what they are saying.
Discover the root of the problem. In other words, look beyond the behavior, whether it involves crying, paranoia, or even physical... and find what is causing the behaviors.
What is the trigger for these Alzheimer's behavioral problems?
Well, you no longer have to spend time guessing and possibly giving up, leaving everyone frustrated and overwhelmed.
Now you have a tool! A mnemonic tool! A tool that simplifies things, and I LOVE simple!
Besides the obvious physical clue, as Alzheimer's caregivers, we need to spend more time taking deep breaths to calm ourselves or release stress, Please BREATHE offers you an easy way to help locate what might be triggering behavioral outbursts or problems for the person living with dementia.
Now, if you want to gain more understanding about this helpful tool and Alzheimer's behaviors, quickly follow this link .If you want a free download of Please BREATHE tool, head on over to our Caregiver Cards website and navigate to our FREE category (on the far right menu bar). This Please B.R.E.A.T.H.E tool is easy to use and keep on you, just like our regular set of Alzheimer's communication Caregiver Cards. You can print and carry with you, post on your wall, kitchen, nurses station, wherever you need as a reminder. Because when we are in the thick of a stressful moment while being caregivers, we need all the tools, help and support we can get our hands on. :)
Let's keep 'Continuing the Communication!'
Last modified on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 18:26