Choosing a care facility for someone who has dementia is a difficult and often emotional experience. But making the right choice for care is important. Follow these guidelines when looking for a secure dementia care unit. Read More

“Why does he do that!?”  This is a common question asked by a caregiver of an individual who has dementia. Throughout caregiver literature you will read about the importance of relieving caregiver stress and fatigue.  Without the good health of the caregiver, the quality of life of the person cared for also suffers.  Repetitive questions and repetitive behaviors are among the most exacerbating  issues when caring for a person who has cognitive impairment of any kind.  We know that when the caregiver fully understands behaviors, communications and other helpful information regarding dementia, caregiver stress is relieved.  The following information is just a brief overview on repetive behaviors.  A list of recommended reading is provided at the end of this post. Repetitive behaviors and verbalization result due to the inability of the individual to retain information.  They do not recall that they have just asked that question, nor do they recall the answer. “She makes the same comment every 3-5 minutes and it drives me crazy! I get irritated and snap or yell at her, then she’s upset and I feel terrible about yelling.”                “I told him we were to see Dr. Smith on Thursday at 2:00.  He has asked meRead More

Loss of communication with a person who has dementia creates stress in both the individual and his/her caregiver.  Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia diagnoses are called ‘the family’ diseases because the progression of the illness has a profound effect on the lives of those close to the patient.  Information about the disease, it’s progress, and how to continue to communicate will relieve the stress of caregiving: Personalize your conversation.  Use the person’s name to get their attention and make eye contact. Use short, simple sentences. Speak clearly, slowly, and use simple words appropriate to the stage of the disease.  Do NOT “baby talk”! Repeat sentences exactly.  If you repeat what you say, use the exact same words and sequence.  Each word is a symbol and requires concentration to determine it’s meaning. Be specific.   Say “here is your sandwich”, not “it is time for lunch”.  Name person, place, time, details exactly. Offer simple choices.   Say “Would you like steak?” NOT “Would you like something to eat?” Give simple brief instructions.  Say “put these pants on” NOT “get dressed”.  Then direct attention to the task with a physical gesture such as holding the pants out or pointing to the pants. Use signalsRead More