Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Bs of Dementia Care

With the recent talk of Ronald Reagan on many of the blogs I read, I thought I would post something a bit different. When Mr. Reagan died, my feelings were that of saddness and relief. The world had lost a great man, but he was at peace. Alzheimer's Disease is a tragic disease for all involved--the afflicted and their loved ones. I work with people with dementia and train caregivers. I wanted to list my 10 Bs of dementia care. These are true in so many areas of life, but no more than in caring for people with short term memory loss.

Be…

  • Positive ~ Look for what the person is able to do. Work with a positive attitude.
  • Natural ~ Be yourself! Do not force yourself to be someone you are not.
  • Flexible ~ Let things flow naturally. Do not force things to happen on your own time.
  • Observant ~ Watch body language and facial expressions for moods before approaching.
  • Knowledgeable ~ Learn everything you can about the person you are caring for. Know who they were and who they are now.
  • Spontaneous ~ Be ready to do any activity the person is open to at any time.
  • Patient ~ Take the time to listen to the person and remember that some days tasks will take longer than others.
  • Confident ~ People with dementia feel safer with caregivers who know what they are doing and are more comfortable doing things with them.
  • Sincere ~ People know when your heart is not in your work. Don’t pretend.
  • Fun Loving ~ Enjoy your work! Have fun! You make a difference every day for those you care for.

10 comments:

NEO, SOC said...

Be like Christ and the person will open up to you in ways you would never imagine. Christ would open understanding to you that you never dreamed possible. The love in empathy would enrich your soul as you lovingly care for the person. And Christ would exalt you for your benevolence and the world would exalt the Lord for His compassion through you. Great post! I believe this is the same mentality for those who support kids w/autism and other challenges.

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Excellent. My grandmother had Alzheimers and suffered emotionally more than anything and there was little you could do to comfort her. It was a blessing when she passed.

Hick said...

My dad has dementia and we made the heart wrenching decision in September to move him to a minimum care facility (my mom died in 98). I was beating myself up for not taking better care of him and "causing" him to have to leave his home of 45 years. I guess I just didn't want to see the disease progress.

Anyway, he's well cared for now and seems to be enjoying being with other people his age (he found a girlfriend) and I'm able to sleep at night.

Thank you, thank you for this list. You don't know how much I appreciate people like you who are willing to care for someone like my dad who is one of the most wonderful people I know. He doesn't know Jesus yet...but with more loving people in the world like you...I have faith.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

You make some good points. Alzheimer's is a sad disease.

Hey--when are some of us going to make it onto your blogroll :-)???

jgf said...

LMC: Sorry, it has been a bit since I have updated. I'll work on it. But you are all in my favorites!

ABFreedom said...

I've never been exposed to this, but will keep all your points in mind. I'm also going to have to stop working so much ... it's really hard keeping up with all you guys... LOL

Lone Pony said...

I understand what you're saying. At one time, my mother was so proud. I couldn't stand to watch what happened to her mind.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

You are a very Special Person and God Bless you for helping people as you do. Thanks for listing the 10 B's!! We all need to take note of them. May you be blessed and your cup overflowth.

It is sad for ones that suffer with this disease and for their families/friends.

I wonder sometimes with all the medications they give me if that is the reason for my bad memory. It seems to get worse day to day.

McSwain said...

And I now know what a truly amazing person you are. My grandmother has dementia/Alzheimers, and she is too much for us to care for at home. Those who care for her full-time are some of the most selfless people I have ever met.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for what you do. Our old folk deserve honor, even when they can be difficult to deal with.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I said these things to myself in the mirror, and I didn't feel abit better. Sigh!!