From A Caregiver's Diary
Alzheimer's Care / Retraining and Refocusing their changed minds
Fear, agitation, mistrust, anger, uncertainty, feeling of abandonment, loneliness and despair are just some of the triggers that usually causes an outburst or a negative behavior in our loved-ones who are living with Alzheimer's or other forms of Dementia.
Everyday is a new experience.
The new experience that is apart of the journey, yet, since you have decided to hold on to his or her hand as they journey, you may realize that there are habits and behaviors that is quite the opposite to what you are used to seeing through out the years long past.
Retraining, refocusing, retraining, refocusing
How do you do that? How do you fathom? and how do you make certain habits and behaviors the way they were?
Some very important personal habits, during this disease, will require the need to retrain and refocus the mind, habits like; bathroom and dining habits or even bedroom habits.
I find that the questions that are first and foremost on the faces an expressions of some of these faces are;
"Why, but why do I have to go there to do that? Why do you have to accompany me? Why are you always watching and waiting around for me? I can do that myself, I have been doing these things for years without you being there!"
Of course, then you wonder why there is a sudden outburst or screams requesting you to get out, or to get your hands off, or leave that alone.....I will do it myself, behavior.
These are sometimes cries of embarrassment and fear.
This is the perfect moment to gently say, this is why we are doing this task together, We have to do it together because........
When we do it together it gives me a chance to help you,
Look at me, please trust me, remember we are a team
I love you
It is also very important to explain what you are doing, slowly, softly and carefully before you begin......soft and gentle eye contact
Please trust me.......encourage a hug and a simple smile
Sometimes these expressions will encourage relaxation, thus allowing them to let go and allow you to assist with these very private personal habits or care.
It will become very important that you notice the changes in behavioral patterns as they occur each day as you practice with consistency, this model of love and compassionate communication.
As you practice together daily they will get the knack of your effort and chime in. Sometimes they will become so relaxed that they may start humming a favorite melody or tell you a favorite story, of which you may want to chime in too.
Suddenly every chore and assisting hour becomes a fun and joyful experience, because they now understand the reason why you are there........
Andria Patricia Harris 02/14/14