Alzheimer’s is not dumb

Working with Alzheimer and dementia patients, I often witness family and/or staff talking about a person right in front of them.

Things will be said that are demeaning or degrading to the person.

Those with Alzheimer's are more perceptive than we give them credit
Those with Alzheimer’s are more perceptive than we give them credit

Often the attitude is that because the person has Alzheimer’s or dementia, then s/he does not understand what is being said about them.

I’ve discovered through observing my residents that this is not often the case.

Yes, there are times when they may not understand.  However, more often than not they understand more than they can express.  They understand exactly what is being said about them.  This can also show the person how those speaking really care about them.

So as with all things be careful what you say.  If the individual did not have Alzheimer’s, would you be saying these things directly to them?

8 Simple Activities for Alzheimer’s

Even simple things are enjoyable for someone with Alzheimer’s. Often they can do these and there is not a lot of stress or expectation in these activities.

This can include:

Many Alzheimer's patients find joy in baby dolls
Many Alzheimer’s patients find joy in baby dolls
  1. Singing a song
  2. Clapping hands
  3. Playing with a baby doll
  4. Having an ice cream cone
  5. Enjoying a hand or shoulder massage
  6. Having a special treat
  7. A visit from a loved one
  8. Time with a child or pet

While this may seem very simple for us, for a person with Alzheimer’s it can be a big deal.  Such a simple act can be very special to our loved one.

What simple acts are special for your loved one?

9 Tips for Hiring caregivers

Hiring good caregivers can be a challenge.

A few things you can do is:

Make the right decision in hiring a caregiver
Make the right decision in hiring a caregiver
  1. Make a list of what is needed and expected
  2. Interview the candidate
  3. Determine if the person will be a good fit with your loved one
  4. Know what you can afford to pay
  5. Determine other responsibilities person has outside of work
  6. Check background and references
  7. Make sure can work hours needed
  8. Check for any possible irritants {such as smoking, etc}
  9. Go with your gut

What questions do you ask when hiring caregivers?

13 Ways to Reduce Stress

Last week, I discussed the stresses of caregiving and how it can affect your health.

So what are some ways you can reduce stress?

Find a way to relieve stress
Find a way to relieve stress
  1. Take time for yourself
  2. Make list of what needs to be done
  3. Prioritize
  4. Be willing to say “no”
  5. Ask for help and then accept the help
  6. Stay physically active
  7. Keep a sense of humor
  8. Research caregiving resources in your community
  9. Don’t feel guilty
  10. Don’t try to be “perfect”
  11. Join a support group
  12. Make time for family and friends
  13. Above all, make time for yourself


How do you deal with the stress of caregiving?