grief

The Sad Cycle of Alzheimer’s

grief

 

Alzheimer’s is a sad disease.  We slowly watch our loved one die.

I’ve heard the saying “mourning your loved one now, to mourn all over again.”

This is true, we are mourning the loss of who our loved one was with the loss of abilities and interest now.

However, when s/he passes we will mourn them all over again.

This is why it is importance to raise Alzheimer’s awareness and find a cure.

storytelling

Understanding When An Action is Important

I often notice while working with the elderly, especially Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, that some stories are repeated over and over.  There have been times I’ve heard the stories so much that I feel that I can tell the story.

Those stories are important to the teller and we can learn lessons from the experience
Those stories are important to the teller and we can learn lessons from the experience

However, I also learn more about the person while listening to the story.  Sometimes through the retelling I can glean nuggets of insight about the person’s life.

However, I recently had a conversation with another worker that got me to thinking.  She said “when they repeat the story over and over it is really important to them.”

I realized that she had a valid point.  That incident was important to that person or made an impact on their life and/or thought process.

I realized this can also prove true when actions are repeated over and over again. After all actions speak louder than words.

What story or action is important to your loved one?

bubble bath

12 Ways to relieve stress and anxiety

The day has been stressful and you find that you are anxious.  Your loved one has been demanding today and you need to unwind.

Some ways to relieve stress and anxiety include:

Take time to pamper yourself and relax
Take time to pamper yourself and relax
  1. Bubble bath
  2. Take a walk
  3. Exercise or dance
  4. Read a book
  5. Find a quiet place to sit, listen to the birds and sip a cup of tea or coffee
  6. Deep breathing techniques
  7. Journal
  8. Talk to a friend
  9. Use scents that are soothing, such as lavender, with candles or room fresheners
  10. Play with a pet or child
  11. Laugh
  12. Get a massage

How do you relieve stress and anxiety?

dancing

7 Tips for Planning Activities for Alzheimer’s

Working with Alzheimer’s patients, I am often challenged.  How do I find activities that are enjoyable and engaging for my residents?

Some tips to keep in mind are:dancing

  1. Focus on the enjoyment of the activity and not the results. I had one lady that would play checkers with me.  This mainly meant moving the pieces around the board.  We made up the rules as we went along.  Yet, she was enjoying herself so that’s all that mattered.
  2. Be aware of physical impairments, including sight and hearing problems
  3. Keep the individuals skills and abilities in mind
  4. Relate to activities that were previously enjoyable through either hobbies or work life
  5. Look for activities that are enjoyable for the person
  6. Set a schedule for when certain activities are conducted {this can even include meals and bathing routine}
  7. Consider the capabilities of the individual

What do you take into consideration when planning activities?

caring for caregiver

Importance of Caregiving Support groups

Caregiving can be a very lonely task.  After all you spend hours or days with the person being cared for.

During this time family, friends and co-workers may not understand all of the strain and frustration you feel.

These groups are important because they provide an outlet of discussion with other likeminded individuals.  These individuals are experiencing the same concerns and struggles and need to vent or talk through their problems. support

However, there are groups where you can find support.

A few places to find support include:

  • Alzheimer’s organization
  • Church support groups
  • Facebook groups
  • Online support groups
  • Workplace support groups
  • Meetup Groups

Other places to check include:

  • Doctorcaring for caregiver
  • Local Agency on Aging
  • Family caregiver support program
  • Skilled nursing or rehab center

Where have you found caregiving support?