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Positive Peer Re-Enforcement

I have a resident that is so soft spoken it is almost impossible to understand what she is saying.

Positive reinforcement can yield positive results
Positive reinforcement can yield positive results

In the past when she spoke it was completely undistinguishable.  Even speech therapy had stopped working with her.

However, her roommate is very patient with her.  She coaxes and encourages her to speak in a manner that is kind and caring.

Lately, I’ve noticed that this sweet lady is speaking more distinctly and louder.

It’s amazing what a little encouragement and love can accomplish.

What positive re-enforcements have you seen from peer interaction?

break-ice

Breaking the Ice with Dementia

I have several patients that most staff and visitors are scared to approach.  This is mainly due to their disability or behavior.

However, I’ve determined to get to know these residents and spend time with them.

So what have I learned? What are some ways to break the ice with dementia patients?

It may take a while to break the ice but it is definitely worth it
It may take a while to break the ice but it is definitely worth it
  • This takes time
  • Slowly, but surely we both warm to one another
  • Touch shows I care
  • Music is a great way to break the ice
  • Even short visits show I care
  • I need to genuinely care
  • Speak with the family to learn about this person and their life
  • Find one thing we can bond over {each person is different but there is something}
  • This takes time
  • I can’t rush the process
  • Don’t give up

How have you broken the ice?

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Alzheimer’s Perception of Situation

We have a resident that is well over 100 years of age.  Although she has dementia, she also has lucid moments.  Recently, I stopped in to visit with her and had a conversation we’d never had before.

Dementia patients often see much more than we think
Dementia patients often see much more than we think

Me: “How are you?”

Her: “I’m sad.”

Me: “Why are you sad?”

Her: “Someone was talking about me.”

Me: “What did they say?”

Her: “I don’t know but I didn’t like it.”

This was a reminder that even when we think an individual with dementia or Alzheimer’s does not know what we are saying, there are times when they do understand.

Even if they do not understand the words they may understand in a number of other ways.

This can include:

Dementia Patients know how you make them feel
Dementia Patients know how you make them feel
  • Tone of voice
  • Touch
  • Look on our face
  • Attitude toward that individual
  • Perception

What ways have you noticed an Alzheimer’s individual is perceptive to their situation?

caregiver-ten-commandments

Caregiver Ten Commandments

I came across these Ten Commandments for Caregivers online.  The author is listed as unknown.  However, I felt that it was important to share with you dear readers.

Caregiver Ten Commandments

–Unknown

Ten Commandments for Caregivers
Ten Commandments for Caregivers

I       Thou Shalt not be perfect or even try to be.

II     Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people

III    Thou shalt sometimes leave things undone

IV    Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin

V     Thou shalt learn to say “NO”

VI    Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and thy support network

VII   Thou shalt switch thyself off and do nothing

VIII  Thou shalt not even feel guilty for doing nothing or saying “NO”

XI    Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times

X     Especially, thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but be thine own best friend

 

Which commandement do you struggle with the most?

help

7 Ways to find Caregiving Help without Breaking the Bank

Caregiving can be exhausting and we all need a break.  There is no way a person can be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days.  If so they will become very isolated and depressed.

But, when you live on a budget, where do you find caregivers to help without breaking the bank?

  1. Siblings—ask your siblings to step up to the plate and help out. Every family is different and
    Don't be afraid to ask for help
    Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    depending on how many siblings you have the chance for a break is greater for some people than for others.

  2. Adult children—if you have adult children {or even grandchildren} ask them to come and help you. Helping provides a greater understanding for what you are dealing with on a daily basis and more support.
  3. Neighbors—if you are friends with your neighbors ask them if they would mind helping.
  4. Friends—ask friends to come and visit and help out.
  5. Church members—ask friends at church if they would be willing to help out
  6. Ask for references—ask your friends and neighbors if they have any suggestions for an experienced caregiver that can help out. Many have been caregivers or are caregivers and may be able to refer someone that has experience and are affordable.
  7. Caregiving agencies—most caregiver agencies will come and sit for a minimum of three hours. Even if you hired someone to come once a week for three hours this will provide a much needed break.

How do you find caregiving help?  Which of these have worked best for you?

hope and comfort for caregiver

7 Ways to Get a Break from Caregiving

As a caregiver, often one can feel isolated and cut off from society.  You discover you need time for yourself and a break from caregiving.

So what are some ways to reconnect with society and friends while also helping yourself?hope and comfort for caregiver

  1. Go out to lunch or a cup of coffee with a friend—having time with a friend is much needed and is a great break from your duties, as well as catching up with others.
  2. Have a shopping date with a friend—even window shopping allows time for a break.
  3. Get a job—I have a friend who cares for her husband. For a break, she works for four hours a day three days a week at a local supermarket.  Her daughter sits with her husband so she can help.  This lady has expressed what a huge help this is to just get out of the house and away.
  4. Go to church or a Bible study

    caregiver need to care for themselves
    caregiver need to care for themselves
  5. Take a class—often libraries, community centers and local colleges/universities offer a wide range of classes that are either free or affordable. These can be anything from a one to two hour class to meeting for six to twelve weeks at a time.
  6. Volunteer—many places are looking for volunteers that are dependable. Be up front about what time and hours you are able to offer.
  7. Join a club—find a book club, gardening club or another group with an interest you enjoy. Ask your friends and church members or search on a website such as Meetup.com
  8. Bonus—Go see a ball game or enjoy a concert.

 

How do you get out for a short time period?