loss

Caregiving Monday: Dealing with Violent Outbursts

At times it is difficult for someone with Alzheimers to know how to express themselves
At times it is difficult for someone with Alzheimers to know how to express themselves

 

 

 

 

I had one resident that was normally very sweet, but at times she had nightmares that caused violent outbursts.

Calming her down during one of these episodes was never easy and took a lot of time.  Often it took time that others did not want to dedicate to her.  There have been numerous times when I spent a good hour or more working to calm her down.

So how do you calm down an Alzheimer’s patient that has a violent outbursts?

  1. Remember that often it is the disease and not the individual

    Finding the window to help Alzheimer's deal with their reality
    Finding the window to help Alzheimer’s deal with their reality
  2. Understand the history and background of the person. In this case, we knew the traumatic event from her youth that triggered these outbursts.
  3. Redirect the individual as much as possible
  4. Don’t argue with the person
  5. Allow the individual to talk about the incident if possible and necessary. You don’t want to agitate him/her more.
  6. Beware of triggers. Keep a record of events before these outbursts.  Is there a certain person, incident, time of day, etc. that triggers these outbursts? By tracking any triggers you can work to eliminate them.
  7. Remain calm and don’t take it personally
  8. If nothing else works and the person is in a safe place and not a danger to his/her self, sometimes the best thing is to leave him/her alone {even if you watch over him/her from another room} to come down
  9. Music is often a great way to calm an individual
  10. Pray and quote scripture together or over the person.

I used all of these techniques and in time I was able to calm this sweet lady back and see her return to her normal self.  What works with one person may not always work with another, but in my personal experience I found that singing and then praying together were the most calming tools I could use.

Of course, I had to talk with her until she was calm enough to sing and pray with.

How do you calm an individual that has violent outbursts?

grief2

Caregiving Monday: Grief in Alzheimer’s

Recently a dear friend of mine with Alzheimer’s mourned the loss of his wife.  He would often twists his wedding ring when thinking about her and asks questions.  There were times when he was quiet and other times when he had bursts of anger.  All of this is a natural part of the mourning process.

Alzheimer’s does not stop our loved ones from grieving when they lose a loved one, whether it is a sibling, spouse, or child.grief2

So how do we deal with this grief?

  1. DO NOT keep reminding them if they don’t remember.
  2. Allow them to talk about the loved one and share memories.
  3. Realize that any anger or showing out may be due to the grief.
  4. Try to redirect them if they become too agitated.
  5. Celebrate the life of the loved one.
  6. Understand that they will feel your loved one needs to grieve and will express the same steps in the grief process {denial, anger, guilt, sadness, acceptance}.
  7. Recognize signs, times of day or situations that may trigger the grieving process {especially anger and guilt steps}.
  8. Understand that some bonds and intuitions are strong that even without telling your loved one s/he may “know.”
  9. Remember that you are grieving also {most likely} and grieving together may be good for both of you.

Grief takes time for everyone to experience.  We’ve got to remember that the same is true for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s.  However, if they don’t remember, don’t keep bringing it back up.  Doing so will be like hearing the news for the first time each time.

How have you deal with grief?

discouragement quote

Transitional Friday: 7 Lessons Learned from Discouragement

discouragement

 

 

 

There have been times when I wondered if anything was going my way.

No matter how hard I tried or how much effort I put into the endeavor nothing seemed to work.

This led to great disappointment and discouragement.  There were days when depression hit and I nothing could lift my mood.

When discouraged, I have to remind myself that:discouragement quote

  1. This too shall pass
  2. God is preparing me for something better
  3. God has a better plan
  4. There is a reason for this
  5. I need to spend more time in God’s word and in prayer seeking His will
  6. I need to work off the depression
  7. My circumstances don’t identify me as a person

What has discouragement taught you?