Caregiving Monday: Dealing with Trauma

Caregiving Monday: Dealing with Trauma

The love of family can make a difference
The love of family can make a difference

 

 

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease and there are times when traumatic moments and horrific memories return to traumatize the patient.

So what are some ways to calm the patient?

Music has a healing power
Music has a healing power

 

  1. Redirect the patient and see if you can get their mind on something else
  2. Allow the patient to speak about the incident—some need to express their feelings and what was experienced in a safe and loving environment. Never judge or push for information, but allow the patient to share what s/he is comfortable with.
  3. Music—sing a song or hymn that is comforting to the patient. If you can’t sing, put on some soothing music, whether it is a collection of hymns or instrumental {especially piano} music.
  4. Pray—if the patient is a praying person, ask them to pray or if you can pray with them. I have seen amazing changes happen with prayer in a person with Alzheimer’s.

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer changes things
  5. Love—sometimes the patient just needs to feel loved and safe
  6. Touch—the power of touch is powerful. Often a hand on the shoulder or a pat of the hand does amazing wonders in soothing a patient that is troubled.  This is a comforting act to him/her.
  7. Family—sometimes seeing a familiar face is all that is needed. I have seen Alzheimer’s patient’s entire demeanor change when they are able to see a spouse, child or grandchild.  This brings comfort and assures the patient that s/he is not alone and not forgotten.

What has worked for you in dealing with traumatic situations in an Alzheimer’s patient?

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