Alzheimer’s Patients Don’t Like to Be Alone

While working with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients over the years, I’ve noticed most of them don’t like to be alone.  This could be because of the confusion the disease creates.

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

Sometimes the disease demands they are not alone because of their actions, also.

However, some of the reasons I’ve noticed this are:

  • Need reassurance not alone
  • Need reassurance someone cares about them and loves them
  • Need guidance to know what’s next
  • Need comforting when they are confused

What reasons have you noticed in Alzheimer’s patients that don’t like to be alone?

When A Loved One is Dying

I often see on message boards questions about loved ones that are in the end stages of life.

Often this includes loved ones:

Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
Those dying see a world beyond what the rest of us can see
  • Seeing people that others can’t see
  • Talking to people others can’t see in the room
  • Reaching up or out towards others
  • Making comments such as “He’s so beautiful” or “heaven is beautiful”
  • Mentioning loved ones long deceased
  • Even claiming to have a glimpse of heaven and sharing what was seen
  • Open eyes when in a coma and look straight up
  • Smile at an unseen entity

All of this is very common in the end stages of life.  This is a time and occurrence that none of us are going to understand until we are there.

Just as the journey through life is different for everyone, the journey towards life in heaven is different for everyone.

However, I want to assure you that all of these situations mentioned are very common.

This is a time to love and comfort the person leaving us for a better place.heaven

Remember, hearing is the last of our senses to leave us.  Even if your loved one is in a coma they can still hear you.

We may not be able to see what our loved one sees, but we can be assured that angels and loved ones long deceased are with us and waiting to escort our loved one into their new home and to meet Jesus.

Caregiving Can’t Be a Lone Sport

“I can do it alone.”  I’ve often heard this from caregivers.  They think they can do it all alone.

However, we can’t!

Caregivers need help and support
Caregivers need help and support

I recently heard a story from a woman that had a stroke in her early 20s.  Her husband insisted on caring for her by himself for the next twenty years.  He refused to accept help from anyone.  Now they are divorced and to receive the care she needs, she is in a nursing facility.


  • Caregivers cannot carry the burden alone.
  • We all need time to rest and recharge our batteries.

Often we hear of the caregivers that pass away long before the one they are caring for.  This is because they wear themselves out.

As caregivers we need to:

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for there
  • Develop a schedule and strategy that will work.
  • Bring in or hire a team that can support you.
  • Explore your options and local resources.
  • Take time for ourselves
  • Remember we need a team or village

How do you prevent from making caregiving a lone sport?

9 Ways Alzheimer’s Changes Our Loved Ones

The diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s means the change in our lives as we know it.

Often the change is slow and other times it is rapid.

However, the one thing that is for sure is that Alzheimer’s changes our loved ones.

Our loves one may now be more:

People with Alzheimer's aren't that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.
People with Alzheimer’s aren’t that different than the rest of us. They just want to feel loved.
  1. agitated
  2. easily flustered
  3. react differently
  4. may express anger
  5. may show out
  6. may withdrawal into self
  7. lose interest in previous hobbies and activities
  8. personality change
  9. becomes more fixated on things

What changes have you seen after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?

10 Benefits of Hospice

hospice 2




Recently, I’ve learned of several families that placed a loved one in hospice.

This is never an easy decision. There’s no easy way to prepare for this.

However, I’ve worked with hospice on numerous occasion.

Some of the benefits of hospice are:

  1. Helps in decision makinghospice
  2. Offers support groups
  3. Offers spiritual support
  4. Certified and knowledgeable workers in the end of life stages
  5. Provides knowledgeable feedback
  6. Oversees the final preparations {such as contacting mortuary, having death certificate issued, etc.}
  7. Provides services to you at home, in a hospital, at a nursing facility or at their own facility
  8. Continues to care for your loved one through a decline—while usually this is for six months or less, at times their services extend beyond this time period. If the loved one improves they can be discharged and later readmitted when a decline reoccurs.
  9. Give the patient and their family a sense of dignity
  10. Respects the patient’s wishes
  11. Bonus: Lessens financial burden of being in the hospital

How has hospice been beneficial for you?

Acceptance of an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

I’ve worked with many families that have a loved one with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Often I see a struggle to accept the diagnosis.

Accepting a loved one has Alzheimer's is not always easy. Sometimes we have a mental block.
Accepting a loved one has Alzheimer’s is not always easy. Sometimes we have a mental block.

This happens in a variety of ways:

  • Mental block
  • Inability to accept changes
  • Lack of knowledge about the disease
  • Belief loved one will be healed
  • Denial


Often you hear the saying that when you have a loved one with dementia you “mourn the loss of them now, to mourn the loss of them all over again when they’re gone.”


That is so true.  The person we know and love is no more as dementia changes the person.


Acceptance of the disease is a private journey that everyone has to reach in their own way and time.

  • However, a few tips to help are:

    Cheirsh the time you have together
    Cheirsh the time you have together
  • Educated self on the disease
  • Celebrate the time you have with your loved one
  • Listen to the professionals and be open to what they are saying
  • Understand you can slow the disease but not stop it
  • Pray and ask God’s help and guidance on this journey


How have you dealt with the Alzheimer’s diagnosis of a loved one?

The Sad Cycle of Alzheimer’s



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.

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

9 Symptoms of Caregiver Stress

Caregiving is very stressful for caregivers.

Caregiver stress can lead to:

Caregiving is stressful. We need to remember to care for ourselves.
Caregiving is stressful. We need to remember to care for ourselves.
  1. Exhaustion
  2. Anger
  3. Guilt
  4. Loneliness
  5. Depression and anxiety
  6. Health issues
  7. Higher levels of obesity
  8. Weaker immune system
  9. More long term medical problems

As a caregiver, it is important to remember that you matter.  We must take care of ourselves in order to properly care for our loved ones.

Dealing with Family issues

Time and again I hear about various family issues with families.

This can run the gamut from one child carrying the burden of caregiving alone to money and legal issues.

Caregiving is very tiring and quote

On top of this many caregivers are working jobs and caring for families in addition to their caregiving duties.

Caregiving takes a village.  The more people on your team that can share the burden, the easier it is for everyone.

However, that is seldom the case and often one or two people are left with the burden all on their own.

So what can you do if you need help?

  • Be honest and ask
  • Explain the situation and needs to others
  • Hire a team if you’re able to

Sadly, there are times when no solution is found between other parties.  I hear stories where this is the case on an almost daily basis.

I wish I could provide a solution.  However, the only answer I have is to pray and seek God’s guidance.

7 Ways Personality emphasized in Alzheimer’s

I’ve discovered that with personality traits and characteristics from childhood and adulthood are often intensified and emphasized in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

These can include a variety of personality characteristics.  Some that I’ve seen are:personality

  1. Wanting attention
  2. OCD tendencies
  3. Meekness
  4. Neatness
  5. Sweetness
  6. Irritations
  7. Food likes and dislikes

In what ways have you seen the personality emphasized due to dementia?