Reassurance for Caregivers

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Your loved one with dementia may confuse events, or reality with nightmares, or reality with unspoken fears. When you know their version of events is false or exaggerated, remind yourself that it’s dementia talking, not the person that you know.

Your loved one with dementia may suddenly have difficulty with an action he or she has performed with ease six out of seven days. It doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to do it forever. The difficulty could be due to too much activity around them, physical fatigue, normal aches and pains that come with age, onset of illness or just dementia. Dementia does one thing today and another tomorrow.

Your loved one with dementia doesn’t hate you even though they may be “cranky,” “crabby,” or simply bite your damn head off when you’re only trying to help them. You have to remember that this person has, according to the severity of the dementia, moments of lucidity accompanied by inevitable frustration because they can’t do what they want to do or remember what they want to remember.

You are not a failure when your loved one wants to go to a nursing home even though you are trying to keep them at home. Some people with dementia have been in the geriatric ward of the hospital or been in a nursing home temporarily and remember being in a place with other people their age and with similar mental and physical issues, and miss socializing with people who aren’t caregivers. And some people with dementia are aware that they need more care than you can give and want to go into a nursing facility so that you don’t have to be with them twenty-four hours a day. “I’m very sick. I need to go to a nursing home.” “I hope a place opens up at the nursing home soon so you can get back to your life.” This is the person you know. This person has confronted their illness, realized their need for professional care, and realized that you are mentally and physically stressed beyond your limits.

You can’t fix dementia. No one can, yet. It’s not your fault.

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