What will you do with your father or friend who has dementia this Father's Day?
Make him and his caregiver SMILE
How you ask
First you, as the loved one, caregiver, health care professional, or friend, must be upbeat and animated. You must show a genuine interest in them and their problems. This can be difficult. That is why it is suggested that you attend a support group. Don't go through this alone. You will find that many caregivers are in a similar situation to yours. Talking about issues you face will, at the very least, make you feel better. You probably will get some good ideas as well. Groups meet everyday in most areas. here should be a group in your area. Contact your local Alzheimer's Association for more information. You can even join an online support group. Here are a couple: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/mymotherhasalzheimers/
Now you are ready to give your dementia friend a brighter day.
As stated earlier the book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones, and Involved Professionals has made over 100,000 persons with dementia happier. It has done this by giving them a brighter day.
How, you ask
This book improves the dementia persons' day because
*Baby pictures capture their attention and make them smile
*Focusing on one photograph at a time is not confusing.
*Large print statements are easy to read.
*Activity ideas hold their attention.
*Remembering the "good old days" is fun
*Creative thoughts boost their self esteem
*Focusing on feelings is effortless for them
*Singing familiar songs puts them in a good mood
*Laughter releases endorphins
*Unwanted behavior is lessened.
*Looking at the book independently improves their personal worth
*Visits from friends and family increase because of the visitor packet
Another way you can make those with dementia feel better is to be complimentary. In the early stages, these individuals often realize that something is wrong. Thus telling them good things about themselves and focusing on the abilities they still have rather than on what abilities they have lost.is important.
In addition to sharing the book, you must help the memory challenged person communicate. He may have trouble word finding. Fill in the blanks for him. At the same time, be complimentary and allow ample time for a response.
Also make sure you give out plenty of hugs. Please note that there are a few dementia folks that do not like to be touched.
You can still encourage a dementia person to do many of the activities that he enjoyed by adapting and modifying them. You could also have all but one or two steps of a project completed ahead of time. Then ask the memory impaired person to finish the task with your assistance, if necessary.
Also helpful is establishing a daily routine that has flexibility. Allow plenty of time to get ready to do something. Have something special in your back pocket in case you have to wait for someone else to get ready.
A must is. NEVER argue. That is a lose, lose situation. Because the dementia person is convinced that his perception of reality is correct and arguing with him will just upset him. You NEVER want to do that since aggressive behavior is likely to follow.
If you get into a situation where the dementia person displays unwanted behavior, divert and redirect .his attention. In other words do something to stop the unwanted behavior, then, redirect him to another activity. The book is a great tool for refocusing and redirecting inappropriate conduct.
The use of therapeutic fiblets (an untruth told to a person with dementia to make him feel better) is a helpful tool to reduce unwanted behavior and will make the dementia individual feel better. For example, he is feeling bad because he thinks he has to pick up his friend in town. In reality, his friend died ten years ago. Tell him someone else is picking up his friend today or say, Before we go, lets pack a snack, or I have to do the dishes. Can you(the dementia person) help me. Get into a discussion about snacks or dishes or his favorite sports team or something else he is interested in. Never tell him his friend is dead. He will be devastated because he will think he is hearing this news for the first time.
Always go with the flow. If things go s planned consider yourself lucky. Expect the unexpected. Try not to get upset if a dementia person displays unwanted behavior in public. Rather find the positive in the situation and go with it.
And remember no matter what, smile and laugh. Tell corny jokes. Regale funny family stories. Just have a good belly laugh every now and then especially if you see or feel tension rising.
Finally, take advantage of adult day care. If you are the primary caregiver for a person with dementia, these settings offer you a much needed break. They also offer the memory challenged person a fun place to be. These centers offer creative ways to get the memory challenged involved. There should be one in your area. For help finding one, contact your local Alzheimer's Association. Many centers have used the book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones, and Involved Professionals, to increase the happiness of their clients
Over 100,000 people with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia are happier because of the book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, Their Loved Ones, and Involved Professionals which, as Dr. Paul Raia says, is a treasure-trove of therapeutic activities that can bring joy and purpose to those with a cognitive impairment. Also key in bringing happiness is the use of all the above suggestions
Now anyone you know with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia can be happier too.
The author is donating money to the Alzheimer's Associatopn for each book that is sold