Saturday, March 11, 2018 – I’ve been forgetting to let ya’ll know that I don’t work for RVillage at all any more. They no longer need me doing the project I was working on. I think it’s been over 4 years since I started working for them. I want to say thank you to Deborah Thompson, Aaron Thompson, Hillary Murray, Cameron Mills, Jessie Nordon for being wonderful co workers and managers. Of course I can’t forget the RVillage founder, Curtis Coleman. Curtis took a chance on hiring this old lady for a job I was able to do wherever we were in our travels. I thank him for that! If you’ve been following our Dora blog the last four years you may remember me showing the number of RVillage members growing. It is now at 91, 205 which is way way more than when we started with around 1,000 members.
This is a link to when I was first allowed to share RVillage with others in January 2014. I worked for them for a few months before this. I wish all the members and staff a very blessed future. http://rosalynandroy.com/2014/01/13/rvillage-com/
I’ve read about the frustration dementia caregivers experience. My husband Roy is wonderful with me, please pray that he can handle what’s coming in the future. I don’t want to take anything from the toll their loving care giving takes on them. This below says something I, as someone with dementia, need to put out there. I don’t know from day to day how my brain will be behaving. Symptoms are sporadic and present themselves in different ways all the time. It is extremely frustrating to live like this. When all this started I don’t think it really clicked with me that I had dementia. I still functioned very well, until I didn’t. Even now I have great days when nothing confuses me and everything goes well with me. Then it will hit and I am an incapable, bumbling idiot who falls, can’t think, can’t remember, and gets angry if I am not understood. Being in any social setting exhausts me. I try to keep my brain kicking and try to have coherent conversations with people and that is exhausting. Dementia is so much more than just having memory problems. So so much more, and it is frustrating for both the caregiver and the patient.
A song written by Marty McGill after losing his mother to Dementia.
By Rick Phelps, Alzheimer patient and founder of Memory People.
Dementia affects emotions.
Dementia produce misunderstandings.
Dementia affects recognition of loved ones.
Dementia causes paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations.
Dementia causes caregiver overload.
Dementia causes anger.
And…it is a memory impairment.
If your loved one is having anger issues what to do? There are several things to try. Give them space. Don’t invade there personal space. This causes them to be more agitated. No one likes their personal space invaded. Having dementia and invading ones personal space just intensifies an already hectic situation.
Don’t argue with them. Give them some time. If your loved one for example refuses to brush their teeth, don’t be persistent. Try again tomorrow. Same way with anything. Don’t make them do anything. This just causes more chaos to an already chaotic situation.
This doesn’t mean they have the run of the house or things that go on. But don’t pressure a dementia patient into doing anything. It simply will not work.
Use distraction. Some can be calmed down by music, but some don’t want any part of music. Every patient is different. To think music is a cure all for dementia patients is something someone came up with, and that someone didn’t have dementia.
Change the subject, change the environment, for example if they are in the bathroom and refuse to bathe, calmly suggest you both go do something else. Watch some tv, do whatever it is that you think will calm them.
Approach with one person. Don’t have two or three people trying to give them a shower for example. This too can trigger anxiety, and aggression. Again, demanding a dementia patient do anything is fruitless and simply will not work.
Try to determine the cause of their anger. This can be a shot in the dark most times. They could simply be angry because they are. There doesn’t have to be a reason.
Just having dementia, a brain disease can cause anger. In some cases their doctor may want to either change their medication or increase the dosage.
The thing with anger in a dementia patient is that this too will likely get worse. It’s not that they are getting more angry about things, it’s about the disease progressing.
Above all, make sure they and others around them are safe. Safe from themselves and safe from doing something that could endanger others.
© Rick Phelps 2018
Mary Sue Wilkinson will teach you five powerful reasons to use music in dementia care. Mary Sue is the Founder of Singing Heart to Heart and the author of “Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care,” which includes a contribution from Teepa Snow. Learn more.
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