This article from The Alzheimer’s Reading Room provides much wisdom and guidance when it comes to making choices when communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. As I’ve mentioned in earlier articles on my Blog, “If you don’t insist, they can’t resist.”
“Once bitten, twice shy.” The Chinese and Japanese proverb has a variant: “One year bitten by a snake, for three years afraid of a grass rope.”
How does one who is as imperfect as myself apply this Proverb without writing an article that goes on and on into perpetuity? All of us can think of circumstances in which we fail to learn by experience and continue doing the same stupid/inadvisable thing over and over again expecting different results. As I said, my life is rife with examples, but this article centers around caregiving – especially as it applies to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. CAVEAT: I would never write on something about which I had not experienced. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’ve paid for my mistakes.
I’m so tired of my spouse/father/mother asking me the same question over and over again and supplying her with the same answer over and over again!
Anyone with a loved one who has any type of dementia has lived in this unending vicious cycle. We think that if we just answer the question one more time she’ll remember and not ask the question again. Or we think that if we just spoke louder – or slower – she would certainly remember and life would be infinitely improved. Not happening. Answer the question once, and then move on to another topic. Change the subject; redirect your loved one by doing something that will distract her; or simply don’t respond at all. What ever you do, don’t aggravate the situation by reminding her that you’ve already answered that question numerous times so why don’t you stop already!!!??? Take a deep breath and remember: your spouse isn’t the one asking questions over and over again and frustrating you beyond all measure – the disease is asking the questions. I know – intellectually you understand that concept, but your eyes see and hear your spouse pestering you for an answer over, and over again, so it’s very difficult to get beyond the emotion of the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
This post, from a wonderful Blog about caregiving, http://www.letstalkaboutfamily.wordpress.com provides an excellent idea. It’s never too late to start this project for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
I’ve found the Alzheimer’s Reading Room to be very helpful in my efforts to continually improve my understanding of Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The good news? Subscribing to the Reading Room is free! I hope all benefit from this attached article about dementia in the 21st century.