Sometimes those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia will wake in the middle of the night, upset and in a rage, wanting to go home. One gentelman’s wife with dementia did this now and then. He was so patient, he would dress her, go for a short drive, and return home. He would take her back to her bedroom, and she was content to be home.
Dealing with dementia patients is not like dealing with an ill person. For an ill person you do something “to” and “for” them. For a dementia person you do something “with” them. (socializing)
Caregivers feel helpless and emotionally drained. But do not give up on your loved one. Read this poem written by an unknown author, and have compassion for those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
- Don’t ask me to remember,
- Don’t try to make me understand,
- Let me rest and know your’re with me,
- Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
- I’m confused beyond your concept.
- I am sad and sick and lost,
- All I know is that I need you,
- To be with me at all cost.
- Do not lose your patience with me,
- Do not scold or curse or cry,
- I can’t help the way I’m acting,
- Can’t be different though I try.
- Just remember that I need you,
- That the best of me is gone,
- Please don’t fail to stand beside me.
- Love me ’til my life is done.
Scientists studying dementia ask us to focus on what our loved ones can do. Do not focus on the skills they have lost. Normally long-term-memory and reading skills are less effected. Even when a dementia patient can’t speak, they can still read if the print size is large enough. Spoken words. ” go in one ear and out the other.” Those with dementia cannot store the spoken word in their memory. Give them notes to read and they will not ask again and again where they or going or where something they want is stored. Scientists know notes work, because they witness that dementia patients reading notes, will smile, and make pleasant sounds. Those with dementia will stroke photos of loved ones with captions, because they read and then know the person in the photo.
I used baby monitors throughout my home dealing with my brother. I learned this from a nurse who was caring for her mother with dementia. If I noticed or heard him, on my monitor screen, in a certain room having problems, I went to help him find or complete a task he was trying to accomplish. I used drive way alarms pointed at doors to know when he left or entered the house. I had the receiving units for these alarms in my locked bedroom, but could hear them throughout my home. These were aides to help me deal with an extreme dementia wanderer.
I know how hard being a caregiver is and that those with dementia do not know how to function correctly. So, just remember that they need you and love them until their life is done.