Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Technique Tip #2

Bathing will usually come second nature to a person when they feel sticky from sweat, or smell an odor emerging from their body.  With a patient who has Alzheimer's, this might not be the case.  In fact, these individuals might even down right refuse to cleanse themselves.  Some may insist that they have already taken a bath today, yet we as caregivers know that it has been two days since their last wash.  A method I use as a caregiver is to give the patient two options as to when they would like to get cleaned up.  You might want to ask: "would you rather take a bath now or in an hour?"  This allows them to make their own decisions, but enables us to assist them in duties that they would not think of to accomplish.  Remember to give reminders to concerns of this nature.  Tasks, such as bathing, become increasingly difficult to conduct when Alzheimer's patients progress into the middle stages of dementia.      

Unforeseen behaviors can arise with Alzheimer's disease that an individual in their earlier years would have never been known to possess.  This occurs throughout all of the stages, though may become more pronounced and identifiable in middle stages of the disease.  We as caregivers must know what to expect and be prepared for the unthinkable to come our way.  In doing so, we can somewhat ready our minds, or at least lessen the blow of the emotional exhaustion we may experience.

Would anyone be inclined to share an experience of their loved one's behavior that has changed since their development of Alzheimer's disease?  This does not have to be a negative experience, for dementia can open doors to different varieties in practices of bonding.  How did this actuality make you feel? 

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