This is the second in a series of tips to assist the caregiver of a loved one with moderate stage Alzheimer’s Disease from the book, A Caregiver’s Guide to Alzheimer’s Disease, 300 Tips For Making Life Easier, written byPatricia Callone, Connie Kudlacek, Barbara Vasiloff, Janaan Manternack, and Roger Brumback.
“The caregiver moves into a more extensive phase of involvement with the person in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The caregiver assumes the role of negotiator:
- You observe that, as much as you would like your loved one to have complete control over her life, more and more situations call for you to become actively involved.
- Behavior problems, such as wandering and agitation, may occur at this time, and the person will need ore intensive supervision. When you observe an inappropriate behavior, try to figure out its meaning. Think about what the person is trying to say or do. It is not unusual for agitated behaviors to become worse later in the day or early evening.
- As a caregiver, especially a spouse, you may become cranky, say genuinely mean things, and give help grudgingly. It’s important to explain to the person with Alzheimer’s disease why you’re cranky–probably from lack of sleep–and why you say mean things. Most likely, you are angry at the disease, not your spouse. It helps to keep clearing the air and going on as carefully as you both can. In this stage of the disease, you may find that you are caught between balancing your own needs and the needs of the person for whom you are caring.
- Be ready for your own denial, as well as the denial expressed by your loved one or other family members, especially when adjustments and transitions in living arrangements are necessary.
- Learn how to cope with your own anger and hurt feelings, and seek the help of others if you can no longer be objective about a situation. Sometimes the person with dementia will get angry with her spouse or children and blame them for things they haven’t done. Insensitive remarks unwittingly can be made.
- Reflect on the way you respond to the person with Alzheimer’s disease. If the person becomes combative, ask yourself these questions” “Am I in any danger?” “Can I handle this situation?” Often, you can avoid harm by simply taking five steps back and standing away from the person for a short time. On the other hand, if the person is headed out of the house and onto a busy street, you need to be more aggressive to keep him safe.
- Reach out and rely on outside resources and experts. Delegating tasks to others will help you preserve the strength and energy that will be needed as your loved one progresses in to the next stage of the disease.
- Consider having family forums, during which you inform family members of the arrangements that previously have been made regarding emergencies and finances. if no such arrangements have been made, do not delay in doing so now. Make a plan and keep family informed of the arrangements
- Do not allow daily frustrations and stress to cause you to over-react. Focus on the fact that the diselase is causing the person to behave in this manner, and the person is not doing it purposefully.
- Remove yourself fro the caring situation when you find the need respite or have lost your focus or balance.”
Read the book in it’s entirety. It’s available on Amazon.com…it’s an excellent resource for caregivers caring for their loved ones with AD.