Caregiver You Are Not Alone – Peter’s Story

Cherish the Moment

Dementia is proof that time travel is real. As short term memory is erased the past comes alive in the dementia brain. A seventy year old man relives the time he was strong and ready to take on the world. A woman with Alzheimer’s is once again a young mother holding her baby in her arms.

It can be very disconcerting for the caregiver and other family members when this happens. It can be devastating for the person living with dementia if we deny their reality. So what is a caregiver to do?

I repeat, Cherish the Moment. Ask him or her how old they are. The answer will give you insight into where their brain has taken them. Then you can engage with them through their memories of that time and place. If you have photos of them at that time, sit with them and listen to the stories they share.

If a woman is frantically looking for her baby, give her a lifelike doll to care for. Men also like holding babies and both men and women often enjoy holding a realistic looking pet.

It cannot be repeated often enough. We must meet them where they are and when we do that they become more calm and need less medication and very often touching moments that will one day be cherished memories are shared.

www.RodgerThat.show the podcast dedicated to guiding you through the heavy haze of dementia, is a weekly podcast for caregivers hosted by Bobbi and Mike Carducci. We hope you will tune in, follow, and review the program.

Please share special moment you had with the person in your care.

Caregiver You Are Not Alone – Ann’s Story

Reality, what is it good for? The brain is a magical, mysterious, and incredibly powerful part of us that influences every aspect of our being. From birth we depend on accepting what the brain tells us is real. What we see, hear, taste, and touch, our understanding of the world around us. The brain is also an inventive story teller.

Consider your dreams and how real they seem to you. Scary, sensual, weird, inspirational, sad, happy, you name it. The dream is our reality. When we waken we realize it was it was merely an illusion. People with dementia can’t make that distinction.

What delusions does the person in your care insist is true that you know are false? How so you react to them?

The dementia brain sends images, thoughts, and sounds to people who are awake. Whatever story the brain is sharing with them becomes their reality. This is why we must enter their world. It is up to us to respond to what their brain is telling them. It is not telling lies. It is not being deceptive. It is recognizing someone’s very real confusion and fear and doing what we can to put them at ease.

As difficult as it is to cope with the unpredictable behavior of someone with dementia, please try to remember, They are giving us a hard time because they are having a hard time. They can’t help it.