Resistance to Care
Of the many challenging behaviors common in Alzheimer’s, probably the most complicated to manage is aggression. A senior who has always been mild-mannered can abruptly lash out in outbursts that are truly alarming: hitting, cursing, kicking, yelling, biting, or throwing objects. How can you, as a family caregiver, safely help restore a sense of calm when confronted with aggressive behaviors in dementia?
To start with, remind yourself that the aggression is a consequence of the disease. It is not something the older adult can control, and it is not intentional. That said, it must be defused to keep both you and the senior safe from harm.
“The 6 R’s of Managing Difficult Behavior,” developed by Dr. Peter Rabins and Nancy Mace in their book The 36-Hour Day, … Read More »
If you were to detail the top 5 emotions you encounter in meeting the caregiving needs of your aging parents, what would they be? Maybe you would first think of emotions like compassion, love, and sometimes, even frustration or stress. Would anger make the list? In many cases, though family caretakers wouldn’t wish to admit it, it’s quite common to feel angry about caring for aging parents.
Distress. Embarrassment. Fear. If you’re concerned it might be dementia, the feelings surrounding a potential diagnosis can force you to keep your suspicions to yourself. An AARP survey peeled away some of the layers of emotion to find the reason – namely, worry over losing independence and becoming a burden to others.
While there is some truth to these worries, there are also some misconceptions fueling them. As an example, roughly 1/2 of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re likely to get dementia as they grow older. The truth is that just over 10% of older adults over age 65 are identified as having Alzheimer’s disease.
Because of this, it’s critical for … Read More »
If you find yourself handling all of the care responsibilities for an aging parent while your siblings distance themselves from offering help, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every two family caregivers are taking care of an aging loved one on their own, according to a recent report from AARP. What can you do when family members refuse to help with senior care?
There are several reasons why siblings may shy away from supporting you in the care you’re providing. We’ve compiled the most common, along with what you can do to remedy the situation.
They don’t realize there’s a need for help. It may very well be that from … Read More »
Dementia delusions can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite chicken salad sandwich in front of her – light on the mayo, no onions – something she typically enjoys. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the food.
Or, you’ve provided your loved one with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she accuses you of tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her banking account.
How can you respond to dementia delusions or hallucinations without further agitating the person? Try these strategies:
Keep a controlled, soothing, understanding tone. It might be instinctive … Read More »
Of the many and varied challenging behaviors someone with Alzheimer’s may experience and display, perhaps the most heartbreaking is uncontrollable screaming and/or crying. Seeing a person you love in an inconsolable state of mind, and being completely unsure how to help or to understand what’s causing these extreme emotions of Alzheimer’s, is both painful and frustrating. How can you help a loved one with dementia feel calmer?
To begin with, realize that crying and yelling in dementia can occur as the result of:
Delusions, delirium, or hallucinations
An uncomfortable environment
Or a number of other factors
For the short-term, try these strategies to help:
Stay calm yourself, speaking to the senior in a soft, soothing tone of voice.
Try to uncover what’s causing the outburst. Maintaining a … Read More »
In an ideal world, we could manage to perfectly compartmentalize our caregiving duties, staying with a routine that met your aging parents’ expectations, while allowing enough time to take care of our assortment of other responsibilities. But needless to say, life doesn’t follow our desired script, and conflicting needs are frequent when caring for an aging parent. Many older adults resist the need for help, while others may come to depend too heavily on an adult child, leading to unfulfilled expectations and ultimately disappointment for both parties.
Hired Hands Homecare’s aging care professionals provide the following tips to help clarify expectations and communicate successfully:
Focus on empathy. As opposed to pulling away from an older loved one whose expectations seem unrealistic, stop and empathize. Think … Read More »
“It takes a village” was never a more accurate statement than when taking care of an older family member. It’s important for that “village” to have effective, ongoing communication so that you can offer the best care and to make sure everyone taking part in that care is on the same page. It’s also critical for family caregivers to have the opportunity to express concerns and to come together to get to resolutions, to share various perspectives, and to continue to be proactive in preparing for the future.
Holding senior family care meetings that produce good outcomes includes thinking through the following:
Who should always be included – and who should not? Unquestionably, those providing direct or indirect care for the senior loved one should attend, as … Read More »
When asked whether they thought they might be at risk for financial elder abuse or fraud, the overwhelming majority of surveyed older adults – 81%, in fact – were confident that they would never fall for a scam. We all want to believe we’re too savvy and smart to be taken advantage of; but the reality is, many scammers are even smarter and savvier.
And though we might assume that financial fraud mostly occurs at the hands of strangers, the truth is that as many as two out of three of all financial crimes are committed by people the victim knows and trusts.
The good news is, there are several steps that seniors and their loved ones can take to protect themselves:
Register with EverSafe (or a … Read More »
As a family caregiver, you obviously encounter an array of feelings throughout the day: shared laughter over a joke with your senior loved one; worry due to a health concern; and certainly, from time to time, irritation. We want only the best for those we love, and if a senior loved one is resistant to doing an activity we realize is beneficial, it could be tough to identify the most appropriate response.
The key is to try to offer motivation and support, while remaining cautious not to ever cross the line into bullying your senior loved one. These caregiving tips are good to remember:
There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked on a single occasion may perhaps be entirely ineffective in another. In … Read More »