This Article is About
short term memory
personal hygiene
mood swings
loving person
quiet room
How To Become A Loving, Caring Caregiver
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None of us are born with caregiver skills, especially skills to care for a love one with dementia. But we can learn the necessary skills. Gaining knowledge about dementia greatly enhances the skill level of the caregiver. We must learn what dementia is.

First of all, dementia is not a disease, but a series of symptoms. The symptoms include mood swings, changes in behavior, loss of short-term memory, inability to reason and communicate. There are three stages of dementia: the early, the middle, and the late stage.

In the early stage the symptoms are still mild. One of the early signs of dementia is forgetfulness. As the dementia progresses to the middle stage you may see mood swing, some loss of reasoning, more confusion and ability to communicate effectively, When the dementia reaches the late stage, the person with dementia may incur these symptoms: inability to recognize family members or friends, inability to speak, and lack of personal hygiene.

A love one with dementia may become angry. She may feel like she's losing control of her life. The love one's personality begins to change. She may have been sweet, charismatic, and loving person. The dementia changes all that. And that's no fault of her own.

Learning to effectively communicate with the love one afflicted with dementia is no doubt challenging, but is achievable. Here are some tips on communicating and coping with your love one.

Hugs, hand-holding, a kiss on the cheek can go a long way in calming your love one. These actions tell her that she is still loved and cared about.

When the love one is trying to communicate with you and is struggling to find the right words, it's okay to suggest words.

When trying to communicate with your love one, remove any distractions such as the television, loud radio, or noisy grand-children. These things will only confuse your love one even more. Move her to a quiet room like the bedroom.

Break down activities into simple easy-to-understand steps. This will help to avoid any confusion.

When asking questions, simplify that too. Ask simple questions, simple yes or no questions. Be clear and concise when asking a question.

Be aware of your own body language. Your love one can still understand an "angry stance". Show a loving, positive, and caring body language.

When your love one is angry or aggitated it's a good idea to distract her by suggesting more pleasant things to do like go for a stroll.

Long term memory is the caregiver's ally. It really is. Tell stories from your love one's past. Use humor to communicate. Tell a funny story or joke that the love one remembers from her past. That will go a long way in helping communicate with her.

So being a caregiver is not easy, but remember's an act of love.

Street Talk

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