Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Do you have a loved one in the early stages of dementia?

My father used to volunteer for an Alzheimer's and Other Related Diseases support group. He did this because my mother developed early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and my father attended a support group first as a caregiver and, then, as a teacher. I found among some of his papers a page of advice generated by a group of people who were in the early stages of Alzheimer's and similar diseases of dementia.

The document says:

1) Acknowledge my disease.
2) Don't pretend that nothing is wrong.
3) Don't treat me as if I am a child.
4) Learn about this disease.
5) Take me seriously.
6) Take time to listen.
7) Don't stare at me strangely.
8) Give me some space.
9) Let me continue to do the things that I can still do.
10) Understand that when I can no longer do things I used to do, it is not easy for me to deal with that, and I may become upset or frustrated.
11) Give me some time to do things.



Nanna K said...

Thank you for your post, I wish I had those tips a couple of years back. My mother is in end stage dementia now, she can't talk anymore and times are hard for all of us. Understanding the early stages of dementia can be hard on family members so they are great tips for those in need of them.
God Bless,
Nanna K

Angela said...

Found your blog via part-time homekeeper.
This post interested me - today my husband [a pastor] and I led a worship/communion service at a local home for folk with Alzheimer's & dementia.
Thank you for the tips

Elizabeth said...

Hi Nanna K and Angela,

Nanna K, my heart goes out to you, as my mother also progressed through the stages of Alzheimer's Disease. She was still fairly young when she began her descent into dementia, so it was particularly tough to lose her bit by bit. Prayers for you and your family as you care of your mother.

Angela, I'm glad you are visiting people with Alzheimer's and dementia. They need love and attention.