4) Don’t ask your loved one to do something that you know they cannot do:
Sometimes we think that a loved one is being ‘lazy’ or not living up to their potential but the reality is that when you see that they are struggling to perform a task (that was previously not a challenge to them) it may be a sign that their disease is progressing, instead of insisting that they ‘can’ do whatever it is that they cannot, accept this as fact and move on
Do not berate them or think that you can turn this into a ‘teaching moment’, in most cases this exercise will only end in their frustration and your anger and disappointment
5) Find a space that is yours:
It’s important to have a room or place where you can go to relax, unwind or decompress from the stress of caring for a loved one
It’s important to create a space that is yours alone to retreat to is yours alone
6) Say good-bye to ‘who’ they used to be and hello to the person they are now:
Trying to get your loved one to ‘act’ or ‘react’ the why they did before they started on the spiral down into dementia is futile
Make peace with the person they are ‘now’ and adjust your expectations and requirements accordingly
Best to mourn the loss of who they used to be and be grateful for the moments when there is a flicker of their former selves
7) Keep to your schedule:
Loved ones with dementia respond well to structure and routine
Do your best to be consistent in your actions and deeds
If you say you will take them somewhere at a specific time-do not be late!
If they are used to bath time being at 7 pm-don’t start turn on the shower at 7:30pm!
To Be Continued: In the interim, I welcome your comments or suggestions from your own experience