A guest post written for Happy Healthy Caregiver by Angel Carers.
Caring for someone living with dementia can be a challenge – it’s a complex condition that can often be difficult to understand. People with dementia often have memory problems, mood swings, anxiety and can often feel isolated. Whether you’re caring full-time for someone with dementia, or a few days a week, the following tips may make dementia care just a little bit easier.
Learn How To Communicate
When administering dementia care, be mindful as to how you’re communicating with the person with dementia. It’s important to ensure that they understand exactly what you’re telling them, especially as people with dementia often have a limited attention span. There are a few things you can do to engage with them, including:
- Adopting positive body language
- Talk in a pleasant, respectful manner
- Exaggerate your facial expressions
- Adopt a positive, upbeat tone of voice
- Use physical touch to help you to convey your message
- Turn off any background noise, such as radios and televisions
- Address your patient by name
- Maintain eye contact
- Ensure you are on the same level as them – if they are sitting down, it’s best if you sit, too
Teepa Snow engaged hundreds of Cobb County family Caregivers and further expanded their understanding of dementia. I had the privilege to hear Teepa – one of America’s leading dementia educators on dementia – at an event called ‘A Day with Teepa Snow: Today’s Voice for Dementia’ on Friday, March 31st at the Due West United Methodist Church.
I had no idea what to expect from this event since I have never even seen or heard Teepa speak. Her training is highly praised and I wanted to learn more about dementia.
Only Teepa Snow can make learning about dementia entertaining. She’s witty, spunky, and she swears (in a church!). She drives home the importance of visual cues by using her hands while she instructs. (more…)
Expert Interview – Tami Neumann & Cathy Braxton
Meet Tami Neumann & Cathy Braxton, two ladies who are disrupting the aging industry and the way Caregivers communicate with those we care for who have dementia and Alzheimer’s. Tami & Cathy are on a mission to replace the overwhelming and frustrating communication techniques with something simple,fun, and easy to remember. Their improv training workshops and resources are equipping family Caregivers with new communication tools to practice with their loved ones that have dementia or Alzheimer’s. In this Expert Interview post, learn how some of their improv techniques can improve your communication with those you love.
A guest post written by Erica Hornthal, founder and president of Chicago Dance Therapy. I had the pleasure of meeting Erica at the 2016 National Caregiving Conference and attended her movement breakout session. Her techniques opened my eyes to a fresh new tool for our caregiving toolkit.
As a dance/movement therapist, I have the opportunity to connect with individuals through their bodies, not just through “dance” but through non-verbal expression, communication, and body language. Our bodies have a wonderful way of expressing wants and unmet needs. Martha Graham said, “The body never lies.” This is true as long as we look and listen.
In this post we’ll explore several ways to blend movement with caregiving. (more…)
Each month, I have a one-on-one interview with a caregiver in the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community. I call each of these recorded conversations a ‘Caregiver Spotlight’. I started these because each caregiver journey is unique and I know every time I talk to another caregiver I learn something new and I leave that conversation knowing I’m not alone and feel a little bit stronger.
Beth lives in Pittsburgh, PA area and has been caring for her 80 year old elderly aunt in her home for almost 2 years. Beth has four teenagers and says she is married to ‘one of the nicest people she’s ever met’. Beth enjoys running and writing about interesting things on her ‘Being Home‘ blog.
Beth’s mother lives across the street which she says played a huge part in allowing herself to even consider taking this primary caregiver role on in the first place. In addition to her mom, Beth has lots of local support including her cousin and a doctor neighbor who willingly makes house calls.
Beth is also grateful Aunt Linda is overall pleasant, in spite of her progressing dementia and other ailments, including diabetes. (more…)