Tips for Caregivers

Doctors Often Need to Be Educated By You.
Telling the Doctor what you see at home is important. The Doctor can’t tell from an exam if they have been up all night pacing. Doctors can also benefit from therapeutic fibbing by telling your loved one that an anti-depressant is a vitamin to keep them feeling well.

You Can’t Do It All. It’s OK To Accept Help.
When people ask if they can help, the answer should always be yes! Put together a list of things people can do to help. Maybe it’s picking up a prescription or staying with your loved one while you run an errand. Doing this will reinforce others to help and besides, it’s always harder to ask for help than it is to accept it.

Don’t Overestimate or Underestimate What Your Loved One Can Do.
Sometimes it’s easier if “we just do it.” Just make sure that you are not taking away their ability to be independent in that skill. On the other hand make sure that your not asking too much of them which can lead to frustration and agitation. It can be hard to find the balance and remember that it can change from day to day.

Tell, Don’t Ask.
Rather than ask the sometimes-challenging question of what do you want for dinner; simply remind them it’s time for dinner. This will encourage them to eat and avoids the burdensome chore of trying to process in their minds what they would like to eat.

It’s Normal to Question the Diagnosis When Your Loved One Has Moments of Lucidity.
Remember that you are responding to a disease and not the person. Everyone with dementia has those moments when they make perfect sense and can respond appropriately. You’re not imaging things but rather than second-guess the diagnosis, enjoy those moments when they occur.