Three Go-to Tactics for Dementia Caregivers

lionessThe holidays are hard for us all. It’s our first without our Dad. My siblings came to visit and I know my Mom enjoyed having lunch and dinner visitors.

I revisited my blog from last year talking about Christmas — the visits with my Mom were more difficult since she was almost always agitated and would get stuck on a specific thought and action.

Since she moved into Assisted Living, the visits are much easier. I have broken my visits down into two types: I’m visiting the lion or the lamb.

When I show up and I’m facing the lioness, three things that have served me well include:

  • Smile and patiently answer questions … until you can politely redirect the conversation
  • Don’t say “Remember” The lack of short-term memory is usually the first symptom to take root and pointing it out only creates bad-feelings and animosity.
  • Explaining only creates more confusion Layered with the lack of short-term memory, the idea that logic will prevail tripped me up initially. I will explain something once, then work to redirect the conversation.

My mother has always been a very independent woman. She raised four kids while my Dad was away at War in the 50s and 60s and was always the prime disciplinarian. While dementia can change behaviors, the need to independence and sense of purpose is still very alive and well in my Mom. Practiced. 

Please share with me if there are things you do that help you and the person you are caring for. 

6 comments on “Three Go-to Tactics for Dementia Caregivers

  1. […] our country and the woman who has a sharp tongue that we may encounter on our visits.  I rely on my go-to tactics if I arrive to find my Mom in a harsh […]

  2. […] For specific suggestions on how to manage a difficult conversation with someone who has dementia, check out Three Go-To Tactics for Dealing with Someone who has Dementia.  […]

  3. […] Three Go-to Tactics for Dementia Caregivers These have served me well over the years. […]

  4. […] and as I have witnessed, even someone with moderate dementia recognizes the slight. My Mom starts to turn into the lion after our lunch mate makes these comments. When my Mom is threatened or confused, she becomes very […]

  5. […] hood. As mom’s disease progressed, frank discussions, or any disagreement brought out the lion. She would just become combative. Medication has helped and she is much less suspicious and […]

  6. […] years, my mom swung between behaviors and I learned Three Go-To Tactics for Dementia Caregivers that served me well. I believe the lion emerges when she’s frightened and confused. We […]

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