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Topic: Seniors Dementia- suggestions that help?

18 posts, 0 answered
  1. StaticRose51
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    12 February 2018

    Hi All

    I am currently living supporting someone who has Dementia and gets anxious a lot. Are there any extra activities that will help with the Dementia?

  2. blondguy
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    12 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    Hello StaticRose51

    Thankyou for the relevant thread topic on Dementia. (we havent spoken before...Good to meet you)

    I have had long term anxiety followed by depression but I will ask for help from others re Dementia if thats okay

    Please bear with us in the meantime if thats okay

    My Kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Quercus
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    13 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    Hi StaticRose51,

    I'm glad Paul has asked for more support. I think this question might be a good one to also put to your GP. To see if this is a problem they encounter often and if they know of any local support available.

    My Grandma had dementia and her frustration and anxiety manifested as anger. As she got worse she would lash out to my Grandad and Mum who cared for her. It is truly heartbreaking to see someone you love feel frightened by their illness.

    The biggest help we found was routine and familiarity. She would forget basic things and then get embarrassed and upset and angry.

    So it helped to have small routines in place. For example her medication. Even though my Grandad organised it she would become angry saying she hadn't taken her meds. So he would get her to write down what time she took them. That way she could check.

    Sometimes when she was having a good day we would talk and she would tell me she was embarrassed and scared. I would just remind her I loved her and tell her even if she repeated herself I will just keep replying because I love her. And if she did something in public that we knew she would hate we'd bring her home. As much as she was frustrated it did help her know she was protected by people who loved her fiercely.

    Another thing that helped a little was keeping her independence even just a bit. My Mum cooked most meals but my Grandma sorted breakfast. She loved cooking so to have that independence taken away wasn't great for her. My Grandad would help but let her do most of it. Having some control over her life was important.

    I'm not sure if that helps at all but I wanted you to know we care.

    Nat

    1 person found this helpful
  4. geoff
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    13 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51
    hello StaticRose, supporting someone with dementia isn't easy at all, because you're not sure what they will do next, get up in the middle of the night and start eating breakfast, or could be changing their clothes every hour or so, maybe into their pyjamas during day time or walking away from the house in the middle of the night, so a search team has to be called.

    Exercise for them can be things like gardening, walking, light gym work, throwing a blown up balloon to someone and a light card game.

    They love to pat a cat or a dog that responds with a purr or a lick, visiting a flower gardening or looking through a book of old photos but you have to know when is the best time of the day to do these.

    Taking them for a scenic drive, play music, dance, give them a house hold job, get them to paint or draw so the list is endless.

    They can only do things for a short time, but don't flood them with too much all a once. Geoff.
    2 people found this helpful
  5. StaticRose51
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    13 February 2018 in reply to geoff

    Thank you all apologies for not replying sooner I have a cold and have been trying to rest.

    Blondguy - A very big thank you for your reply and I appreciated the reply. It was absolutely ok. Have friends who have had Anxiety and Depression. They are still really wonderful people even with this experience. So kind thoughts back mate.

    Quercus - Thank you for your insights I appreciated you sharing your experience. Yes it is hard and quiet an emotional time i agree but when we have support we can make it through anything. Perhaps even help others too. Kind thoughts to you!

    Geoff - Also your reply was quiet helpful and appreciated!! Sounded familiar and gave me some extra ideas and motivation I hadn't thought of or still need to work on. So huge thank you.

    Kind regards and hope the day treats you well.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. quirkywords
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    14 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    Staticrose,

    Blondgut, Quercus, and Geoff have all given helpful advice.

    My mum had dementia but that was over 20 years ago and there was not much help or information then. there are a lot more resources available today and understanding.

    Have you tried the Alzheimer's association bestie- it has lots of information and tips for carers?

    My mum would get very angry and have out bursts if she felt she was not told things so we would write things down on cards so she knew what was happening. I found telling her meant she would forget things.

    I also found music- getting the type the person likes, can be soothing.

    I also made an scrap book for my mum 80th and she would love looking at the I tunes and talking about the letters in it.Each time it was like the first time she ever saw it. So it was good for grandchildren to share with her.

    I also feel it is vital as a support person to look after your health and emotional ell being and make sure you get support to as it is eas so easy to burn out.

    Pleas take care you are doing a wonderful job

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  7. StaticRose51
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    15 February 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky,

    I shall look into Alzheimer's association thank you. What you said about your mum sounds familiar. Perhaps music is the way to go for the early mornings when the person I'm caring for wakes up.

    Scrapbook idea sounds lovely!! I make other things quiet often and they get misplaced or cast aside because they are boring. So I have taken a break from crafting at the present moment, have to get back to it and I will in good time.

    Also as for looking after ourselves I agree it's important. I've learnt that I do not always need to be present early in the morning when the person I'm caring for is up raiding the pantry. I can absolutely go back to bed and relax. Talking to friends and does help a lot and I need to remember to continue to nurture those friendships. Even if that means sometimes being having to be assertive :)

    I will take care of myself and try to get over this cold for starters. Cheers for the reply.

    Take care also x

    1 person found this helpful
  8. romantic_thi3f
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    15 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    Hi!

    Some great ideas here.

    Just thought I'd add a few of my own

    - music! Already been suggested I know but I'm adding it because it can be even more helpful if you find music that they used to like when they were younger (think 20's/30's).

    - Cooking - definitely not over the stove, but working together on things like mixing the bowl, making a fruit salad, rolling out pastry or cupcake decorating can be good fun.

    - Puzzles and Games. This can be anything from crosswords, sudoku, dominoes, cards to jigsaw ones. You can also get jigsaw puzzles specifically for elderly people that are a little less daunting. There are also modified games such as giant cards with stands etc if vision etc is a barrier.

    - General tidying up or gardening. Even though this isn't very inventive it can work wonders in feeling a bit more independent; no matter how big or small the task is.

    - Reading. This can be novels, graphic novels, joke books, quote books, art/photography books, cooking books, children's books, magazines, poetry or the newspaper. Or they might like to be read to, or they could enjoy audio books.

    - TV. Particularly things like documentaries or news programmes or even quiz shows. They can be quite engaging and interactive - or allow for lots of conversations and reminiscing. YouTube may also have some enjoyable clips, or even Podcasts.

    - DIY. Cards, scrapbooking, colouring, writing, painting, photography, collage, knitting, sewing, restoring furniture.

    - any sort of sorting/shuffling. Things like poker chips, coins, pipe cleaners, paint chips, cards or fabrics.

    - A memory box. These are the sorts of things that they might have kept from their childhood; everything from recipes, dried flowers, photographs, keychains, postcards or souvenirs.

    - Going out. A walk, a swim, a cafe, a drive, an art gallery, dancing, putting bird seed out, a cinema, a cafe, golf, the beach, the park, a grocery store - some places will work better than others just depends on the person.

    - and finally - have a think about what they used to do when they were younger and see if you can incorporate that into their life now. A post office worker may enjoy stamping envelopes, a mum might enjoy playing with a baby doll, a pet owner might enjoy having or seeing pets, etc.

    Hopefully this is helpful!

    3 people found this helpful
  9. StaticRose51
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    16 February 2018 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Romatic thi3f, Thank you for your reply. Most of your ideas were helpful. The person I'm caring for is close to 90 and doesn't have much interest in hands on activities due to old age. Tiring quickly is an issue for her but I have been encouraging her to try things. She doesn't like technology and has little interest in using it. As you mentioned some hobbies and possible interests she likes sewing and eating food.

    At the moment trying to balance things but engaging in my own hobbies and interests. Have got a lot of study done even with a cold. So am quite pleased with myself for practicing some self care too.

    Once again thanks for your reply.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. startingnew
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    16 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    HI staticRose and welcome to the forums

    As a fellow (live in ) carer i can understand how worrying it is watching someone deteriorate and not knowing what to do to help them. i cant really add any other suggestions here to what the others have however there is Carers Australia who can provide more information thrrough their website and helpline.

    www.carersaustralia.com.au

    Carer Supports and Services- 1800 242 636

    One thing i really suggest however is caring for yourself, if you dont care for yourself then then you may end up with carer burnout and fatigue- have you ever heard of this? its quite common and to be honest perfectly normal so dont feel to bad if you start displaying any of the symptoms. Carers Australia is also there to support you as well and offers phone counselling

    https://www.webmd.com/women/caregiver-recognizing-burnout

    this site here is also good for Dimentia- https://www.dementia.org.au

    again welcome aboard, and hope to keep talking to you

    1 person found this helpful
  11. StaticRose51
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    18 February 2018 in reply to startingnew

    Thank you Starting New,

    I will respond to your post in good time :) Taking a break to go out and enjoy life at the present moment.

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  12. startingnew
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    18 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51
    no worries at all, im not going anywhere :)
  13. StaticRose51
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    19 February 2018 in reply to startingnew

    Hello starting new,

    Been trying to maintain my self care and not feel guilty for doing so. Having to drop things at a moments notice and tend to my elderly person does get tiring sometimes.

    I understand that with age she could get worse and need extra care and support and that's okay because at least I know I would have tried my best.

    Also got some of my hobbies done yesterday and I don't why I didn't I do it sooner. Being busy is no excuse. I Will most likely be full on doing studies and talking to my friends today. So hope you have a pleasant week.

    cheers.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. startingnew
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    19 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51
    i like your attitude, its a good one to have. i wish you all the best and if you need anything then just give a shout.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. StaticRose51
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    22 February 2018 in reply to startingnew

    Thank you it helps, I try to balance things out. My elderly person has friends her own age visit and as a result I over worked more than I need to be and tired out as a result. Not their fault I know but it's a bit much sometimes. Especially when there are other things that need attention like food shopping ect. So I'm off now to practice some self care and rest i will come back next week.

    Regards and take care :)

  16. startingnew
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    22 February 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    its a tough balance but sounds like youve got a good handle on things atm. take care and remember to make time for you too.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. StaticRose51
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    20 April 2018 in reply to startingnew
    Been a long while in between talks - Was wondering do you have any suggestions for when there are a group of old people and your just one person? What helps do you have to pace yourself really well or just take rests as you need it?
  18. startingnew
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    20 April 2018 in reply to StaticRose51

    HI Staticrose nice to hear from you again

    i guess it depends on the situation abit- can we have abit more context? are you caring for more than one person at the same time e.g both parent at the same time in the same house? or do you switch between individual clients houses.. is it occassionally or more of an everyday occurance?

    a few tips would be to: make sure you keep up some self care yourself even 5-10 minutes here and there each day, rest when they are resting and try to take as many breaks as you can.

    probably dont just rest when you feel like it, chances are your already burnt out so regular resting and making time for yourself when you can would be better.

    have you heard of the NDIS at all? i havent been through them myself but they can help with some in home care as to take some pressure of you. i would reccomend taking a look at their site to see if that might be something you are interested in.

    Carers Australia might be able to suggest some more services for your local area for you too

    a thread here you might be interested in is called 'Self care for people with demanding schedules/busy lives'

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