12.14.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Eight things someone with Dementia wishes you would not say to them, published 02.01.17

Thursday, December 14, 2017 – I’ve found a wonderful Facebook group called Memory People.  It is a group for those with dementia and those who are caretakers of those with dementia.  I will be writing about that group next and a very important conversation thread I recently read there.  It kinda goes with what is in the original blog below.

On a personal note:  The EEG/EKG results from the 3 day test several days ago are ready and I have an appointment with Dr. Morgan next Monday, December 18th to get the results.

 

singleactofkindnessquoteameliaearhartOriginal blog 02.01.17 – This article was found on http://blog.thealzheimerssite.com/.  There is lots of information about dementia there.  Check it out for yourself! I found this information to be quite true and helpful, I hope it will help you as well.

Speaking to or about an Alzheimer’s patient as if he or she is not really a person is a pitfall many of us fall into. When our parents and grandparents lose their memory and, often, certain aspects of their personalities, it’s hard to regard them as the same people we once knew. It’s also nearly impossible to keep from correcting someone who has Alzheimer’s; it’s just our nature to want to help “heal” our loved one’s memory by fixing the errors we hear in their words.

However, just because someone has Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings. So think twice before you make any of these comments that may unintentionally cause more harm than good to a person with Alzheimer’s.

8. “You said that already.”

You don’t really get how this disease works, do you?

medication blues

7. “Do you remember me?”

Way to put a person on the spot. Maybe I do and maybe I don’t. What’s it to you?

wrinkled face of senior woman

6. “Use your words.”

First of all, I’m not a three-year-old throwing a tantrum. I’m not refusing to use words. Sometimes I just CAN’T use words. If you know what I’m trying to say, why can’t you meet me halfway?

A grumpy old man

5. “No, no, I’m not Meredith.”

Are you sure you’re not Meredith? You look like Meredith. Mary, maybe? Marie? Emily? Can’t you just be Meredith for the day so I can be done guessing?

granportrait 12

Well then you tell the darn story. Am I not allowed to talk now just because I can’t keep my facts straight?

Old Man in Sunglasses

3. “Oh, actually, so-and-so passed away.”

Well thanks for raining down that giant tidal wave of grief on me in that blasted matter-of-fact tone. This is fantastic.

elderly woman

 2. “I know you probably don’t remember, but…”

Again, thank you. I’m glad we’ve gotten past that murky point where we weren’t sure what I remembered and what I didn’t. Just assuming I don’t know what you’re talking about is much easier.

Elderly woman sticking out her tongue

1. “So what have you been doing lately?”

Skydiving in Egypt. Making bombs in my bathtub. Learning to juggle maracas while doing a handstand on horseback. Come on. Seriously? I have no idea what I’ve been doing lately besides sitting in this chair watching daytime soaps. Can’t you think of anything more interesting to add to this conversation?

Loneliness

So basically, try not to make a person with Alzheimer’s feel like they’re on trial or like they can’t do anything right or like you don’t care what they say. If you’re wondering what you can say to a person with Alzheimer’s, we have a few tips.

Because Alzheimer’s patients tend to remember feelings better than actual facts, it’s more important to have a conversation that makes the person feel good than one that is completely accurate.

Avoid correcting what they say and focus on things they’re more likely to remember, usually the more distant past. Ask them about their childhood or early adulthood, when they met their spouse, what their children were like as little kids, etc. And just go with the flow when they don’t make perfect sense.

This article originally appeared on ScottSlayton.net.

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from various sources. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Dementia/Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

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12.15.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Memory People

Friday, December 15, 2017 – I previously shared about a wonderful Closed (you have to be a member to comment or see the discussions) Facebook group called Memory People.  One of their Facebook pages is open to be read and shared. And I will be sharing! Most dementia groups are all about the caregivers. Since this one has both dementia folks and caregivers in it I think the information is extra helpful.

This is from their Facebook page:

Memory People™ is an Alzheimer’s/dementia and memory impairment support and awareness group on Facebook providing support, assistance, information and help for this journey 24/7.

Memory People™ was created by Rick Phelps, diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 57 with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Rick saw the need for real-time support for all who have found themselves on this journey of dementia, patients, caregivers, professionals and health care workers.

The following article was written by Rick Phelps and caught my attention as something I need to share with others. I plan to share more of the insightful things that Rick (who has Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease) shares with this group.

Rick also wrote a book with the help of someone without dementia, called “While I Still Can” which can be seen by clicking on the book below.

Patience we are told is a virtue. The ability to wait for something or someone, without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality in a person.

This phrase was first written and recorded in 1360. So, it’s been around a while. Far longer then when Alzheimers was first discovered by Dr. Alois Alzheimers in 1906.

There are many things one must do and be while caring for a dementia patient. Patience is right at the top of the list.

Daily I read over the posts in Mp. And everyday without fail someone‘s patience is being tested by their loved one.

And almost 100% of time the caregiver wants to know what they can do to correct whatever behavior is being acted out.

This is because from a very early age we are taught and led to believe that there is a “fix” for literally everything. A reason, an explanation, an answer.

All one needs to do in most cases is understand what is going on, and correct it. Perhaps it’s a process of elimination in some cases.

Whatever the issue, there is an answer, a “fix” to whatever comes up. That is except for dementia. And this includes any type of dementia.

The person who has dementia has one thing in common with other patients. They can no longer think as they once could.

Their brain doesn’t react as those who don’t have dementia does. We lack the ability to make rational decisions. We lack the ability to remember things. And we lack the ability to explain to anyone why this is happening.

These are just three examples of what we lack. There are hundreds more and each of them range from subtle to severe to different patients.

Depending on when the dementia started, where it started, and how it has progressed. Personally I can make sense about 60% the time. It’s the other 40% that is the issue, and not being able to control when one can and cannot make sense is a huge issue.

I may make the most rational decisions this morning, and not be able to make any type of decision in just an hour or two.

Sadly, in time, all of our decision making is gone. This progression is slow in most cases. How fast one progresses is an educated guess at best.

The only thing caregivers need to really understand is we have trouble making decisions. Real trouble. And when we make bad decisions as in being belligerent, abusive, or just do things that are wrong, the caregiver always questions why is this happening and what can I do to prevent it.

Which leads right back to what I was saying about we have been taught that almost anything can be “fixed”. If we‘d think about it, we would know this isn’t true.

Sorta like the child who is never told no. Goes about their young life just doing what they want, when they want. Then one day reality hits, and someone, somewhere tells them no.

They just have a meltdown. The mere fact that someone would tell them know never entered their minds. This is what it is similar to when someone is diagnosed with dementia.

They have went their entire lives making decisions, and one day that ability is no longer with them. They can’t comprehend what is happening. And some just keep making bad decisions because once again, they cannot help it.

This is where patience plays a huge roll in being a caregiver. What occurs sometime dozens of times a day with a patient, will because they don’t have the ability to change what they are doing. To make better decisions.

So, the caregiver instinctively tries to “fix” this or ask others what they do to “fix” this. It’s normal. Something isn’t right, you find a way to “fix” it, or ask someone to help.

You have to get away from this type of thinking. You have to realize that what is happening to your loved one is out of your control. If you think I am wrong, then why doesn’t your love one stop making bad decisions all the time? Why do they constantly do the most absurd things, over and over and over? It’s because they can’t make rational decisions.

You obviously need to stop a patient from doing things that would put them or others in danger or hurt themselves or others.

But like the child, you must constantly be watching and trying to stay on step ahead of what may happen. Again, patience is the key.

The reason patience is the key is 99.9% the time nothing you do will work. Take arguing with a dementia patient. It is a total waste of time. Once a dementia patients mind is set on something, you aren’t likely going to change it and arguing is just like going around in circle.

It doesn’t do you or the patient any good to argue. They will because they make bad decisions. They decide for whatever reason to argue over things that they are totally wrong on. But not in their mind, and that is all that matters to them.

Shadowing is a perfect example. How do you get a grown person to stop following you every minute of every day? Follow you from room to room. You can’t get five minutes alone because you are being followed by them no matter what you say or do.

What can you do to “fix” this? The answer is have patience. Because the only way a patient will stop the shadowing is if they move on to some other symptom of this disease. Even then for whatever reason they may return to shadowing you.

Hoarding things is something else you won’t be able to “fix” that requires patience. I have went over this as a patients perspective and have said many times that patients are not actually hoarding anything.

To do this, they would have to make the distinct decision to take something and put it somewhere, to retrieve it later. And this just doesn’t happen. What they are doing, what I do is much simpler to explain.

I am simply putting things back where I believe they belong. If you find silverware in the linen drawer, it’s because that is where your loved one believes it goes.

If you find the milk in the cupboard, if you find left over food in the bathroom, or if you find your jewelry in the oven, again it’s where these things belong.

And what can you do? Patience. It’s easy to try to explain to you to have patience with your loved one, it’s very hard to do when they are up for the fourth time in the middle of the night, with them just walking around. For no reason what so ever.

There is nothing wrong with asking what you can do to try to stop some sort of behavior in your loved one. We do it here on Mp each and every day. However, being told to have patience is rarely seen as the answer.

If we as a society would put as much time into having patience as we do in trying to “fix” or stop whatever is happening, you would find it easier.

Would this solve all the issues you deal with on a day by day, or hour by hour, basis? No.

For this, you need patience, as well. I had to write these thoughts down many times to get them to come out right. That I did with patience.

© Rick Phelps 2017

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

12.14.17 Grannie and Paw Paw flag, Roy’s eye surgery, Trinity Children’s Choir, Paddle boat, almost snowless and Christmas rocks!

Thursday, December 14. 2017 – Our sweet son and his wife gave Roy and I the most amazing and perfect wedding anniversary present.  It now has its place of honor in our front flower garden!  I know, all you grandparents are jealous of us with our sign that Grandkids Spoiled Here – Grannie and Paw Paw Chauvin!!!!

Roy’s first cataract surgery, on his right eye, was Tuesday the 12th.  One down, and the other one coming up in a couple of weeks.  Here he is ready to make it happen!  The day after surgery doctor’s visit with Dr. Greiner went well.  Roy’s vision is still a little blurry but it was better Wednesday than Tuesday so he’s on the right path to healing.  He’s already seeing whites as being whiter than before and colors as being more vibrant than before.  We go back on December 28 for his two week check up and to schedule the left eye surgery.

Trinity’s Children’s Choir put on a spectacular Christmas musical last night.   They sang beautifully and the acting was great! How they all managed to remember their lines is beyond me.  I was in one of the children’s musical as Mrs. Christmas so I know how much they put into this and how hard it is.  Roy and I still say “I do, I do” remembering that was one of my lines back then.  This is always one of my favorite events at our church each year!

 

We were in town the other day and passed by a parking lot with several old cars.  Not sure what these will be used for but we figure it’s for a movie.

 

This was must be the one people are driving/riding in since there was one just like it all rigged up with cameras to take video like them driving in it.

There is a paddle boat that has been at the other end of our pond for at least a year.  Roy knew that our next door neighbor owned it and asked him if we could buy it from him.  Daniel, our neighbor, said we could have it free!  It was quite full of algae and other icky things but Roy paddled it across the pond to our end.  He and Chip worked on cleaning it and it now looks much better.  Can’t wait to have some nice little warmer weather to get out in the pond in it!

The snow is almost gone as you can see in these photos.  It was very special for us to have the snow event we had last week!  So many people lost electricity but we didn’t!!!

Each time we go to Dr. Greiner’s office or surgery center we hide some of our painted rocks.  You may remember Bailey, at the doctor’s office, that really enjoys our rocks.  Wednesday I hid more when we were entering the building.  By the time we left she had found them all and put some of them under their Christmas tree!  I love it!

It is very cold right now and in the past days few here in Louisiana.  High today in the 50s.  It’s been in the 40s, 50s and very low 60 for the high.  We’ve had several nights where the low reached freezing or below, very unusual here.  It is sunshiney though so that makes it a perfect winter here in Southern Louisiana.

I finished the last of my Christmas shopping yesterday and bought all the ingredients to make butterscotch/peanut butter hay stacks and snowball round cookies (Christmas edible goodies) and homemade vegetable beef soup!  Today and tomorrow will be present wrapping, Christmas goodie and soup cooking! This retirement life at home is pretty great!!

Snowball cookies
Hay stacks

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

12.12.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Tuesday

WHY IS JESUS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS??

Santa lives at the North Pole…
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we were born. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS has a heart full of love

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says “You better not cry”…
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree…the cross.

We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

If you don’t know the lyrics and want to sing along with these amazing vocalists here they are:

I’d heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well, it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to the kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well baby, I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well, maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE’S CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Melania Trump did an amazing job with this year’s White House decorations

COPS ARRIVE AT WRONG HOUSE, SHOCKED BY CHRISTMAS TREE, By Sean Kelly

a christmas tree

Two Ohio police officers arrived at the wrong home while on the job and were shocked when they saw what was on the homeowner’s Christmas tree.

Ohio Going Blue shared the heartwarming story of the two officers’ visit to the home in a Facebook post.

“Partner and I accidentally went to the wrong address today on a run and stumbled across this beautiful tree,” one of the officers told the site. “The owner took the time to write down every Officer killed in the line of duty this year and place it on the tree. Not only did she do all the Humans but she included all the K9s on the small ornaments. She calls it the “Tree of Honor” guess our paths were meant to cross since she just finished it last night.”

Many readers applauded the homeowner for their tribute to fallen officers.

“Such a beautiful tribute it’s unfortunate we live in a world with so much hatred for law enforcement but seeing things like this tree makes be believe that they’re people in this world that do respect law enforcement,” another wrote.

“What a wonderful, heartwarming story; this wonderful woman is representative of the love and thankfulness of many people in this world; we just don’t hear any good news; however, this was one of the kindest acts I have heard about- May God Bless her,” one reader commented on Mad World News’ Facebook page.

“I don’t believe you went there accidentally, you were led there by our loving God that wanted you to see how there are still a lot of us that are fully behind you. We appreciate that you face danger every day to protect us. May God bless you all and keep you safe. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, K9s also,” another wrote.
“It’s a good thing they went to the wrong house that day or this wonderful tree that this lady made would have never beed known about. What a sweet lady,” another added.

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

GREEN(ERY) DRESSES

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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12.09.17 We just had our White Christmas….. in Southern Louisiana!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017 –  The weather report for Friday, December 8, 2017 was that we MAY see a few snow flakes over night.  When we woke up to snow blanketing everything we were overjoyed.  It continued all throughout the day.

It is now Saturday and the temperatures just rose to the 40s so slowly the snow is melting and falling off the trees.  The lawns, pastures and anywhere else that hasn’t been walked on are still white and so beautiful.

This is such an unusual event in Southern Louisiana that just about everything shut down and everyone was home building snowmen!!!  Last time we had this much snow was 9 years ago. We took almost 200 photos yesterday and I got it down to 50 photos for today’s blog post, so just a little warning before you start going down this page.

The photos are of our home and pond in Amite, the roads between our home and Interstate 55, then down Interstate 55 and 12 into Hammond and some sights we saw there including our church and Camping World, our son Chip’s home in Ponchatoula and a few pictures this morning now that the snow is just beginning to melt.  The temperatures over night were only in the 20s so we got to wake up again to whiteness everywhere!

Down by our pond.  This is one of my favorite photos from yesterday!

The cows were running around all morning, quite a sight to see!

The Chauvin Rocks I’ve been working on!

Going down our road and on through Amite on Highway 16 to Interstate 55.

Our the back window of our truck!

Driving through downtown Amite.  City Hall, our bank Whitney and the railroad tracks

Interstate 55

Our church, first looking at the softball field out back

The house we lived in for almost 30 years when we first moved to Hammond

Leaving Highway 16 on the way home going down 445

You know you’re in the country when you see all the hay bales!

This morning when the snow started melting

Little Chihuahua and Dachshund foot prints!

Our granddaughter Kallie in Ponchatoula enjoying the snow!

Chip and Madisyn making the snowman!!Madisyn and their baseball snowman – notice the ballcap and the baseball eyes!!

We didn’t drive to Hammond just to see the snow there.  We had a doctor’s appointment that we didn’t know was cancelled until we reached the doctor’s office.  Not happy about that but the beautiful snow everywhere was such a blessing!  I thank our Lord for giving us this experience of playing in and enjoying the snow!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!!

 

12.08.17 Granddaughter Baptism, Ponchatoula town Christmas Lighting, Misty’s birthday, EEG/EKG, Doctor appointment, Washing house exterior, time with Chip!!!

Friday, December 8, 2017 – The last several days have been very busy for us.

Monday – We got up early and went to Dr. Greiner’s office (eye doctor) for an appointment that wasn’t Monday but was Wednesday!  We made use of our sudden free time to do some Christmas shopping and rock shopping.

Tuesday – Juliette with Alliance Neurodiagnostics put 25 sensors on my head to get the EEG and EKG started.  It took two hours for her to do that and when she left I just flat out looked weird.

Wednesday – Roy had his surgery scheduling and eye measurement appointment for his cataract removal surgery with Dr. Greiner.  Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday December 12, 2017 at 6:45 am.  We got the price for the lens implants that will allow him to see near and far without any glasses.  After we passed out they scooped us up and we signed on the dotted line!

We did some Christmas light shopping and a visit to Hobby Lobby where the lines were so long I didn’t get the things I picked out.  We went to Chip and Misty’s to rest before going out with them for the evening celebrating our daughter in law Misty’s birthday at Mi Patio in Ponchatoula.  Food and fellowship were both great!

 

Friday –  I wrapped up a 72 hour video ambulatory EEG and EKG to see if I am having seizures. The sensors recorded any electrical activity in my brain and I was videoed 24 hours a day for all three days when I was in the living room and in our bedroom. Hoping to get the results back soon.

Our granddaughter Madisyn sang in the 3rd grade chorus at Ponchatoula’s Christmas Lighting.  At various places along Ponchatoula’s main street groups from schools and churches have designated times to sing.  We couldn’t stop smiling listening to all the young  voices sing Christmas songs.  The whole town is lit up with Christmas lights and decorations and several locations serve cookies and hot chocolate.  Madisyn’s group sang at the Methodist Church.  Madisyn is very tall and is on the back row. You can see her better in the first picture.  What you see in the second photo is half of the choir.  There was no room for me to move around and get the whole choir.

We enjoyed some of the cookies and delicious hot chocolate (provided by the Methodist Church) after they sang. This is us in the line for the goodies!

 

Sunday our oldest granddaughter Kallie made her profession of faith public by being baptized at their church The Harbor in Hammond, Louisiana. Her church gave her a shirt that says “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  Amen! The joy on Kallies face when she came up from under the water says it all!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor

If you are a Christian you understand that this is the most important decision Kallie will ever make.  If you are not a Christian and don’t understand what baptism is about here’s a summary of what making a profession of faith is about and what baptism is about.

While we believe in baptism, it does not save you, just like being a good person and doing kind helpful things does not save you.  Only giving your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior because you believe He gave his life to save you from your sins. This is what we call a Profession of Faith.

Water baptism is a symbolic picture of what our Lord has done for us. As we are completely immersed in the water, we symbolize burial with our Lord; we are baptized into His death on the cross and are no longer slaves to self or sin (Romans 6:3–7). When we are raised out of the water, we are symbolically resurrected—raised to new life in Christ to be with Him forever, born into the family of our loving God (Romans 8:16). Water baptism also illustrates the spiritual cleansing we experience when we are saved; just as water cleanses the flesh, so the Holy Spirit cleanses our hearts when we trust Christ.

Some faiths believe in sprinkling water on the individual. Our faith believes that like Jesus and others in the Bible did, the proper form of baptism is full body immersion.

Our New Orleans Saints won Sunday’s game over the Carolina Panthers putting us at the top of the division.  We play the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.  That will be a great one!

Monday – Our sweet son Chip has been going nonstop for almost a week now. He took Monday off work to rest but when his dad said he was going to pressure wash the rental house today, Chip came to help him. Almost 4 hours of work which helped a Roy a lot. Hopefully Chip is back home now getting some rest. Thanks Chip, we love you!

Image may contain: house, tree, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: house, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

The weather started being very rainy and much colder on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (today).  We may have snow over night and in the morning.  That is quite unusual in Louisiana.  The temperature will drop to the low 20s the following night.  When we knew the weather was going to be this cold and wet we made a big pot of chicken, sausage, andouie gumbo, moved my rock painting inside and that’s where we’re staying until it gets nicer outside!

I’m wrapping this up on Friday and since early this morning it has been snowing quite heavily here!  I’m sure you know that the next blog post will be all about that white stuff visiting in Louisiana!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

12.10.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Four ways to respond when someone with dementia repeats questions published 01.10.17

dementia

Original blog 01.10.17 – People with Dementia may repeat things…a lot

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cause problems with short-term memory. This can lead to repetitive behaviors, like asking the same question over and over again.

Your older adult isn’t doing it on purpose to annoy you, they truly have no memory of asking the first or twenty-third time.

You might be able to answer patiently the first few times, but after hearing the same thing a dozen times, it’s natural to lose your temper. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with kind techniques that stop the flow of questions before you get too frustrated.

Why someone with Dementia is repeating questions

Repetitive behaviors are often caused by stress, anxiety, frustration, or fear. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia are often unsure of what’s happening, where they are, or what time or day it is. Those are pretty unsettling feelings.

Your senior isn’t repeating questions because they need the information. They’re asking because they’re feeling stressed or anxious and need reassurance.

1. Respond to the emotions, not the words
When your older adult starts to repeat a question over and over, try to guess what feelings might be causing the behavior. If they might be feeling anxious, giving a brief hug or hand squeeze while calmly answering the question may soothe them enough to stop their need to keep asking.

2. Keep your answers brief
It’s tempting to answer a question from a person with Alzheimer’s the same way you’d answer anybody else. But the shorter and simpler your answer, the better. It saves you time and energy and reduces your exasperation when you have to repeat it five more times.

3. Distract with an activity
Sometimes the only way to get your senior with dementia to stop repeating a question is to distract them with something they enjoy. Maybe that means offering a snack or favorite beverage.

Or, you could ask them a simple question to get them thinking about something else, like “The sky is blue today, isn’t it nice?” Another idea is to ask them to help you with a simple chore they’re still able to do, like folding laundry.

4. Escape for a few minutes
It’s tough to keep your cool and not snap at someone when you’ve been asked the same question for the twelfth time. Everyone’s patience runs out at some point, especially if this isn’t the first time it’s happened today.

Sometimes you just need to leave the room for a few minutes. Go to the bathroom, get a quick breath of fresh air, or check your Facebook feed. By the time you come back, you’ll have had some time to cool off and will be better able to handle your older adult’s behavior with kindness.

Bottom line

It’s challenging to answer a question that’s repeated over and over again without snapping or letting the frustration show in your voice. Do your best to stay calm and use these 4 tips to respond in ways that are more likely to make the questions stop.

And if you do lose your temper, it’s because you’re human. Forgive yourself, let them know you DO love them, and take a brief time out to help you stay calm.

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff

Additional articles on caring for your loved one with dementia can be found at Daily Caring at: http://dailycaring.com/.

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from myself or from this source.  If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s or Dementia), find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

margie-frog

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays  published every Wednesday

12.06.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Ways to Respond When Someone with Dementia Says I Want to Go Home published 01.05.17

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 – My new neurologist’s office called Monday to say that the test results from the EEG and EKG was not ready yet so my Monday appointment wasn’t needed. I’m disappointed but when they call again to say it’s ready we’ll schedule an appointment and go.

I say in the first couple of paragraphs in the original blog below, that I wish I had known this when caring for mama. I hope it helps you some in your care giving.
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ORIGINAL BLOG 01.05.17 – While I did not write this, we encountered this with mama almost everyday. Even when her home was with us she still wanted to go home. When living at the Assisted Living Center while we were rebuilding our house she’d have someone call us often saying she wanted to go home. I wish I had know this information at that time which is why I am sharing it with you all today.

There are several links (I changed the links to blue so they are easier to see) to other very helpful information in this blog post. I encourage you to check them out also. You’ll miss helpful information if you don’t.  I bolded the last sentence in this blog post since that, to me, is extremely important.

Hearing seniors say “I want to go home” over and over again is something Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers often deal with. It’s especially frustrating to hear when they’re already home.

The big question is how to respond in a way that calms them down and helps them let go of the idea. First, it helps to understand why they’re saying this and what they really mean. Next, do your best to not take it personally so you can stay calm too.

3 ways to respond to “I want to go home”

Use these three methods to respond when you hear “I want to go home.” They’re soothing and help you avoid big fights.

These suggestions will put you on the right track, but be prepared to get creative. Not everything you try will work the first time. And even if something works once, it might not work every time. Don’t get discouraged! This gets easier with practice.

1. Reassure and comfort

Approach your older adult with a calm, soothing, and relaxed manner. They’ll pick up on your body language and tone of voice and will subconsciously start to match you. If you’re calm, they’ll get calmer too.

Sometimes saying “I want to go home” is how your senior tells you they’re tense, anxious, or scared and need extra comfort. If they like hugs, this is a good time for a big one. Others may prefer gentle touching or stroking on their arm or shoulder or simply having you sit with them.

Another way of giving extra comfort and reassurance is to give them a soft blanket or stuffed animal to cuddle.

2. Avoid reasoning and explanations

Don’t try to explain that they’re in their own home, assisted living is now their home, or they voluntarily moved in with you 3 years ago.

Trying to use reason and logic with someone who has a brain disease will only make them more insistent, agitated, and distressed. They won’t be able to process that information and will only sense that you’re preventing them from doing something they feel strongly about.

3. Agree, then redirect and distract

This is a challenging technique, so don’t beat yourself up if the first few attempts don’t work perfectly. Being able to redirect and distract is a skill that improves with practice.

First, agree
Agree by saying something like “Ok, we’ll go soon.” or “That’s a good idea. We’ll go as soon as I clean up these dishes.”

Then, redirect and distract
After agreeing, subtly redirect their attention. This redirection should lead into pleasant and distracting activities that take their minds away from wanting to go home.

For example, you could gently take their elbow while saying “Ok, we’ll go soon” and walk down the hall together to a big window or to the kitchen. Point out some of the beautiful birds and flowers outside or offer a snack or drink they’ll like. Later, casually shift to another activity that’s part of their daily routine.

Another example is saying “Ok, let’s get your sweater so you won’t be cold when we go outside.” Then, while you’re both walking and chatting about something pleasant, stop for a cup of tea or get involved in an activity they enjoy.

Or, ask them to tell you about their home. After a while, guide the conversation to a neutral topic. Asking about their home validates their feelings, encourages them to share positive memories, and distracts them from the original goal of going home.

Open questions that encourage them to share their thoughts work well. For example:

  • Your home sounds lovely, tell me more about it.
  • What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?

If nothing is working…

Sometimes, your older adult will be stubborn and refuse to let go of the idea of going home no matter how much you try to soothe or redirect.

If that happens, you might want to take them on a brief car ride. Experiment with how far and how long you need to drive before you can go back to where they live without protest. Or, suggest a stop at the ice cream parlor for a nice (distracting) treat!

Even if it’s not possible to actually take them out or get into the car, the actions of getting ready to leave can be soothing because it shows that you believe them and are helping to achieve their goal. Meanwhile, the activities of getting ready give you more chances to redirect to something else.

Bottom line

“I want to go home” is usually a request for comfort rather than asking to go somewhere. When responding, the goal is to reduce your older adult’s anxiety and fear so they can let go of the idea.

This terrible disease forces seniors to live in their brain’s version of reality. The best thing you can do is step into that reality, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff

Additional articles on caring for your loved one with dementia can be found at Daily Caring can be found at: http://dailycaring.com/

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from this source. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

10616237_10152505699331961_4740052752099689312_n

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published randomly

12.04.17 My Video Ambulatory EEG and EKG

Monday, December 4, 2017 – I just had a 72 hour Video Ambulatory EEG. Since I had never heard about that before, I looked up some information to share with others that haven’t heard of it either.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test to detect problems in the electrical activity of the brain. Video Ambulatory EEG is considered to be the Gold Standard for EEG testing. This allows the doctor to see any kind of events that you may have while you are conducting some of your normal activities and during sleep. The ambulatory EEG device will be worn for a specific amount of time that your doctor believes will give him/her the best chance to find what they are looking for, usually 72 hours in most cases.

An EEG is used to help diagnose the presence and type of seizure disorders, to look for causes of confusion or periods of unconsciousness, and to evaluate head injures, tumors, infections, degenerative diseases and metabolic disturbances that affect the brain.The ambulatory EEG is video monitored to observe activities of daily living, including sleep, and correlates event data.

This is not my head but since I have too much hair to even see the probes I found this one to show what it looks like with all these things glued to my head!

They also include three small electrodes attached to your chest to do an Electrocardiogram (EKG) It is used to look for and record irregular heartbeats that come and go or happen during certain activities. The test is designed to find out what is causing chest pain, dizziness, confusion or fainting.

Alliance Neurodiagnostics is the company that handled my in-home ambulatory EEG and EKG. A different company monitored the video and data collected from the EEG and EKG.

Okay that’s what it’s all about, so this now is my personal account of having both an ambulatory EKG and EEG.

On Tuesday morning Juliette with Alliance Neurodiagnostics arrived at our motorhome with all her equipment. She asked lots of questions and took lots of notes. She went over with me lots of paperwork and things for me to sign.

She laid out all of the items she would need to hook me up.

We brought a chair inside from outside so she could get to my head from all directions. 21 sensors were glued to various specific locations around my head, two on my forehead and two on my chest.

My head was then wrapped with gauze, the wires all taped together

We had some errands to run and Misty’s birthday dinner to attend so I wrapped my head in a scarf.

This is the camera and computer set up in the living room.

The camera in our bedroom.

We can see when the monitoring service signs in because the computer screen comes on and we (and they) can see what they are seeing on the cameras.

I was very thankful when this contraption was removed from my head and I could bathe and wash my hair. They use some kind of putty glue to make the sensors stick to my scalp. To remove them I wrapped my head in a warm wet towel for 10 minutes to loosen them sensors.

The thing I liked the very least was being seen on camera 24 hours a day. Our bathroom was the only place we could not be seen! If some information is gathered by all of this, it will be worth it!

We go to see Dr. Morgan at 4 pm today to find out what the test results are. I’ll write about that when we get home.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!