Monday, October 27, 2008

Role reversal

Taking care of a parent with Alzheimer's Disease can be very challenging especially if you were dependent upon your parent. Reversing the role is never easy.

If you were always in a strained relationship with your parent, you will find it extremely difficult to take on that role as caregiver, because of the feelings you have been carrying around all these years. But it can be done if you are willing to deal with the issues.

Even though caregiving is hard work and you don't have control over the disease, you can control how you handle your responsibilities. One needs to be creative and find innovative ways to handle some situations that arise. Because you are the one in control, your patient will pick up on your emotions.
As you display certain behavior , they will behave the same way. If you are angry and impatient that is how your patient will act.

If your patient is becoming quick tempered you need to check and see if you have been displaying that behavior. There are times when they have no control and don't even know what they are doing because their memory is failing so they take their cue from you.

You might be uneasy about bathing your parent, they usually can take care of themselves until the disease becomes more advanced when you really would have to put your shyness away. Or you can hire a nurse to take care of the hygiene.part of it.
Whatever the situation you need to treat your patient with love and understanding and respect always.

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1 comment:

Kaye said...

Thank you for sharing this. I am blessed that my mom is doing fine there, but I have dealt with dementia in the past with both a relative and also a friend. It is certainly difficult, but God's grace keeps us keeping on, doesn't it :) I appreciated the tips and will save them in case I am again in that particular care situation. One tip I can share with you, which you may already know. There are some great products on the market that allow you to wash hair with no water needed, and wash the body with water added, but no rinsing needed. We learned about these during a passage of life when my dad was in hospice. If you need to know the names of the products, just send me an email and I'll look them up. I've ordered them from Amazon before. :) God bless you.