Accepting Repetitive Alzheimer’s Behavior as the New Normal

depressionA very resonating article from Bob DeMarco… Thank you for visiting us at Advocare of South Florida. We provideTransitional Care Management to area seniors.

 It was only after I finally understood that the behaviors my mother was engaging in were normal for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease that I was able to finally accept Alzheimer’s.

I contemplated the problem for years.
How can you stop a person living with Alzheimer’s disease from engaging in the same behaviors over and over?

Help me.

Not so long ago we enlisted the advice of a geriatric psychiatrist to help us come up with a solution to a problem — the Alzheimer’s patient was shaving four times a day. The simple solution:
…one way to reduce the behavior is to remove all shaving equipment from the home….no access to razors and shaving cream, no shaving. If the person truly has Alzheimer’s disease and is at least in the moderate stage, they may likely forget about the shaving and look to something else to fulfill whatever unmet need the shaving represented to the person.
I liked that solution. I liked it because it never dawned on me. I liked it because I learned an important lesson.

But what do you do when someone keeps asking you what day it is? Or, any other repetitive question? Ignore them? Might work.

Do as I did?

I put the newspaper in front of my mother, Dotty, every morning and asked her the day and date before she had a chance to ask me. Sometimes I have to coach her to the top of the newspaper to find the information. I usually do this more than once in day.

It seemed to work. She still asks me during the day what day it is — but not 20 times or even three times a day.

So I thought, gotcha.

I still kept thinking about this because I wasn’t satisfied. I was still getting those same old feelings. At any point in time I might be feeling frustrated, angry, stressed out, or completly baffled.

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