Alzheimer Patients and
CAREGIVER Tips & Tools
To prevent or reduce agitation:
Create acaim environment.
This may involve mov- ing the person toa safer or quieter place, or offering a security object, rest or privacy.
Try soothing rituals and limiting caffeine use.
Avoid environmental triggers.
Noise, glare and back- ground distraction
(such as having the television on) can act as triggers.
Monitor personal comfort.
Check for pain, hun- ger, thirst, constipa- tion, full bladder, fa~ tigue, infections and skin irritation. Make sure the room is ala comfortable tempera- ture. Be sensitive to fears, misperceived threats and frustration with expressing what is wanted.
Simplify tasks and routines.
Provide an oppor- tunity for exercise.
Go for a walk. Garden together. Put on music and dance.
In moments like this, it is good to remain calm
and follow some basie steps
First, try to identify and neutralize the possi ble source of stress. Find out what the problem is and take control. Make the environment feel like a safe place. Turn off the TV, send the kid: to the other room, adjust the lighting and room temperature, stop asking the person with de- mentia to do something they do not want to do.
Sometimes a simple adjustment can generate great relief for those with dementia, They, themselves, cannot make those adjustments even though they may yearn for them.
Don't be surprised if there is nothing occurring that could possibly be causing the frustration.
Dementia itself can be the cause. The frustra- tion may also be caused by a delusional scenario created by the afflicted person's mind, far from reality, Do not try to bring your loved one to your reality. Act as if their delusions or one to your reality hallucinations were true, and react accordingly
If they see bugs in the room, you kill the bugs
And don't expect them to always tell you what
Act as if their delusions or
the problem is: many times they don't realize what itis. It is up to
pu to figure it out
xt, you must provide reassurance; let them know it is ok. Sincerely say soothing words such as everything is all right, I'm here with you, will help you, love you. Smile and touch them warmly. Reassurance from a loved one is a very powerful balm for dementia patients. They need it as a respite from the
dementia world, where loneliness, uncertainty and confusion rule, Your love and reassurance will make everything better. Even though the person with dementia may not be able to pro- cess logically what is going on, they are able to appreciate soothing words, behaviors and feel-
Yes, ice cream. It takes all of your worries away. It is soothing and delicious, and personable: everyone has a favorite flavor! Ice cream brings people with dementia to happier, warmer times when the treat was shared with
friends and loved ones at special, joyous ocea- sions. Ice cream has the power to immediately elicit soothing feelings at the very first taste of a single spoon-full. It erases all the negative feel- ings related to the frustration and continues to stimulate pleasure receptors in the brain with every new scoop. And dementia (here is the best part!) allows one to fully enjoy the treat with no concerns for calories, weight gain or dietary needs, completely guilt free! For people with dementia, ice cream is far more effective and safe than Prozac, or any other "happy" drug on the market!
find out what flavor is their absolute favorite and NEVER RUN OUT OF ICE CREAM! If you have dietary concerns, use brands that observe your dietary needs. There are plenty of diabetic friendly brands available. Ice cream can also be found in low fat, low cal, sug free and lactose
found in low fat, low cal, sug free varieties, Whatever kind or flavor you use
always have plenty of it handy always. Ice
cream is an essential part of your dementia care
I-kit, like a Swiss army knife that's invalua-
ble for many occasions.
The holidays are here. With family and friends gathering for the celebrations, there may be an increased risk for dementia patients to become overwhelmed. Remember to stay calm, control the environment, provide reassurance and, don't
forget, plenty of ice cream
We Can Help
Do you have questions or concerns about your loved one's changing beha'
The Alzheimer's Association is here to help.
Call our Helpline: 800.272.3900
Locate a support group in your community
Visit our message boards