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5 Tips to Improve Caregiver Skills

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Updated: March 20, 2006

1. Coping with Alzheimer behavior
Never argue, shout, lecture, belittle or force a person with Alzheimer's to do something even if you know they need to do something.

2. Coping better with losing your cool and Alzheimer's
If you feel so frustrated with the way someone with Alzheimer's disease is behaving and find yourself demanding, forcing or shouting-walk away.
Make sure the person is in no immediate danger. Then

  • Take a few moments time out.

  • Breath deeply, try to relax a bit.

  • Remind yourself that the person with Alzheimer's does not want to be the way they are. Then
    Go back to the task or put it off until you feel able to do it.

    3. Praising appropriate behavior and dementia
    We all need approval and praise. That does not change when someone has Alzheimer's disease. Praising a person with Alzheimer's when they succeed reminds you of the things they can do. Their abilities have changed but they can still succeed and achieve.

    4. Coping better with Alzheimer's memory loss
    If you keep reminding someone with Alzheimer's that their memory is failing, lost or faulty it will make them feel bad. You only have to remind yourself how you feel if your skills as a caregiver are questioned or criticized. So, give gentle reminders of what they are trying to do, help their memories along, help them to feel good about themselves too,

    5. Caregivers-look after yourselves!
    A caregiver has needs too. If you do not look after yourself physically and emotionally you will find yourself crushed by caring for your loved one. Make time for yourself, get help from friends, relatives and local services. Join a local Alzheimer's chapter for friendship, support and advice.

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