I have recently heard some distressing stories about caregivers’ “surprise” at the behavior of their loved one with dementia.
A woman couldn’t figure out why her marital relations had diminished.
A family who were not prepared to meet the challenges of a “wandering” loved one once he returned home from the hospital.
I have to wonder who these folks are talking to. Are they receiving counseling? At the very least, have they read my book!
There are more caregiver support groups today than there were almost nine years ago when my husband was diagnosed. (Thus the reason I wrote the book. I didn’t have anyone to talk to).
No one can predict what behavioral changes will occur and when they will occur in a dementia patient. So, for a caregiver, dealing with or trying to stay ahead of the changes is a monumental task.
If you are caring for someone with dementia, talk to your primary care doctor for some guidance in locating a support group, or get a referral for social services. Join the support group at the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (or your area board for aging). Call the Alzheimer’s Association for information on support groups, or call their hotline.
For your sake and the sake of your loved one always remember that dementia is processive and irreversible.
You cannot “cure” your loved one’s behavior. All you can do is adjust your reaction to that behavior.
Other folks who have gone through or are going through what you are experiencing will have some helpful ideas. Reach out.
I will be addressing a Caregiver/Dementia Support Group at the Winchester Church of God, Sunday, June 10th. from 2-4 pm. It is free and open to the public, but the planners would like to know how many folks to expect. Call Jayne Seymore to rsvp: 540-535-9775.
With love and hope,