Larry from Red Deer attended a Sat morning meeting with the Southwood group. Sadly, he has a lot of experience but is more than willing to help those of us still coping. As he said "this experience was not cheap, and to not try and use it to help others? Well it would just be a waste." Larry left some great notes which are summarized here. If you want the whole copy please ask Deb or Patricia for a copy.
- If you know one person with Alzheimers, you know one person with Alzheimers. Everyone situation is a little different, what works for one does not always work for another.
- Putting your loved one into a facility is probably one of the hardest decisions you will ever make in your life, but there are no heroics with this disease. Remember the importance of safety for everyone, and your own care. Best to do it before you are in crisis.
- Get to know the staff and share information. Little things can make a big difference. Let the staff know what they were like and what they did before they got ill. It is helpful for staff to know what to talk about and can help make bad days better.
- When visiting, turn the rest of your life off and just visit. A quiet spot just sitting together and holding hands is a nice way to spend time. Don't try to do too many activities.
- Don't argue, don't correct them. It is better to be kind than right.
- Some people think honesty is the best policy but sometimes the "morally adjusted truth" is kinder.
- Don't put your healthy brain in their head. Don't judge the care facility with what you think you would like when you are healthy. If they feel safe and comfortable that is the most important.
- Prepare yourself for some hard experiences. Remember that your loved one may do some mean things, so if another resident does something you don't like, remember, the tables can turn any time. Try to be understanding. Staff works really hard but cannot control every situation. Remain calm.
- Remember that most people in care have lost most of their social filters. If you are upset make sure it is because of your loved one, and not about you.