Dementia Solutions – Caregiving Advice, June Update

dementia

Dementia expert Karen Tyrell offers answers to www.carp.ca visitors for their situation-specific questions. Karen is Dementia Consultant offering to point you in the right direction, giving you quick insight and personalized answers.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to:[email protected]

June 2014

1. Is Violence Common?

Dear Dementia Solutions: My father has Alzheimer’s disease and at times gets so agitated that he verges on the point of violence. What can I do to manage this behaviour? Do all people with Alzheimer’s disease get violent?

~ Trying to Keep the Peace

Dear Trying to keep the Peace: The simple answer is no. No two people with dementia experience the same symptoms or display the same behaviours. Physical violence, such as pushing and kicking, does occur among some, but it is important to note that these reactions have triggers at their root.

I once saw a dementia patient hit a care facility staff member and the trigger was the staff member not informing the patient that they were going to reach in front to clear a table. The patient got startled, not just by the unexpected act, but also by the misperception that someone was “stealing” from them. Identifying triggers such as this is key to knowing how to avoid unwanted responses. In caring for someone with dementia it helps to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they perceive the world around them. When you figure out what provokes violent reactions, you will be better able to prevent them, and your own stress level will reduce…which is always a good thing for a caregiver! If you are needing creative ideas when you discover the reason for his violent behaviour, please feel free to write to us again.

2. Bill Paying Concerns.

Dear Dementia Solutions: I recently noticed my mom missing bill payments and sometimes even paying bills twice. She seems to be getting easily confused with these tasks, but still puts up a fight when I offer to help. What can I do?

~Helpful Son

Dear Helpful son: Good for you for stepping up to assist your mom! You’ve noticed her confusion and are trying to do the right thing. However, it can also be very confusing in figuring out how to lend a helping hand when someone refuses the help.

Has your mom visited the doctor to better understand the source of her confusion? Her recent mix-ups may be the result of treatable symptoms. Also, does your mom have a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) document with your name on it? If so, it’s easier for you to help out with financial matters. If not, then both you and your mom should look into doing this as an important first step so you can start implementing some creative solutions. She may need to inform her that this legal document is something you discovered is required for everyone, including yourself, so that she does not become suspicious of your request.

You could also speak to a rep at your mom’s bank to set up automatic payments for reoccurring bills and ask the bank to send a letter to your mom about the change. A formal letter may be received more positively by your mom instead of the news coming from you. You can also contact the companies sending bills in order to change the billing address. Keeping the bills “out of sight” and “out of mind” of your mom may prevent double payments and reduce anxieties. Finally, approach your mom in a positive and casual way about these issues. No one likes feeling incompetent—including those with dementia. This can prevent her feeling mistrustful of you and she may become more open to accepting your help. Try these suggestions, keep on helping, and keep me posted!

3. Getting Lost.

Dear Dementia Solutions: My wife who has Alzheimer’s needs to be supervised when she leaves the home since she gets easily lost. Recently it seems she’s getting confused about where to go even when she’s at home.Is it true that a person can get lost in their own home?

~Worried husband

Dear Worried Husband: Your wife is not alone in experiencing problems with finding her way around in her own home. We often focus a lot on the problem of those with dementia wandering outside the home, but it can also be very disconcerting when someone feels lost in the space they’re supposed to feel most comfortable in. Usually occurring in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this is often a more common problem in early-mid stages for those who have lived in a place for a short time. A creative way to help your wife would be to add signs in the common area in the home clearly indicating with arrows where specific rooms are. One sign, for example, could read “Washroom this way,” with an arrow pointing in the washroom’s direction. With clear signs and your support, your wife can feel more comfortable in her home.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to: [email protected]

Karen Tyrell CDP, CPCA is a Dementia Consultant & Educator for Personalized Dementia Solutions (www.dementiasolutions.ca) and the author of the book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours.” She offers her expertise on dementia care through speaking engagements, workshops and by working one-on-one with families and caregivers.

Dementia expert Karen Tyrell offers answers to www.carp.ca visitors for their situation-specific questions. Karen is Dementia Consultant offering to point you in the right direction, giving you quick insight and personalized answers.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to:[email protected]

June 2014

1. Is Violence Common?

Dear Dementia Solutions: My father has Alzheimer’s disease and at times gets so agitated that he verges on the point of violence. What can I do to manage this behaviour? Do all people with Alzheimer’s disease get violent?

~ Trying to Keep the Peace

Dear Trying to keep the Peace: The simple answer is no. No two people with dementia experience the same symptoms or display the same behaviours. Physical violence, such as pushing and kicking, does occur among some, but it is important to note that these reactions have triggers at their root.

I once saw a dementia patient hit a care facility staff member and the trigger was the staff member not informing the patient that they were going to reach in front to clear a table. The patient got startled, not just by the unexpected act, but also by the misperception that someone was “stealing” from them. Identifying triggers such as this is key to knowing how to avoid unwanted responses. In caring for someone with dementia it helps to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they perceive the world around them. When you figure out what provokes violent reactions, you will be better able to prevent them, and your own stress level will reduce…which is always a good thing for a caregiver! If you are needing creative ideas when you discover the reason for his violent behaviour, please feel free to write to us again.

2. Bill Paying Concerns.

Dear Dementia Solutions: I recently noticed my mom missing bill payments and sometimes even paying bills twice. She seems to be getting easily confused with these tasks, but still puts up a fight when I offer to help. What can I do?

~Helpful Son

Dear Helpful son: Good for you for stepping up to assist your mom! You’ve noticed her confusion and are trying to do the right thing. However, it can also be very confusing in figuring out how to lend a helping hand when someone refuses the help.

Has your mom visited the doctor to better understand the source of her confusion? Her recent mix-ups may be the result of treatable symptoms. Also, does your mom have a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) document with your name on it? If so, it’s easier for you to help out with financial matters. If not, then both you and your mom should look into doing this as an important first step so you can start implementing some creative solutions. She may need to inform her that this legal document is something you discovered is required for everyone, including yourself, so that she does not become suspicious of your request.

You could also speak to a rep at your mom’s bank to set up automatic payments for reoccurring bills and ask the bank to send a letter to your mom about the change. A formal letter may be received more positively by your mom instead of the news coming from you. You can also contact the companies sending bills in order to change the billing address. Keeping the bills “out of sight” and “out of mind” of your mom may prevent double payments and reduce anxieties. Finally, approach your mom in a positive and casual way about these issues. No one likes feeling incompetent—including those with dementia. This can prevent her feeling mistrustful of you and she may become more open to accepting your help. Try these suggestions, keep on helping, and keep me posted!

3. Getting Lost.

Dear Dementia Solutions: My wife who has Alzheimer’s needs to be supervised when she leaves the home since she gets easily lost. Recently it seems she’s getting confused about where to go even when she’s at home.Is it true that a person can get lost in their own home?

~Worried husband

Dear Worried Husband: Your wife is not alone in experiencing problems with finding her way around in her own home. We often focus a lot on the problem of those with dementia wandering outside the home, but it can also be very disconcerting when someone feels lost in the space they’re supposed to feel most comfortable in. Usually occurring in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this is often a more common problem in early-mid stages for those who have lived in a place for a short time. A creative way to help your wife would be to add signs in the common area in the home clearly indicating with arrows where specific rooms are. One sign, for example, could read “Washroom this way,” with an arrow pointing in the washroom’s direction. With clear signs and your support, your wife can feel more comfortable in her home. :)Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to: [email protected]

Karen Tyrell CDP, CPCA is a Dementia Consultant & Educator for Personalized Dementia Solutions (www.dementiasolutions.ca) and the author of the book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours.” She offers her expertise on dementia care through speaking engagements, workshops and by working one-on-one with families and caregivers

– See more at: http://www.carp.ca/?p=99463&preview=true#sthash.5MWgZa09.dpuf

Dementia expert Karen Tyrell offers answers to www.carp.ca visitors for their situation-specific questions. Karen is Dementia Consultant offering to point you in the right direction, giving you quick insight and personalized answers.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to:[email protected]

June 2014

1. Is Violence Common?

Dear Dementia Solutions: My father has Alzheimer’s disease and at times gets so agitated that he verges on the point of violence. What can I do to manage this behaviour? Do all people with Alzheimer’s disease get violent?

~ Trying to Keep the Peace

Dear Trying to keep the Peace: The simple answer is no. No two people with dementia experience the same symptoms or display the same behaviours. Physical violence, such as pushing and kicking, does occur among some, but it is important to note that these reactions have triggers at their root.

I once saw a dementia patient hit a care facility staff member and the trigger was the staff member not informing the patient that they were going to reach in front to clear a table. The patient got startled, not just by the unexpected act, but also by the misperception that someone was “stealing” from them. Identifying triggers such as this is key to knowing how to avoid unwanted responses. In caring for someone with dementia it helps to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they perceive the world around them. When you figure out what provokes violent reactions, you will be better able to prevent them, and your own stress level will reduce…which is always a good thing for a caregiver! If you are needing creative ideas when you discover the reason for his violent behaviour, please feel free to write to us again.

2. Bill Paying Concerns.

Dear Dementia Solutions: I recently noticed my mom missing bill payments and sometimes even paying bills twice. She seems to be getting easily confused with these tasks, but still puts up a fight when I offer to help. What can I do?

~Helpful Son

Dear Helpful son: Good for you for stepping up to assist your mom! You’ve noticed her confusion and are trying to do the right thing. However, it can also be very confusing in figuring out how to lend a helping hand when someone refuses the help.

Has your mom visited the doctor to better understand the source of her confusion? Her recent mix-ups may be the result of treatable symptoms. Also, does your mom have a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) document with your name on it? If so, it’s easier for you to help out with financial matters. If not, then both you and your mom should look into doing this as an important first step so you can start implementing some creative solutions. She may need to inform her that this legal document is something you discovered is required for everyone, including yourself, so that she does not become suspicious of your request.

You could also speak to a rep at your mom’s bank to set up automatic payments for reoccurring bills and ask the bank to send a letter to your mom about the change. A formal letter may be received more positively by your mom instead of the news coming from you. You can also contact the companies sending bills in order to change the billing address. Keeping the bills “out of sight” and “out of mind” of your mom may prevent double payments and reduce anxieties. Finally, approach your mom in a positive and casual way about these issues. No one likes feeling incompetent—including those with dementia. This can prevent her feeling mistrustful of you and she may become more open to accepting your help. Try these suggestions, keep on helping, and keep me posted!

3. Getting Lost.

Dear Dementia Solutions: My wife who has Alzheimer’s needs to be supervised when she leaves the home since she gets easily lost. Recently it seems she’s getting confused about where to go even when she’s at home.Is it true that a person can get lost in their own home?

~Worried husband

Dear Worried Husband: Your wife is not alone in experiencing problems with finding her way around in her own home. We often focus a lot on the problem of those with dementia wandering outside the home, but it can also be very disconcerting when someone feels lost in the space they’re supposed to feel most comfortable in. Usually occurring in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this is often a more common problem in early-mid stages for those who have lived in a place for a short time. A creative way to help your wife would be to add signs in the common area in the home clearly indicating with arrows where specific rooms are. One sign, for example, could read “Washroom this way,” with an arrow pointing in the washroom’s direction. With clear signs and your support, your wife can feel more comfortable in her home. :)Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to: [email protected]

Karen Tyrell CDP, CPCA is a Dementia Consultant & Educator for Personalized Dementia Solutions (www.dementiasolutions.ca) and the author of the book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours.” She offers her expertise on dementia care through speaking engagements, workshops and by working one-on-one with families and caregivers

– See more at: http://www.carp.ca/?p=99463&preview=true#sthash.5MWgZa09.dpuf

Dementia expert Karen Tyrell offers answers to www.carp.ca visitors for their situation-specific questions. Karen is Dementia Consultant offering to point you in the right direction, giving you quick insight and personalized answers.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to:[email protected]

June 2014

1. Is Violence Common?

Dear Dementia Solutions: My father has Alzheimer’s disease and at times gets so agitated that he verges on the point of violence. What can I do to manage this behaviour? Do all people with Alzheimer’s disease get violent?

~ Trying to Keep the Peace

Dear Trying to keep the Peace: The simple answer is no. No two people with dementia experience the same symptoms or display the same behaviours. Physical violence, such as pushing and kicking, does occur among some, but it is important to note that these reactions have triggers at their root.

I once saw a dementia patient hit a care facility staff member and the trigger was the staff member not informing the patient that they were going to reach in front to clear a table. The patient got startled, not just by the unexpected act, but also by the misperception that someone was “stealing” from them. Identifying triggers such as this is key to knowing how to avoid unwanted responses. In caring for someone with dementia it helps to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they perceive the world around them. When you figure out what provokes violent reactions, you will be better able to prevent them, and your own stress level will reduce…which is always a good thing for a caregiver! If you are needing creative ideas when you discover the reason for his violent behaviour, please feel free to write to us again.

2. Bill Paying Concerns.

Dear Dementia Solutions: I recently noticed my mom missing bill payments and sometimes even paying bills twice. She seems to be getting easily confused with these tasks, but still puts up a fight when I offer to help. What can I do?

~Helpful Son

Dear Helpful son: Good for you for stepping up to assist your mom! You’ve noticed her confusion and are trying to do the right thing. However, it can also be very confusing in figuring out how to lend a helping hand when someone refuses the help.

Has your mom visited the doctor to better understand the source of her confusion? Her recent mix-ups may be the result of treatable symptoms. Also, does your mom have a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) document with your name on it? If so, it’s easier for you to help out with financial matters. If not, then both you and your mom should look into doing this as an important first step so you can start implementing some creative solutions. She may need to inform her that this legal document is something you discovered is required for everyone, including yourself, so that she does not become suspicious of your request.

You could also speak to a rep at your mom’s bank to set up automatic payments for reoccurring bills and ask the bank to send a letter to your mom about the change. A formal letter may be received more positively by your mom instead of the news coming from you. You can also contact the companies sending bills in order to change the billing address. Keeping the bills “out of sight” and “out of mind” of your mom may prevent double payments and reduce anxieties. Finally, approach your mom in a positive and casual way about these issues. No one likes feeling incompetent—including those with dementia. This can prevent her feeling mistrustful of you and she may become more open to accepting your help. Try these suggestions, keep on helping, and keep me posted!

3. Getting Lost.

Dear Dementia Solutions: My wife who has Alzheimer’s needs to be supervised when she leaves the home since she gets easily lost. Recently it seems she’s getting confused about where to go even when she’s at home.Is it true that a person can get lost in their own home?

~Worried husband

Dear Worried Husband: Your wife is not alone in experiencing problems with finding her way around in her own home. We often focus a lot on the problem of those with dementia wandering outside the home, but it can also be very disconcerting when someone feels lost in the space they’re supposed to feel most comfortable in. Usually occurring in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this is often a more common problem in early-mid stages for those who have lived in a place for a short time. A creative way to help your wife would be to add signs in the common area in the home clearly indicating with arrows where specific rooms are. One sign, for example, could read “Washroom this way,” with an arrow pointing in the washroom’s direction. With clear signs and your support, your wife can feel more comfortable in her home. :)Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to: [email protected]

Karen Tyrell CDP, CPCA is a Dementia Consultant & Educator for Personalized Dementia Solutions (www.dementiasolutions.ca) and the author of the book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours.” She offers her expertise on dementia care through speaking engagements, workshops and by working one-on-one with families and caregivers

– See more at: http://www.carp.ca/?p=99463&preview=true#sthash.5MWgZa09.dpuf

Dementia expert Karen Tyrell offers answers to www.carp.ca visitors for their situation-specific questions. Karen is Dementia Consultant offering to point you in the right direction, giving you quick insight and personalized answers.

Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to:[email protected]

June 2014

1. Is Violence Common?

Dear Dementia Solutions: My father has Alzheimer’s disease and at times gets so agitated that he verges on the point of violence. What can I do to manage this behaviour? Do all people with Alzheimer’s disease get violent?

~ Trying to Keep the Peace

Dear Trying to keep the Peace: The simple answer is no. No two people with dementia experience the same symptoms or display the same behaviours. Physical violence, such as pushing and kicking, does occur among some, but it is important to note that these reactions have triggers at their root.

I once saw a dementia patient hit a care facility staff member and the trigger was the staff member not informing the patient that they were going to reach in front to clear a table. The patient got startled, not just by the unexpected act, but also by the misperception that someone was “stealing” from them. Identifying triggers such as this is key to knowing how to avoid unwanted responses. In caring for someone with dementia it helps to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they perceive the world around them. When you figure out what provokes violent reactions, you will be better able to prevent them, and your own stress level will reduce…which is always a good thing for a caregiver! If you are needing creative ideas when you discover the reason for his violent behaviour, please feel free to write to us again.

2. Bill Paying Concerns.

Dear Dementia Solutions: I recently noticed my mom missing bill payments and sometimes even paying bills twice. She seems to be getting easily confused with these tasks, but still puts up a fight when I offer to help. What can I do?

~Helpful Son

Dear Helpful son: Good for you for stepping up to assist your mom! You’ve noticed her confusion and are trying to do the right thing. However, it can also be very confusing in figuring out how to lend a helping hand when someone refuses the help.

Has your mom visited the doctor to better understand the source of her confusion? Her recent mix-ups may be the result of treatable symptoms. Also, does your mom have a signed Enduring Power of Attorney (POA) document with your name on it? If so, it’s easier for you to help out with financial matters. If not, then both you and your mom should look into doing this as an important first step so you can start implementing some creative solutions. She may need to inform her that this legal document is something you discovered is required for everyone, including yourself, so that she does not become suspicious of your request.

You could also speak to a rep at your mom’s bank to set up automatic payments for reoccurring bills and ask the bank to send a letter to your mom about the change. A formal letter may be received more positively by your mom instead of the news coming from you. You can also contact the companies sending bills in order to change the billing address. Keeping the bills “out of sight” and “out of mind” of your mom may prevent double payments and reduce anxieties. Finally, approach your mom in a positive and casual way about these issues. No one likes feeling incompetent—including those with dementia. This can prevent her feeling mistrustful of you and she may become more open to accepting your help. Try these suggestions, keep on helping, and keep me posted!

3. Getting Lost.

Dear Dementia Solutions: My wife who has Alzheimer’s needs to be supervised when she leaves the home since she gets easily lost. Recently it seems she’s getting confused about where to go even when she’s at home.Is it true that a person can get lost in their own home?

~Worried husband

Dear Worried Husband: Your wife is not alone in experiencing problems with finding her way around in her own home. We often focus a lot on the problem of those with dementia wandering outside the home, but it can also be very disconcerting when someone feels lost in the space they’re supposed to feel most comfortable in. Usually occurring in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, this is often a more common problem in early-mid stages for those who have lived in a place for a short time. A creative way to help your wife would be to add signs in the common area in the home clearly indicating with arrows where specific rooms are. One sign, for example, could read “Washroom this way,” with an arrow pointing in the washroom’s direction. With clear signs and your support, your wife can feel more comfortable in her home. :)Do you have a specific question relating to dementia that you need answered? Please submit your questions by email to: [email protected]

Karen Tyrell CDP, CPCA is a Dementia Consultant & Educator for Personalized Dementia Solutions (www.dementiasolutions.ca) and the author of the book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours.” She offers her expertise on dementia care through speaking engagements, workshops and by working one-on-one with families and caregivers

– See more at: http://www.carp.ca/?p=99463&preview=true#sthash.5MWgZa09.dpuf