A New Relationship

A New Relationship

. . . In your relationship with a friend in early AD, imagine instead sailing on the open sea without a ledger of rights and wrongs. Sailors can’t plan far ahead; they must work with the wind and waves of the moment. They can’t march off the boat in a huff over a brewing storm. They enjoy the sun when it is shining and the sea when it is calm, understanding the inevitability of rapid change. With a loved one in the early stage of dementia, you are more a sailor than a banker. Forgotten plans, one-sided conversations, and bouts of anger or frustration are part of a journey, always worthwhile in its larger contexts of humanity and compassion, if challenging from the standpoints of convenience and reciprocity. In working out the changes in the relationship...

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Visiting a Friend with Late Stage Alzheimer's

Visiting a Friend with Late Stage Alzheimer's

Verbal communication stops before the ability to interpret nonverbal cues. One of the first connections an infant makes is between a soothing touch or tone of voice and relief from physical distress. A smile is associated with being held and cuddled, music with being rocked. People in late stage Alzheimer’s sometimes find comfort in a soft blanket or stuffed toy that must bring back a sense of the security of early childhood. When words have lost meaning, nonverbal lines of communication will be left open. Remember the acronym “B-E-S-T” for ways you can continue to connect...

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Sharing Supper

Sharing Supper

Having meals together is one of the main ways we connect, caregiver can't have friends over often, if at all: You can't predict what kind of day you'll have. A certain amount of planning and preparation goes into any invitation, and they're usually too stressed to add additional responsibilities to the mix, even in an effort to find some relief and fun. Here are two ways you can provide both companionship and dinner for a caregiver...

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