While the heat shouldn't prevent you from taking your loved one out for some exercise or fun, it is worth noting that many factors make seniors more prone to heat-related illnesses. Heat stroke can be deadly, and dehydration can worsen dementia symptoms such as confusion, irritability and dizziness.
When Carol and Theresa's mom was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer's and their dad's vision started failing, the news was met with some denial -- and their parents' groaning aversion to leaving their home of over forty years. The sisters, one of whom is my mother-in-law, came to realize that they are now parenting their own parents. In coming to terms with this they also realized that they each need support too. The result is an inspiring and positive arrangement. They've become "co-caregivers."
It is important to correct the person with dementia when they say things that are not true - FALSE. The cardinal rule is "never argue with a person with dementia". A person with dementia is simply taking files from their memory bank that come from another place and time. They are sure they are telling the truth.
It is deeply hurtful to even remotely consider that someone from your most trusted group of allies could be intending to take advantage of you when you are most vulnerable, but avoiding this issue only leaves you more vulnerable. Your best line of defence is to increase your awareness on some of the more typical financial threats.
Daniel Roebuck's tenderly nuanced performance as his wife' primary caregiver is such a perfectly balanced blend of heartache and hopeful longing, weariness and worry, unconditional love and utter loneliness that his character comes across so authentically, you forget you're watching a movie rather than visiting with a fellow family member impacted by Alzheimer's or dementia.
But from the moment my mother and grandmother shared with me my grandfather's diagnosis, everything changed. Though my role as national director of sales and marketing memory care for one of the country's largest providers of assisted living was still the same, my motivation was completely different.
Driving is an activity of daily living (ADL) just like getting washed, dressed or cooking. It is an activity that we learn to do once the skills needed to drive have matured. In order to drive safely, we rely on the fine-tuned integration of the necessary physical, visual, cognitive-perceptual, and behavioural skills.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses and the person becomes more and more disconnected from the world around them, caregivers so often, and so unintentionally, lose their way. That's okay, in part because there's no manual for this, no right or wrong. But there are ways that caregivers, like Ed's, can reconnect with their loved one.
Even if your loved one has never been an avid gardener, introducing them to blooms now could be a good idea: this green hobby has been shown to benefit dementia and Alzheimer's patients. Long-term care facilities sometimes refer to it as horticultural therapy -- the connection that dementia patients develop to past and future through tending plants, indoors or out.