A must read for anyone who has a loved one with dementia.

I am currently reading A Dignified Life by Virginia Bell and David Troxel.   My intention was to finish the book before I recommended it here, but I am finding it such a good resource that I wanted to share it now as I know it will help many others who are looking for answers.

A Dignified Life BooK Cover

Ten years ago, the first edition of A Dignified Life changed the way the caregiving community approached Alzheimer’s disease by showing caregivers how to act as a Best Friend to the person, finding positive ways to interact even as mental abilities declined. Firmly grounded in the latest knowledge about the progression and treatment of dementia, this expanded edition offers a wealth of immediately usable tips and new problem-solving advice. It incorporates practical ideas for therapeutic activities—including the latest brain-fitness exercises—stimulate the brain while adding structure, meaning, and context to daily routines. With new stories and examples as well as an updated resources section, A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded gives caregivers the support and advice they need to be successful and inspired in their demanding roles.

See more at:  hcibooks.com – A Dignified Life

or their website at:  Best Friends Approach

Alzheimers: Strategies to Head Off or Deal With Behavior Problems

http://tinyurl.com/cng63v6

Alzheimers: Strategies to Head Off or Deal With Behavior Problems

by Dementia and Hallucinations, dementiatoday.com February 29th 2012

Pay attention to what the individual with dementia is saying—both verbally and non-verbally.

Caregivers also should be aware of their communication techniques, including providing one-step instructions and speaking in a reassuring tone.

Think ahead and plan for situations that could result in problem behaviors. Understand that trying to argue with someone who has dementia only results in frustration for both them and the caregiver.

Distract and divert attention whenever possible.

Hold to the same routine.
Keep things simple to avoid frustration.

Promote a sense of security and comfort. Use positive reinforcements, such as smiles, a gentle touch, personal attention and praise.

Allow the individual to have some sense of control. Being able to “save face” is important to someone who is very confused.

Maintain a calm manner even when the individual becomes aggressive or agitated. This can defuse a tense situation and help reduce a person’s fears.

Assess the situation to protect yourself. Should an individual’s aggression become violent, be mindful of your own safety first.

Caregivers should practice ways to reduce stress when they become angry or frustrated, since anger and frustration could aggravate a behavior problem. Remember that behavior problems result from the disease. Do not take things that the person says and does personally; it is the disease speaking.

Be creative and use common sense. Try to keep a sense of humor even in the most difficult situations.