When I educate people about Alzheimer's and dementia, one of the first things I share is the prediction that dementia will affect 1 in 2 families in just fifteen years. And when I say this, peope invariably gasp. "No! How can this be? This is awful!" But it's true. Here's the logic behind the claim.
It’s not that my sisters and I didn’t know something was up. But we mistook what we saw for something else. To some degree we did this willingly, but certainly out of ignorance. That Dad appeared functional, if quirky, validated our choice for denial. He managed, well into the middles stages of Alzheimer’s, with the assistance of what I call his “network of complicity”.
Use this time – when the person living with dementia has the greatest mental capacity for communication they will ever have again – to hone your approach and skills in communication as a dementia caregiver.
As a family member, a care giver or a home service provider you want the people you help to be comfortable, not anxious, in your presence. To be perceived as a threat, on any level, does not serve anyone. How do we get off on the right foot?