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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Timing Can Be Key to Working With Alzheimer's Clients

Get to know your client's ebbs and flows

I have found in dealing with my Alzheimer clients that the key to getting them to work with you is timing. Take a case in point - showers.

Showers can be very trying on both you and your client. In advanced stages of the disease showering can become a real issue. They do not see things the way they normally would. So to them a shower may be a real perceived threat to them and it makes it very difficult to get them to cooperate when you are trying to help them.

I can truly say that there is no magic fix for this, I have looked for one, talked to other Caregivers about one, researched for one. But I do know this; that if you get them at a time when they are in a better mood and not tired they may respond better. Now I did say better, not easy. You will still have to be calm and patient with them, don't try to rush them just because you are uncomfortable and want to get it over with. This will not work. You may have a set day and time for bathing, you may have to adjust. Get to know your client's ebbs and flows so to speak and go with the flow.

I know many of you caregivers out there are struggling with this issue and I would love to hear your thoughts. What has worked for you. If we all share we can learn from each other and become better caregivers. Please comment or send an email.

As always take care my friends
Ruth Anne

Friday, December 27, 2013

Working with Seniors ? Touch Them Today - Tomorrow may be To Late.

Early one morning I arrived to find , as I many times do, that the EMS unit was again parked at the front of the building...

~ without even the chance to say good by they are gone ~

Who was it today? What had happened? I walked down to the cafe to get the morning's juice and fruit for my clients and was struck by the residents sitting in and around the lobby - all but motionless, the look all to familiar. What had happened screamed loudly from their faces even though they uttered no sound.

As the medics rounded the corner guiding a gurney with a blanketed resident on it, everyone began to mutter to each other, "can you see who it is? I think its Mary, no it's Martha, oh what is wrong?"
"She seemed fine at dinner last night" one of them says. "I heard she fell" said another.

All the talk that day is about Martha, all hoping she will be OK and return soon, and she did. However often those we watch being taken out do not return. And without even the chance to say good by they are gone never to return to dinner or bingo or the Monday night card party.

Everyday I take the time to talk to as many residents as I can. Give a hug, a kiss or just a simple touch on the shoulder. I tell them how happy I am to know them. We have a laugh or sometimes cry, but we connect. I never know if tomorrow may be to late.

Take Care My Friends
Ruth Anne

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Caregivers Giving Can Mean A Lot

As Caregivers - We Give

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill
  We as caregivers give our time and energy to our clients in an effort to make their lives better. This brings rich rewards to them as well as to ourselves. In addition to our time, small tangible gifts that cost us little can make another person smile and feel loved in a way we might never expect.

  A couple of weeks ago I stopped at a garage sale on my way to work and picked up a bunch of beaded bracelets and rings, they were really nice. The lady selling them was closing a shop she had and just wanted to move the items out, so I got a whole bag of jewlery items for $25.00. My first thought was to resell them on my online store and make a profit, but when I got to work another thought hit me - 'How much better to bring some smiles to the seniors living at the complex where I worked.'

  After lunch I grabbed my bag and headed to the lobby where many relax and began giving the ladies their choice. They were amazed and kept asking 'how much do I owe you?' I told them that they owed me nothing, they were a gift. The ladies were thrilled, each taking turns picking out of the bag something they liked. As I watched them showing off their gems, tears came to my eyes and I thought to myself  'that was the best 25$ I ever spent.'

  We have all heard of the people who pay it forward - why not join the crowd. Walk into a senior home and spread some joy. You will never feel better about yourself. I guarantee it.

Talk care my friends

Ruth Anne