I need to hold on to my mom and always remember she is still a person. From what I have observed in the behavior of family with mom, it seems that the general thinking is that dementia causes one to become a non-person. I think that is a big thing to be careful of. It continues to be important to her to make her own decisions and to take care of her general daily tasks herself.
For instance; if you go out to eat she can make her own order, she can take care of putting her straw into her drink and she can manage how fast or slow she wants to eat. Just be patient and pay attention, if she is struggling with something for too long and she is looking like she may be getting frustrated, then ask her, “Can I get that for you?” You don’t want her to be frustrated but you also shouldn’t just automatically do it for her if she is still capable. You don’t need to be in a hurry. I have learned that when I am with mom that I am with her to be with her. I am not with her when I am in a hurry with something else to do pulling my attention.
With mom, she has always been a lady who takes her purse with her everywhere she would go. That is important to her. It should be her right as a person to continue to bring her purse along. It doesn’t matter if she needs it or not for anything on your agenda, it only matters that it is her right as a person to have her own wants and needs.
I need to be willing to understand that she will live where she is within her Dementia and I need to be part of her life within her scope of reality. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis does not mean that mom needs to be treated like a dying person that needs to be pitied or have her activities completely handled by someone else. Allow her to be herself because, she IS still herself, you are the one who is not seeing her life properly.
She is still relevant, she is still capable of being happy, she is still important and she is still a person. I am learning to visit her where ever that may be in her mind. I know that she cannot be brought back into my reality and the world that we once shared. Now we will share the world that she lives in and it doesn’t matter that it is different than mine, what does matter is that we can continue to love each other and share meaningful moments.
The Dementia Mind is one that is confused and doesn’t remember what happened just minutes before, but this mind does continue to remember the past and still remembers and knows how you make them feel. I have also read that as the dementia continues to rob mom of her proper brain function that other senses become stronger. Such as vibrations around them. If you are agitated your dementia loved on will become agitated, if you are giving off love and calm vibrations your dementia loved one will also feel love and calm.
From what I have observed my dementia mom also strongly remembers how others have made her feel. She not only remembers those feelings, but she feels those feelings in her heart and soul. I would guess that we all have people we don’t want to be around because of how they make us feel. You can multiply that, many times, to increase the intensity with a person who has dementia.
And still utmost in the life of dementia, is knowing, that the dementia mind continues to want to feel happy, loved, relevant and still feel like she is a person.
Mind Set = attitude, disposition, mood ——where is your mindset?
Mind = brain, intelligence, brain power, understanding, reasoning, judgement, sense, head——we all need to weigh out our own powers to be used in the best way
Mind means, the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.
Please remember, I am not qualified to give advice. Please seek out professional guidance to help with your specific needs.