Dentures in the silverware drawer. A favorite trinket hidden behind a stack of books. Hearing aids buried deep in a trash can. There’s no limit to where some people with dementia will hide their belongings to keep them out of the hands of “thieves.” And, when they can’t find their possessions later, family members are often the prime suspects.
Is your loved one insisting that it’s time to visit their sibling who has long since passed away? Are you finding yourself bracing to break the news to them…again? Unfortunately, for seniors living with dementia, this is a common occurrence. But each time you break the news to them, it can feel like the first time they are hearing it, bringing about fresh grief every time, making it extremely painful for them and nearly as painful for you.
Your father calls for you – repeatedly -- in the middle of the night because, apparently, he thinks you hate sleep. Your mother interrupts you every ten minutes, insisting she needs the bathroom because, apparently, she thinks you could use the exercise. You, of course, answer their calls every time because every time could be the time Dad fell or Mom has to go. But why do they cry wolf?
Remember when you began caring for your loved one? Perhaps you were like a nervous new parent, responding to every need, big and small, with the same attention and urgency. After a while, of course, you found it impossible to do so. Or maybe you realized it was unnecessary. Either way, you’ve stopped rushing to satisfy your loved one’s every whim every time. Considering your gung-ho start, does this mean you’re no longer doing your best as a caregiver? Of course not!
Sleep issues are a common occurrence for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Unfortunately, they then become an issue for caregivers and everyone else involved in the care of the individual. When the person you’re caring for doesn’t sleep well, you don’t sleep well, which makes everyone involved tired, cranky and overall not in their best form. “Sleep plays an important role in cognitive function,” says Robin Crum, Executive Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, FL.
Obscene remarks. Nasty name-calling. Lewd ‘compliments.’ Dementia can make a casual curser's colorful language more vibrant or give them a brand-new vocabulary that would make a sailor blush. Either way, the embarrassment and frustration caregivers experience when trying to tone down their loved one’s excessive swearing can have them muttering a few choice words of their own.