December 23, 2008

How to Have Patience with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients (2)

Knowing all of the bad things, how does one go about developing patience? Is there some simple method? In a word, the answer is no. Developing patience takes time, but there is a method to do it. First, remember to take every day one at a time. When you’re with an Alzheimer’s patient, take each activity one at a time. Make sure that two activities don’t rely on each other. That way, if the first activity doesn’t work out, you’ll still have the second one to go to. Next, make sure that you’re accepting the reality of the situation you’re in. When you’re with an Alzheimer’s patient, you have to learn to accept the limitations that the disease has placed on them. Don’t give them more than they can handle. Now is not the time to see how far you can push somebody, as you’ll both just end up frustrated.

In developing patience, make sure you’re not worrying about the past or the future. If the Alzheimer’s patient did something wrong in the past, you need to learn to let it go. Also, you can’t worry about how they will act in the future, or if they’ll get to where you want them to be. Every time you’re with them, let it be a new start for the both of you.

Help the Alzheimer’s patient to break down the larger goal into smaller ones. For example, if you were trying to build a house of cars, would you simply say, “It has to be 3 feet high”, and then start to build it just to be that high? No, sure you wouldn’t. You would start by putting two cards together, then adding another two, so on and so forth. Remember to strive to achieve all the little goals, and celebrate each one with the patient.

From time to time when a person is attempting to help an Alzheimer’s patient they just become too controlling. Don’t be that person. You have to learn to hand over some control to the patient, and then simply let go. Let them bring about whatever it is at their own pace. The more you rush them, the worse the outcome will be.

Patience with Alzheimer’s patients may be very difficult to have, but there is a reason why patience is a virtue. Do your best to achieve that virtue, and your life and the patient’s life will be better for it.

December 16, 2008

How to Have Patience with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients (1)

Having patience when someone has a devastating disease like dementia and Alzheimer’s can be extremely difficult. Oftentimes, people begin to get frustrated, and perhaps even feel guilty that they are frustrated. The focus is more on increasing your patience than dealing with dementia patients, which is a whole other subject. Increasing your patience will not just help you with dementia patients, but it will improve your life as a whole. It is never easy have endurance all the time, but there are things you can do to help.

To learn how to obtain patience, you first must understand exactly what patience is. If you are patient, then you don’t need immediate gratification, and you are capable of just sitting back, and waiting for something to happen without experiencing either worry of frustration. If you are patient you have the ability to tolerate others, and be more understanding. With patience you’ll be able to hang onto a relationship, even when the going gets tough. Instead of riding on the emotional rollercoaster, you’ll be able to level off the ups and the downs, and wait for what’s coming to you. You’ll be able to relax in spite of the challenges that you face on a daily basis.

And how do all of these qualities relate to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia? As we know, those patients often need to have something repeated several times, and they may struggle with relatively simple activities. This is no fault of theirs of course, but rather of the disease. If you’re capable of relaxing, and waiting for them to process the information, it will supply a stronger basis for your relationship with them. To start with, you won’t feel rushed for them to accomplish their goal, and neither will they. If you hurry the patient, they’ll simply become frustrated, and their self-esteem will drop. You will become frustrated, and even angry, and the relationship between you and the patient will be heavily strained.

December 09, 2008

Alzheimer’s Specialized Care And Hospice – Is It Right for You? (2)

Hospice care also delves into spiritual care. Since everyone is different, and has different spiritual beliefs, the type of care hospice provides is changed on a person-to-person basis, to meet the main needs of the Alzheimer's patient.

Another benefit of hospice care is the fact that the nurse or social work involved in the patient’s case will often call family conferences. This allows the family to stay informed, open up to each other, and helps prepare for them for what to expect later on. It takes a huge weight off of the family.

As mentioned before, hospice care can take place in a large selection of places. The preferred method of hospice care is in the patient’s home, with up to 90% of people on hospice care choosing to receive their treatment that way – and why not? After all, most people find it much more comforting to be in their home, rather than a bland hospital that holds no memories for them. A family member who is living with the patient generally administers home hospice care. After a short training period, professionals such as nurses will begin to check in every now and then. They will help you learn what you can improve upon, and what you can do to make the patient’s life easier.

Hospital-based hospices are usually found in those hospitals that treat extremely ill patients. The hospice program is set up in a way that the family and patient both have access to all the support and health services in the hospital. Due to the close proximity of everything that is needed, a hospital can be good if a variety of different medical professionals are needed.

Lastly, there are the long-term facility-based hospices. Basically these are nursing homes, only they have a specially trained nursing staff to help care for the people that need them.

To decide if a hospice treatment is right for you, you first have to look at your options. After looking at your options, decide if it’s worth it to continue medical treatment, or if you should revert to a hospice treatment to ease the suffering of the last few days. Finally, it’s up to the patient, and what they would prefer.

December 02, 2008

Alzheimer’s Specialized Care And Hospice – Is It Right for You? (1)

Hospice is unfamiliar to lots of people, and understandably so. Rather than attempting to cure people, hospice attempts to make the last stages of an incurable disease as pleasant as possible, choosing to treat the person rather than treating the disease. As a result of this, hospice is considered one of the most humane and compassionate forms of care, and many people are very gratified they have the option to use it in the later stages of a disease such as Alzheimer’s.

The hospice philosophy simply stated is that it neither hastens nor postpones death, but rather places emphasis on quality of life, rather than length of life. Hospice supporters believe in family centered care, involving both the patient and the family in the care, rather than some doctor deciding what’s best for the patient. One of the advantages of hospice care is that it can be administered in a variety of locations, including a hospital, a nursing home, a private hospice facility, or even the patient’s home. In the vast majority of hospice in the U.S., the primary caregiver is a family member.

Hospice care is only given when medicine has done all it can do, and the life expectancy of the patient is six months or less. The patient, the patient’s family and the doctor decide when hospice should begin.

There are some different types of hospice care to be aware of. The first type is what’s more commonly known as an interdisciplinary team, which is compromised of various professionals, such as nurses, doctors, councilors, therapists and volunteers. They each specialize in a different part of caring for the patient.

A different thing that distinguishes hospice from traditional medicine is the fact that hospice focuses on pain and symptom control. The basic practice behind that is that the patient is to remain free of pain, while being able to make any important decisions.