Gentle CAREGiving

by MichelleR on October 14, 2010

Today, one of my CAREGiver’s came by our office and was telling me about a recent experience she had at the hospital.  She was there to get her client treated for a UTI.  The story goes like this… our client was placed in a shared room and his roommate was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.  My CAREGiver was observing the interaction between the two and thinking to herself, “Wow!  This lady really needs Home Instead training”.  She could see that this lady and her patient were quickly headed towards a bad situation; the lady was getting frustrated because her patient was getting combative with her, and naturally the more her frustration showed, the more agitated and combative the patient got.  The lady thought it might be a good idea to take her patient for a little walk down the hallway.  It seemed to calm him down- until they returned to the room.  This man was very curious as to who was sleeping in the bed next to him and the lady was insistent that he stay in his own space.  As many of you may know (or not know), you cannot demand or insist someone suffering from Alzheimer’s to do as you say, it’s just not going to work!…and it didn’t.  He made his way over to our client’s bed and literally attempted to get in the bed with him!  The lady was at her wits end and our CAREGiver could see this.  At this point she knew she had to get involved or something bad was going to happen, she didn’t hesitate to apply the knowledge she has gained with her training.  Instead of demanding that the patient get out of our clients bed, our CAREGiver put her arms around him, guiding him off the bed by dancing with him.  He was loving it!  So much so that they were dancing to her humming for a good 5 minutes.  She was able to dance him to his own bed.  She got him so calm and relaxed that he kissed my CAREGiver.

Clearly, the person watching out for the patient had no experience overseeing someone with this awful disease.  Learning, understanding and a willingness to get educated is important when it comes to caring for someone with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.  How would you have handled the situation?

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