Chapter 1: Problem Solving Strategies for Caregivers
Caring for a person with Dementia often a series of grief experiences as you watch memories disappear and skills erode. Initially, this process can go unnoticed until difficulties impact more areas of daily life and the condition can no longer be denied. For both caretakers and their loved ones, this often produces an emotional wall of confusion, anger and sadness.
Frustration is a normal and valid emotional response to many of the difficulties of being a caregiver. When you are frustrated, it is important to distinguish between what is and what is not within your power to change. Frustration often arises out of trying to change an uncontrollable circumstance. As a caregiver of someone with dementia, you face many uncontrollable situations. Normal daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating, may become sources of deep frustration for you. Behaviors often associated with dementia, like wandering or asking questions repeatedly, can be frustrating for caregivers but are uncontrollable behaviors for people with dementia. Unfortunately, you cannot simply change the behavior of a person suffering from dementia.
Learning to recognize, respond, modify, and communicate effectively will help to minimize the anxiety and lend to a more productive and pleasant plan of care.