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Alzheimer`s Disease/My grandma with Alzheimer's

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Question
Hello my grandma has been living with me and my kids for 6months. My mother can not care for her because she is fighting cancer.  My question is: Is having consistency for my grandma good?  My mother keeps suggesting to move around my grandma from home to home. I do not think this is good for my grandma. I have a 10 year old child that was diagnose with autism 7 years ago and they mention consistency and a daily known routine is best for the child.  So my thought is consistency and regular routine is also best for my grandma. I just dislike my conversation with my mother cause she is still trying to make decisions when she should be caring for herself and fight her cancer. What should I do?

Answer
Hello Diana:  Goodness!  It sounds as if you have a lot on your plate right now!  You are absolutely correct--consistency and routine are important in helping an elder with any type of dementia stay calm and happy.  Any time they are confused about where they are and when are they "going home," they are more discontented and more difficult to care for.  If it helps, you can tell your mother that you consulted with a dementia expert and was told that it's much easier on the elder if they stay in one place as long as possible.  Often, it's imperative an elder move, but just to move her for the sake of "taking turns" is not in her best interests.  It makes sense to me that your mother is trying to "control" some things she still can control since her own health is precarious right now.  Recognize that she needs to still feel as if she is contributing to her mother's care--as I'm sure she would be doing if she were able.  If there is any way you can "share" some caregiving time with your mom, that would benefit all of you.  An example might be if you drop her off for an afternoon or a couple of hours while you do some shopping, or ask your mom to spend a night or weekend with you and take some time off while she's there so she is contributing to her mom's care.  I wish you much luck Diana as you move forward with your family in these very trying times.  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner

Expertise

As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.

Experience

I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Organizations
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Publications
Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Education/Credentials
Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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