Alzheimer`s Disease/dementia

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Question
Hello Cindy will just wanted to let you know The lady i  take care of her  physical health is doing better She being drinking her fluids  But i  see her mental health decline forgetting more Or saying i  don't remember or i  don't know My question is she still able to dress her self and she put her make up on Is that the early stages of dementia She  very independent and know you want them to keep having a social life and she does She starting to argue with me And i  know they don't understand  But she in denal that they is anything wrong with her  But she still dress herself I know there are stages Thank you You have been very helpful  i appreciate it  Carolyn

Answer
Hello again Carolyn:  I'm glad you are finding this site helpful for you and that I've been able to answer some of your questions.  
It is normal for her mental health or cognitive health to be declining if she has some type of dementia.  There is no way to determine how quickly it will progress.  Your life and her life will be much happier if you can allow her to do whatever she still can by herself and praise her for every effort.  Even if she dresses wrong, or puts her makeup on incorrectly, try not to tell her she's wrong. When you need to step in to help her, do so with a smile and never say "No, that's not right," because I'm sure you're aware that she never thinks she's wrong.  Rather, say things like "How about if we try it this way?"  "Do you think this might work?"  "We all need just a little bit of help sometimes."  Try to not argue with her about anything unless it's a big safety issue such as her wanting to drive or walk outside in the bad weather.  Try delaying tactics such as "Oh, that's a good idea, let's do that right after I've finished with the dishes."  Then, maybe she will have forgotten what it was she wanted to do.  Don't try to tell her there is anything wrong with her, because she won't believe you.  She probably thinks the problem is with YOU!  That's okay, you can always take the blame for everything, and apologize, and then move on.  For example, if she thinks you've deliberately hidden her pocketbook.  Don't try to explain it to her, just say something like "Oh, I would never do that, but I may have put it away somewhere so I will help you look for it right now.  I'm very sorry, I promise I won't move it again."  
I'm sure this lovely lady can be quite a handful for you Carolyn, and I'm thankful she has a caregiver who really cares about her safety and happiness.  Keep up the good work Carolyn.  Cindy

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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