Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dementia and dealing with 4th of July

The 4th is soon to be upon us. All the festivities are no doubt planned. Keep in mind, what your loved one liked, may not be what they like now. 
Little kids running around the house. All the commotion just a cookout creates. The noise can set them off way before the fireworks.
Try to do things like you always do. If you are having family over, it might be well served to eat with Dad or Mom in the house where they always eat for example. 
Having them sit outside seems innocent enough, but just by doing that it can take them out of their comfort zone. I am not saying this will, I am saying it could. 
Any more than three people to me is a crowd. I can deal with it outside up to a point. But even then, it sometimes is just too much.
It causes stress. It shouldn't, but it does. Just the littlest thing out of ones routine can cause stress for the patient. 
Eating off a paper plate for example. No one would think a thing about fixing their meal and giving it to them on a paper plate and holder on the 4th of July, but that alone may cause them not to even eat what you know is on their plate and love.
Same goes for silverware. All to many times in nursing homes there is a change in silverwares for an occasion. It doesn't work for dementia patients, but many facilities don't bother to think about this. 
Most don't have the staff or the time to see that your loved one is using their usual utensils. But it is a big deal to patients.
We have two kinds of forks. Why? I haven't a clue. Must have been a sale somewhere along the line and we bought more silverware.
I have to use what I use everyday. Phyllis June knows I can't eat with the others, and it's not a problem, not near the problem it would be if I had to use the other kind of forks.
Have fun this holiday. But be mindful of your loved one. Even if you are visiting them at a facility, if more people than usual decide to go to see Grandpa, that too can cause them confusion and stress.
Try to keep everything as it always is. It's hard, I know, but the stress you are saving for your loved one always trickles down to the caregiver.
If I am having a bad day, It tends to show. No matter why, no matter when. You can't hide bad days. No sense in taking a chance on creating one...