Hey Folks, Carl here again. I keep fergetting where I leave my danged glasses so I may have a touch of what a lot of folks my age are struggling with, that “OldTimers” disease, but it ain’t funny, it’s down right serious.
About 15 million people care for a loved one with Alzheimer's in the United States. Knowing what to expect and preparing for the challenges, can help people with Alzheimer's live better with the disease and also stay in their homes longer.
As the disease progresses, the communication skills of a person with dementia will gradually decline. Eventually, he or she will have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions. Ultimately, the person will be unable to understand what is being communicated and lose the ability for verbal expression. The challenges associated with communication can lead to frustration.
It can be helpful for you to understand what changes may occur over time so you can prepare and make adjustments. Anticipating these changes and knowing how to respond can help everyone communicate more effectively Changes in the ability to communicate can vary and are based on the person and where he or she is in the disease process. Problems you can expect to see at various stages of the disease include:
› Difficulty finding the right words.
› Using familiar words repeatedly.
› Describing familiar objects rather than calling them by name.
› Easily losing train of thought. › Difficulty organizing words logically.
› Reverting to speaking a native language.
› Speaking less often. › Relying on gestures more than speaking.
In the early stage of Alzheimer’s, an individual is still able to participate in give-and-take dialogue, have meaningful conversations and engage in social activities. However, he or she may repeat stories, have difficulty finding the right word or feel overwhelmed by excessive stimulation. Tips for successful communication: › Don’t make assumptions about a person’s ability to communicate because of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
The disease affects each person differently.
› Don’t exclude the person from conversations with family and friends
.› Speak directly to the person if you want to know how he or she is doing.
› Take time to listen to how the person is feeling, what he or she is thinking and what he or she needs
.› Give the person time to respond. Don’t interrupt or finish sentences.
Now they is loads of folks out there willing to help you with someone who might be getting a bit absent minded in their old age. One good place is www.alz.org or www.alzheimers.gov. Don’t be afraid to ask.
But in the meantime, you can try some of these tips that I recommend.
Eating out – think of all the ingredients needed to prepare the meal and how to prepare that particular meal. That’s a brain teaser trying to figure out how they shuck them baby corn.
Have a seat in the backyard and try to identify the plants and try to remember things from years gone by in reference to the landscaping like what was the name of that dog that used to poop in them flowers.
Learn to eat with chopsticks and figure out how you are going to get all them food stains out of your shirt.
Open doors with the non-dominant hand and try to remember where the band-aids are for that knot on your forehead.
Brush your teeth and hair with non-dominant hand and don’t pay no attention to your wife when she wants to know why you got toothpaste in your hair, but it looks purty and brushed.
Birdfeeders – learn to identify birds and try to figure a way to keep the dang squirrels from eating all your feed. That’s a real brainteaser.
Find a new hobby – building bird houses, container planting, bingo, singing, reading, flower arrangements.
Learn to use a computer. And when you learn, you can teach me.
Now these are all things you can do to keep you own dang brain sharp or do it for someone you love who might be getting a touch of the “forgettin’s” And go visit those sites I told you about or call them folks at Comfort Care. Most of them got toothpaste in their hair but they are purty good fellers who can help you a lot.
Now, let’s get a giggle.
Three old guys like me, each with hearing loss, were playing golf one beautiful day. One remarked, "Windy isn't it?" "No," the second oldster replied, "it's Thursday." That’s when the 3rd chimed in, "So am I. Let's get a beer."
"Ya’ll take care and keep it in the road. It’s best not to complain too much about all of the aches and pains of getting old cause the alternative stinks.
Til next time, this here’s Carl saying, Uhhh…heck I forget.