Caregiving strategies for daily life sl preso_8-30-10


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Discussion of strategies for meeting challenges of daily life with a person who has Alzheimer's disease. Presented in Second Life at the Garden of Healthy Aging, Thomas Jefferson University,

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Caregiving strategies for daily life sl preso_8-30-10

  1. 1. Caregiving Strategies for Daily Life with a Person with Alzheimer’s or Dementia Susan Toth-Cohen, PhD, OTR/L Second Life: Zsuzsa Tomsen The Garden of Healthy Aging in Second Life August 30, 2010
  2. 2. Aims <ul><li>Share strategies from the 36-hour day* ( Mace & Rabins, 2006) and professional experience with the Philadelphia REACH project** on managing daily life with a person who has Alzheimer’s or dementia </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a forum for discussion by caregivers about strategies that have been helpful as they care for a person who has Alzheimer’s or dementia </li></ul>Acknowledgements * now in its 4 th edition ** some strategies discussed in this presentation were generated from REACH, funded by the National Institute on Aging, RO1-AG-10947, for which Dr. Laura Gitlin was principal investigator and Dr. Mary Corcoran was co-investigator. The opinions expressed in this presentation reflect those of the author. The author thanks the many caregivers who generously shared their insights and strategies, in an effort to help others. for more about the Philadelphia REACH intervention, go to:
  3. 3. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia <ul><li>May require changing the home environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes to home itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes to social context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes to tasks/activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May require new skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating with person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking at things a different way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helping the person participate in life </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Changing the home environment <ul><li>Changes to the home, such as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Removing hazards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signs on doors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes to social context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who interacts/how do they interact with the person with Alzheimer’s </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes to tasks/activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreasing clutter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplifying activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changing timeframe of activities </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Looking at things in a different way <ul><li>Realize some of the person’s behaviors may be caused by the disease (or associated with the aging process) and are not intentional </li></ul><ul><li>Think about possible effects of your behavior, movements, and emotion on the person </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the good things you are doing </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to accept help </li></ul><ul><li>Become more aware of resources </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some Communication Tips <ul><li>Look for cues about what the person is feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that some communication that might be distressing to you is a result of brain changes and not intentional </li></ul><ul><li>Use short words and sentences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask one question at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use gestures or physical guidance to help person understand </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t argue (for example, if person thinks today is Thursday and it’s Monday, what difference does it make?” </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor tone of voice </li></ul>
  7. 7. Helping the Person Participate in Life <ul><li>Even persons with severe Alzheimer’s or dementia may be able to participate in activities they find enjoyable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repetitive activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities that are a small part of a previous role or interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities you and the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can do together </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. More Info and Resources <ul><li>Extensive list of caregiver education materials: </li></ul><ul><li> (numerous helpful resources, including organizations for Alzheimer’s and for caregiving) </li></ul><ul><li> (specifics about Philadelphia REACH) </li></ul><ul><li>The 36 hour day, Mace & Rabins, 1999, 2006, available at bookstores including (used copies available) or at your local library. </li></ul>Second Life: Alzheimer care giver support group Meetings here in the Garden of Healthy Aging 1-2 times monthly Topic ideas? What would be helpful?
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