Overcoming Challenges

Dealing With the Obstacles of Being a Caregiver

If your loved one's sense of time is distorted:

  • Sometimes the best response is to simply accept that your loved one believes they are living in the past.
  • If your loved one appears to be in another time and place:
    • Avoid attempting to bring them to your reality—the facts won’t change their perception.
    • Acknowledge them and introduce yourself.
    • Ask if you can spend time together.

If your loved one is angry:

  • When approaching someone who appears angry or aggressive, stay at least five feet away.
  • Be careful about approaching face to face or making direct eye contact-this can be misconstrued as threatening and may cause them to lash out.
  • Establish trust before moving closer to your loved one, in order to help prevent injury.
  • Avoid appearing controlling. Give them time, excuse yourself and approach again later.

If you are unsure how to greet your loved one:

  • Always smile, and approach from the front to prevent startling them.
  • Evaluate their body language before reaching out to make physical contact.
  • If they recognize you by sight, use your usual greeting for them.
  • If they don't recognize you, call their name and introduce yourself by name. Don't add a lot of details about your relationship, as this might be overwhelming.

If they fail to recognize you:

  • Don't force the issue or repeat your name over and over-this will only create frustration and confusion
  • Remain calm, try to make eye contact and discuss something you know they like or find comforting.

Sunrise Stories: Hilda's Reminiscence Care

Sunrise has several decades of expertise in easing the transition to our communities and making residents feel happy and secure in their new home. Watch Hilda’s Sunrise Story about her and her daughters’ experience transitioning Hilda to a Sunrise Reminiscence Neighborhood.

Deciding To Move

Keep in mind that the decision to move to a memory care community—as well as the move itself—involves stressful transitions for both seniors and caregivers.

  • Stay positive and honest. Lying about the reasons for the move or pretending the stay is temporary will cause your loved one to lose trust in you.
  • Keep your communication simple. Give only as much detail as your loved one can comprehend. Too much information can be confusing and upsetting for someone with memory loss.
  • Involve your loved one where possible. Visit the chosen community together prior to the move so you can observe how they interact and respond to the setting.

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