Labeling someone with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) when it is incorrect can be devastating for the person and her loved ones. However, ignoring the signs and not becoming proactive can speed up the process of disintegration. Nataly Rubinstein cared for her mother through sixteen years and is especially qualified to discuss the various stages and what the caregiver can do in each.Her book, Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: The Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide, will be useful for any chronic illness. As you read this be aware that every patient is different and may not demonstrate some of these problems - and, only you can determine what you’re capable of dealing with. The quality, duration, and intensity will vary - dependent on internal and external conditions. The more easily you can rewire your brain to meet changing situations the better your chances of survival. Without you, the patient will get worse and could die soon after you. Believe that taking care of yourself will, in the long run, help her.The patient repeating the same question, story, or explanation over and over cannot help to get on your nerves. Nataly points out that getting into the patient’s flow is comforting to her. Anna Freud made some headway working with schizophrenics by “getting into their delusions.” I’ve done this with children and others in acute episodes of confusion. In the beginning you may find it almost unbearable and your irritation will show on your face and body language. It will upset her more and you’ll pay the price. (305) 904-9506
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