Each person with the Alzheimer’s disease is unique.
The way the disease progresses, the nature of their symptoms, the areas of strength and deficit, are all completely different at each stage of the disease and for each person. There are many resources out there that identify the stages of Alzheimer’s. Many of them note that your loved one can go from one stage of the disease to another and back. Frequent changes in your loved one’s behavior and abilities can occur daily and there are many factors that can make symptoms alternately worse and sometimes better.
Biography Based Care® is a failure-free philosophy of Alzheimer’s and Dementia care that is rooted in the idea that care is much more successfully provided when allowances are made that enable caregivers to completely tailor their support to the person they are caring for based upon the life experiences, favorites and familiars of their loved one.
For years, some of the better care communities, professional practitioners and effective family caregivers have been using parts of a person’s life history to make care tasks easier for you and a lot less stressful for your loved one.
At every stage in the disease process, knowing and incorporating as much of their life story as possible is the foundation for successfully creating the best possible day for your loved one.
Using the Biography Based Care® method you’ll read about here can increase cooperation on the part of your loved one as you provide answers to the questions they may be struggling with, such as: “Why would I want to do this ‘thing’ that you’re asking of me?” or “What’s in it for me?” or “How is this anything like how I used to spend my day?”
The Biography Based Care® approach offers practical strategies to help you:
- Capitalize on your loved one’s current abilities and preferences.
- Give context to daily tasks that relate back to the people, places and times in your loved one’s life that are most familiar right now.
- Provide care in a way that can decrease agitation and promote a sense of well-being and fulfillment for both of you.
For example, a common challenge many caregivers share is getting their loved one bathed. Persons with Alzheimer’s/dementia may be uncomfortable with bathing for a variety of reasons including feeling vulnerable or embarrassed while undressed, confusion about why they needed to get undressed in the first place, fear of falling or even something as simple as not wanting to feel too cold or hot while wet.
When Caring Takes Courage: A Compassionate, Interactive Guide for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers
Mara’s passion and life’s work has been to learn the best practices which capable caregivers (both professional and family member) use to find success, joy and hope in the face of this devastating disease and find a way to share that information with those who deal with dementia on a day-to-day basis. She is the 2015 Jefferson Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service, and the 2015 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service on Behalf of and Throughout the United States. She continues to be an active speaker and advocate for those impacted by dementia worldwide. Learn more about her work at: www.whencaringtakescourage.com.
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