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Things you learn

Tips for caring for someone with memory impairment:

Give them the pill,
tell them to put the pill in their mouth,
remind them not to chew the pill,

THEN give them the water glass.

Otherwise they drop the pill in the water glass.

It's kind of like programming...you have to specify every subroutine of the procedure, and then debug if you have unexpected results.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)

for you and for them. getting my auntie up washed and dressed was something i managed to mess up if i tried to rush it, because she wouldn't prompt me if i did things in the wrong order, i would just find out for myself why one thing comes before or after another.

good luck to you with this, it's hard work.
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
Re: programming
The first time I helped my mother dress, I got the steps out of order too.

Aug. 14th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
Yes, just like that. It is also helpful if you keep a running commentary when you are doing something for them: "I'm going to help you into the wheelchair. Can you see this wheelchair? Okay, I'm going to give you a hug, here. Can you put your arms around my shoulders, like a hug? Okay, here we go -- one, two, three -- and up, and around. Good. And down. Are you ok? Alright, now I'm going to push the wheelchair to the table...."

Some of the aides that I work with aren't trained to do this and complain that our client gets combative when they begin to change his depends or help him into the wheelchair. But, you know, if I was just sitting there, chillin' at my house, and someone jumped up and started trying to take my pants off, I'd get combative, too.
Aug. 14th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
That last sentence TOTALLY cracked me up! So true.
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Yes. Your comments are so helpful.

I get the general idea of the commentary and the subroutines, and it makes emotional sense to me, because I work with animals, and also because I've been in the hospital coming out of general anesthesia, where I really can only process a few seconds of information at a time.
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
Something I vaguely remember (can't recall from when or where), is that you also need to be prompt about telling them to take a drink after handing them the water, or they might just spit the pill out into the glass, or pour the water into a nearby potted plant (because why else would they be holding a glass of water when they aren't thirsty?).

Oh, and: Hugs!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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