Monday, September 5, 2011

How to celebrate Grandparents day with those who have dementia

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be



Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Over 5.4 million Americans have dementia. Most of them are grandparents. Folks with dementia love children, especially babies. Take advantage of Grandparent’s day to allow these two groups of people to connect. Kids make most people smile especially those with dementia

Even though Grandparent’s day is Sept 11, extend it to Grandparent’s week if you are dealing with someone who has dementia. If too many grand kids visit at once, the excitement and confusion might be too much for a dementia person. Have the grandchildren visit one or two at a time. That way quality time is exchanged and the level of confusion is kept at a minimum.

Keep visits short. Discuss dementia with the children before the visit. There are many good books to assist you in helping a child to understand dementia. One such book is The Magic Tape Recorder by Joyce Simard. This is a thoughtful and well written book that explains the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to children in a light and entertaining way. If the youngsters are familiar with the disease, the time spent together will be more meaningful for all.

What should you do during the visit?
There are many activities that both the dementia person and children enjoy.
*Look at family pictures and recall the stories that go with them. Of course, you would have told the child that he may hear the same story several times. If you do not have old family photos or have not organized them yet, use this book, Adorable Photographs of Our Baby-Meaningful, Mind Stimulating Activities and More for the Memory Challenged, their Loved Ones and Involved Professionals, by Susan Berg. It not only has cute conversation stimulating baby pictures, but activity ideas related to the photos are suggested.
*Sing familiar songs together. Patriotic songs are ideal because most people, young and old, know them. Some good songs are: America, America the Beautiful, and God Bless America
*Watch a portion of a classic musical movie. Do not try to watch too long because the dementia person or child may lose interest. Movie suggestions are: any Shirley Temple movie, Judy Garland movies including, The Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music.
*Have a snack or meal together. Everyone loves ice cream.
*Make an old family favorite recipe together. Then eat it
*Go for a ride. Because gasoline prices are high and attention spans are short, a short trip is best.

So this Grandparents day, September 11, include a loved one with dementia and a grandchild in a lovely experience for both.

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