The book Living in the Moment: A Guide to Overcoming Challenges and Finding Moments of Joy in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias by Elizabeth Landsverk, M.D. with Heather Millar.
It offers ways to STILL have JOY when caring for a loved one.
Here are some tips:
Alzheimer's patients want their "voice" heard and have changing needs
Alzheimer's patients have changing needs. They cannot explain that their tea is cold, or if they cannot participate in activities. Caregivers may need to understand how the disease takes away skills and do a little detective work to figure out things. Your family member is not purposely being difficult. They do not know that their brain is not working the right way.
Eat a diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and EXERCISE for 30 minutes a day!
Touch and Music Spark JOY
Even nonverbal Alzheimer's patients enjoy music because the part of the brain that likes music is different from the part of the brain that works with words and talking.
Find NEW JOY
Landsverk suggests that caregivers try to figure out simple activities that your loved one can still enjoy. It is the JOY of connecting.
Here are suggestions:
singing, going for a walk, watching children at the park (grandma LOVED doing that one!), holding hands, SOLVING PUZZLES (you know how I feel about that one!).
Grandma was born in Canada so she LOVED the Queen of England. I made sure to have plenty of books, magazines and pictures of the Queen for her!
We need to know that Alzheimer's patients need to do activities too, just like we do!
Living In "the NOW"
Getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is scary. But you can still live a life with JOY. You can still have love. For example, a father who was at the office all of the time working can have more time with his family.
Here is a link to an article about the book from AARP click here
To pre-order the book click here