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This book helps family caregivers and other care partners find new ways to engage and have meaningful connections with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. Suggestions, ideas, and case examples are presented throughout the book to help caregivers have more positive visits. The book offers information about how dementia can affect engagement, providing care partners with a simple tool called the ‘dementia abilities continuum.’ The continuum can help caregivers and care partners assess their loved one’s cognitive abilities and determine the best ways to engage in more meaningful ways. Family caregivers are encouraged to use past hobbies, interests, and passions to create ‘person-centered’ ways of engaging, which can stimulate memory and positive emotions.
Another chapter contains an extensive list of activities, categorized by theme, which can be used for engagement. Each category, such as gardening or hobbies, contains different types of activities, ideas, and items that can be used when visiting. In addition, recommendations are offered on how to adapt the activity as your loved one’s cognitive abilities decline. Of special interest, are the ‘Grab & Go Activity Boxes,’ which are a collection of items that can be created, based upon a loved one’s interests. Using the ‘Grab & Go Activity Boxes’ can be a great way to connect with a loved one with dementia. Practical tips are provided on the best ways to visit, and on how to handle challenging situations, such as when a loved one is agitated, restless, distracted or asks to go home.
Additionally, this book includes chapters on how to cope with the difficult feelings, such as guilt, anger and sadness, as well as how to be with your loved one at the end of life. Lastly, the Appendices contain helpful resources, websites and information about creative items and programs designed for people with dementia.
Positive Ways to Be Together When A Loved One Has Dementia
By Nancy L. Kriseman