If you care for a parent with Alzheimer’s and haven’t come across the book Contented Dementia, it’s a worthwhile read. The book focuses on the SPECAL method for communicating with people with dementia. Family caregivers will find this method can make a huge difference in communication.
What Does SPECAL Stand For?
SPECAL is a trademark method that stands for Specialized Early Care for Alzheimer’s. It’s a customized plan that teaches you how to communicate with your parent when memory lapses occur and agitation increases. Instead of trying to convince your parent that the Alzheimer’s is affecting them, you realize the disease is a disability and work with the current abilities. You hone in on and work withthe positives.
The basis to the SPECAL Method is to take the memories that are remembered and link them to the present. For example, if your mom gets agitated on holidays, find happy memories from the past. Incorporate those happy memories into the daily activities and make sure others are aware by giving them a role to fill.
The SPECAL Method’s Three Golden Rules
Another part of the SPECAL Method are the “Three Golden Rules.” They are:
1.Never ask direct questions.
2.Take cues from the person with Alzheimer’s
3.Do not try to argue a point or contradict the person’s statements or beliefs.
This can seem hard if the person with Alzheimer’s is having delusions. If your dad comes up to you and says his neighbor stole his lawn mower, you can’t tell him he’s wrong. You need to change the subject in a way that doesn’t deny what he feels to be true.
You could respond to your dad with, “I know you take a lot of pride in landscaping and yard care. We’ll make sure everything is taken care of and your lawn is cared for.” With this statement, you’re confirming his concern without agreeing with his delusion.
Make Sure You Practice Self-Care
Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s is a challenge. It can be lonely, frustrating, and terrifying. Make sure you take care of yourself while you’re a family caregiver. To do this, you should look into respite care.
Part of self-care is to take breaks and have “me time.” You need someone to stay with your parent in your absence. Elderly care services do that. Your mom or dad receives help from a trained professional, and you can take a break without having to worry about leaving your parent alone. Call an elderly care specialist to discuss respite care.
If you are considering Elderly Care in Clay, NY, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Serving Seniors, Inc. We specialize in offering services to the Senior Community in Syracuse and the surrounding area (Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Central Square, and others). Call us today! 315-382-4300
Most seniors can live independent lives for quite some time with just minor assistance. Family and friends cannot always be there to help with daily tasks, but Serving Seniors can help fill the need for transportation, errands, housekeeping, and more. Just a few hours a week can enhance your senior’s independence, happiness and overall quality of life.
Joan assists concerned families seeking a trained caregiver who will treat their loved ones with dignity, respect and compassion. Serving Seniors provides the highest level in-home non-medical care and companionship. Families and seniors can be assured of friendly, personalized service from dedicated, compassionate caregivers.