Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten Top Caregiving Mistakes

  1. Thinking you can do this on your own. You need a support group or system for YOU, the caregiver.
  2. Thinking your loved one fits a pattern of another person with Alzheimer's. Everyone is different and diagnosis is tentative. My husband has Mixed Dementia, for example, and I am so fortunate at how pleasant he is.
  3. Thinking you can argue with a person who has Alzheimer's. It won't work. He will obsess about an issue that is on his mind. She will want to do things from her long-term memory that maybe she can't any more--just let her try.
  4. Not establishing a schedule or routine for your loved one. This morning my husband wanted me to print out that schedule, even though we are essentially staying home.
  5. Not being proactive and not thinking down the road. Simplify life, have your will completed. How can you make the house safe? How can you keep items where they belong so that your loved one knows where to find it?
  6. Withdrawing from your loved one emotionally. They have changed, but that doesn't mean they don't have emotions. They lose memory, but not fondness for your love. And you need their love also!
  7. Stop living your life! No! Go to Disney if they can handle it at their stage. Take them along on errands as long as they can do this with you.
  8. Being embarrassed by your loved one. Wink at someone when you know they are hearing a story for a second or third time.
  9. Doing too much for them. There is a lot they still can do to help. My husband folds laundry I put on the pool table. He also fills up bottles of diet Lipton green tea and water. (We reuse our bottles.) He mows the lawn on a riding lawn mower and sometimes weeds.
  10. Throwing your hands up in despair.  Life doesn't owe you no problems. God is there for you.


  1. Each person, each situation, each day ....are so different when dealing with dementia. The ONLY way I survive is by taking one hour at a time.
    What works for one person, doesn't work for another......and even at that... what works one day, may not work the next....
    The caregiving mistakes mentioned here are excellent ones to avoid, however.... I stumble from time to time.

  2. This was a great list of helpful suggestions that I plan on sharing with a family member.

  3. Any idea if "mixed dementia" is different from "ideopathic dementia"? I have some Picks and some Lewy Body symptoms. Since I don't completely fit the pattern for either, my neurologist said my dementia is ideopathic (of unknown origin).

    Am wondering if this is just the difference between neurologists (what one calls mixed another calls ideopathic) or is there a specific criteria for mixed dementia?


  4. Last year Johnny Bryd Alzhiemer's Institute in Tampa diagnoised my husband as having "Mixed Dementia." They said about half Vascular Dementia and half Alzheimer's. They didn't understand why he was even dressing himself!!! But you know, Stumblinn, every person is different. Both you and my husband are doing well and not fitting the mold. I love your blog about your handicap. My husband would never write a blog and has no idea I have this blog.