Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Staying Afloat Book Quotes

Sally and I share books to read. She loaned me this easy to read book which contains so many helpful tips.

Gary Leblanc in Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness: Common Sense Caregiving, Expanded Edition, 2011
It is diffucult to recap the whole book, but here ten of my favorite quotes or strategies, often echoed by other authors on caregiving. Tried and true methods.
  1. " I've always believed Alzheimer's patients feed off their caregiver's emotions. The smoother the household runs, the easier it will be to keep up a positive, calm demeanor. Even so, there'll always be moments when everything feels like it's falling apart." (p. 158) Usually that is sundown time as I wrote in the previous post.
  2. "It's easier for patients to refuse than to allow themselves to look foolish. Get into the habit of redirecting your patient's thoughts, preferably to more blithesome ones." (p. 161) Often 30 minutes later there is a different answer.         
  3. "One positive aspect of having no short-term memory is that a couple of minutes down the road, they won't even remember being upset." (p. 161) Yep! Corollary to the above.
  4. "There will be times when it doesn't matter what you say or do. Never force an issue to the point of argument, just let the dust die down and try again later." (p. 168) Go with an obsession when it is safe to do even if it is inconvenient. They say never argue with an Alzheimer's patient. At times you can divert their attention and give them ice cream or anything that works.
  5. "One treatment that I've discovered that takes the edge off the anxiety of Alzheimer's patients is a loveable pet." (p. 256) We have an adoreable Maltese that we both enjoy.
  6. "If they're speaking and not making any sense, just go with the flow. Gradually, try changing the subject if it's too bothersome for you. You're doing the right thing by being there. People are nurtured through human contact, even if they don't always show it. Every minute you're there is worshiped. Recently, someone shared a story with me of a man who goes to his wife's nursing home and has breafast with her every day. She hasn't recognized him in the past five years, but what's important to him is that he knows who she is. Tough love isn't about surviving the storm, it's about learning to dance in the rain." (p. 272) Dolores has this last quote on her blog. Her hubby no longer recognizes her.
  7. "I believe that one of the most important elements in longevity is the quality of care loved ones receive while suffering from this disease. Once again, this is where a routine lifestyle becomes so essential." (p. 282) Still working on the routine of putting in false teeth the first thing in the morning. Other routines are established, including a clipboard of what's happening.
  8. Their best time is from 10 AM to 3 PM. Oh yes. When I am gone I call to just tell my husband hi and sometimes to remind him about lunch.
  9. When sleep patterns change, then wandering can happen according to LeBlanc. Have started to give DH 3 mg of Melaton because one night he got up to watch TV. Lately he is sleeping well with those 3 mg. Will go to 6 mg if needed.
  10. The best tip is the characteristics of a successful Alzheimer's caregiver from pages 11-14. With prayer and meditation on Scripture I aspire to these five characteristics.
a. Commitment is defined as "faithful dedication to the cause of the patient until his or her final breath."
b. Compassion LeBlanc defines as "concern toward the suffering and understanding the feelings of the patient and the family members".  
c. Endurance he says is "withstanding painful long years of misery in defense of the victim and caregiver of this dreadful disease."
d. Unselfishness means "generosity of putting your life on hold, including social isolation and financial burdens."
e. Honesty is "loyalty toward and the protection of the afflicted one's assets and best interest." 

Lord, thank You for your daily mercies. 
Help me to be the best caregiver I can be. In Jesus' name, Amen.   


  1. Love this list...may steal it for my blog, as well as the 12 tips on the right. Hope that's ok with you.

  2. Sure you can quote the book and the link. Thanks also for your helpful comment on flying. Hugs, Carol

  3. Thanks Carol for your sweet words to me.....I'm not doing a very good job right now of reading blogs and writing..... too much on my mind.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers though.

  4. Dolores, I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers also. We need this community of caregivers very much and continue to learn from and support each other. I can't imagine all that's on your mind these days. Sally sees the wisdom of a routine and is working on it now with Jake she said when she called this morning. Hubby said this morning he wished he would remember to put his false teeth in each morning. Hoping to reinforce this. I don't think I would ever be good at putting in his false teeth.