Until I took a seminar offered by Addus HomeCare, I was out of the loop. I thought that Alzheimers Disease was one step worse than Dementia, but I learned from Pam Sebern, Executive Director of Arden Courts, that Dementia is caused by Alzeimers!!!! This really threw me off my game!
The challenging behaviors that many caregivers have to deal with, like:
- A client’s wandering or pacing
- Anxiety or Agitation
- Their catastrophic reactions to situations
- The scary aggression they may display
- Repeated movements
- The layering or stripping off of their clothes
- Hallucinations (depending on what type of Dementia your client is diagnosed with)
- Withdrawal and/or Apathy
- Sleep disturbances
- Sexual Behavior
All of these are things you may have to deal with, so beware before you take on this position as the condition never really gets better, only worse with time. But if you don’t take care of the clients and show them that With Age Comes Respect, certain institutions and hospitals that take them in will deal with them by restraining them and/or sedating them. Is this what you really want?
Now that you know a bit more, you should make up your mind up front as opposed to getting in over your head. You want to protect yourself because if you do not feel secure, neither will the client and this could affect their behavior as they feed off from yours. Make a decision and stick with it if you are truly dedicated to these people that truly need you! Elderly caregiving is not for everyone.