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Alzheimer’s Behavior: Patient’s or Caregiver’s Problem?

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“One big reason these behaviors are ‘unwanted’ is because they disrupt your life,” points out Ms. Rubinstein, author of the new book, Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia’s: The Caregiver’s Complete Survival Guide. “Sure, many behaviors are unhealthy and dangerous for you and your loved one. Other times, though, it’s not the actual behavior that’s causing so much trouble—it’s our reaction to that behavior, based on the mindset we’ve locked ourselves into.”

She says we believe that the way we think things should be is the only way (or at least the only right way). Thus, we limit our own options when it comes to dealing with the patient. What’s more, we don’t want our relationship with the person to change—and these behaviors are 24/7 evidence that it has changed…dramatically and forever.

Ms. Rubinstein speaks from firsthand knowledge. In addition to her 26 years as a licensed clinical social worker and geriatric care manager, she also served as a primary caregiver for 16 years after her own mother was diagnosed with dementia.

“Sometimes, the new normal is more a problem for you than for your parent. For instance, you—not your loved one—are the person who tends to get upset when the same question is asked over and over again. I’m not saying it’s easy, but the best thing to do is get into the patient’s world and provide the answer over and over again.”

Ms. Rubinstein shared with some common behaviors that baffle and frustrate caregivers—and gave practical advice on how to handle them – while keeping your sanity.

Read more:
When a Senior Can’t Remember the Story, Let Them Make It Up
A Kids-Eye View of Alzheimer’s
“My Mom Has Dementia and Is Telling Lies About Me”

Is Alzheimer’s Behavior the Patient’s Problem…or the Caregiver’s? originally appeared on Visit for more information on Alzheimer’s and Dementia.


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12:05AM PDT on Jul 11, 2015

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7:48AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

What a silly question. Obviously, everybody is hurt by Alzheimer's. Do you think people enjoy being paranoid or forgetting things?

Care2, please broaden your text block so articles can be read on no more than 2 pages. You have reached the tipping point- people are so tired of forced exposure to multiple pages of ads that they are just not going to bother reading the 2nd page.

8:34PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

So what *do* you say when you or someone else working with your mother is accused of stealing, or harming her, etc.? I was really hoping this article would offer some help on that one but it didn't.

1:46PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

such a sad illness:(

12:49PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

I cared for a number of people who are in the beginning stages of Alzheimers ...its sad to see it happening. Your article is very insightful...thanks for posting.

8:32AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Comments were a great addition to a good post. Thank you all.

6:08AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Alzhimer's is actually a form of dementia.I work in the health care field,and this has included working with people affected by this.What is happening is they are losing portions of their brain.It's gone,that is why they don't remember.The behaviors are understandable-How would you feel if you found yourself somewhere with who you thought were strangers,and they were telling you to do things that seemed illogical to you?It is important to educate yourself as to how to understand and care for them.It is not easy.

5:35AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

4:53AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

New Report Says over 10 Million Americans Will soon Develop Alzheimer’s disease

Every 22 seconds in the world and every 71 seconds in this country, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and a startling new report out today from the Alzheimer’s Association predicts that one out of every eight baby boomers — or over 10 million Americans — is expected to develop the disease sometime in the near future.

4:51AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Don’t be on your ownsome

Try to make as many new friends as possible now. It gets harder as you get older.
Stay in touch or get back in touch with relatives.
If you have a choice, choose to live close to friends and family.
Stay physically active, especially in group exercise programmes.
Participate in community and club events.
Volunteer your services at schools, libraries, and churches.
Learn or develop computer skills to stay in touch with others your age.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.


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