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Alzheimer’s Care Is All About Family

What makes Alzheimer’s care experts so good at their job is a subtle, yet powerful shift in perspective; from seeing a person who is less than they once were, to seeing a whole person with much still to offer.

“It takes patience and compassion, but if you meet them on their level, and listen to what they are telling you, and accept them in that moment, then you will get so much more from them in return,” says Misty Isaac, Garden Place Coordinator at Carillon Assisted Living of Mooresville.

Isaac has what all great Alzheimer’s caregivers have in common; a unique ability to communicate effectively with those in her care, while keeping them safe, secure and engaged with the world around them.

Mooresville Alzheimer’s Care Expert Help Families Live in the Moment

“It can be very frustrating for family members, because they want so badly for their loved one to remember and to be like they were,” says Isaac, who has led the Mooresville Garden Place Alzheimer’s care program since the community opened in August 2013.

“We show family members how to let go of that kind of thinking, how to meet the person where they are today, which reduces anxiety and helps the person be all that they can be, today.”

Carillon has longed believed that helping families in their struggle with Alzheimer’s is a component of providing care to those living with dementia and related forms of the disease.  Showing Mooresville family members how to successfully redirect their loved one is another valuable tool shared by Isaac and her team.

“For instance, if the resident tell us, ‘I need to go home, my husband or children are waiting for me,’ we don’t correct them and remind them that their husband passed away, we simply say, ‘Oh, I’d love to hear about your husband or your children, tell me about them.’”

That’s part of the tactic Isaac calls, “redirect and reminisce.” Another successful tactic is to get the person engaged in their favorite pastime, craft or job-related skill that they performed fluently at some point in their life. Asking a man who worked as a contractor in his professional life for help with a simple mechanical task affords a sense of accomplishment and importance.

“You have to know the person they were, and then accept the person as they are now,” Issac says.

Isaac encourages families in the Mooresville area who are affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia to come in for a tour, or just to sit and talk with Garden Place caregivers to get their insight and perspective.

Carillon of Mooresville is located at 198 E. Waterlynn Road, Mooresville. The community can be reached at 704-660-8000.

Posted in Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, Resources, Sage Stories Tagged , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2014

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