Linda Farrar is a certified dementia capable care trainer. She is a registered nurse and a licensed nursing home administrator in Kansas. Linda earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Iowa. She began her career in long-term care at a retirement center in Wichita–first as a unit supervisor, then as director of nursing. Later, she obtained her administrator’s license. Since retirement, she has continued to provide nursing and administrative consulting services.
Here is her first blog post.
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
President Ronald Reagan declared the month of November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known and common type of dementia, there are more than 200 different types. People living with dementia live in a state of crisis every day of their lives. They are lost. They often cannot tell you their name. They don't know where they are. They don't know the people around them. They don't recognize their surroundings. They are often in a state of terror.
In emergency situations, people with dementia
- are prone to hide or wander
- are easily agitated
- may forget directions
- are especially sensitive to trauma
So how do we help them through an emergency?
- We always approach in a calm manner.
- Approach from the front at eye level and use their name.
- Try to get within 14-16 inches of their face so you have their full focus.
- Use calm, positive statements and a patient, low-pitched voice.
- Avoid elaborate or detailed explanations. Follow brief explanations with reassurance.
- Don't try to orient them to your reality. Remember, their perception is their reality.
- Don’t argue with or try to correct them. Instead, support their experience, reassure and try to divert attention.
- Talk and walk at the same time. Start moving and directing their movements while talking calmly to them and offering them a voice they can trust.
- Do not leave the person alone, find someone who can stay with them to offer reassurance.
And thank you for your service...you are all heroes!
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