Step #6 showed us how we can creatively take money out of the equation so that it doesn’t become a roadblock to initiating care for someone with dementia. Our next step is all about prioritizing issues that need to be addressed with the person who has dementia and tackling just one problem at a time.
Step #7: Tackle One Problem at a Time
Your client or loved one with dementia will have a number of issues that need to be addressed when care is initiated. Problems will have arisen, and things will have been neglected, but every issue cannot be solved overnight. The problems need to be prioritized and solved one at a time. The highest priority is for the caregiver to establish rapport and develop a relationship with the client — without a bond, we’ll have less success managing other aspects of the person’s overall care.
The caregiver needs to be seen as a friend and ally, not the nagging enforcer. If the caregiver pushes to solve too many problems too early, it can sabotage the long-term relationship. With one of our clients, we uncovered a host of problems that needed to be addressed, but the most important was finding the right caregiver for him so that they could establish rapport. From there, we were able to work with his doctor to get his medications under control. Then, we tackled his diabetes by replacing high sugar drinks with healthier options. Gradually, we were able to address each area of our client’s life that needed help. We intercepted lottery scam letters, started a regular exercise program, and established a more frequent shower schedule.
This process takes time, so don’t feel discouraged if things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d hoped. Our next and final blog post in this series will address one of the foundations of best practice dementia care: providing activity-based, person-centered care.
This blog post is Part 7 of an 8-part series on how to
overcome refusal of care with someone who has dementia.