After my years of experience with dad and his Alzheimer’s disease, I would have to say the that the no#1 thing that has helped us though has to been to be able to read his body language. When a person has dementia they often do not have the ability to tell you when they are in pain or may not have the ability to even string words together in a sentence.
I can actually talk for hours with dad with him speaking “dementianese” (Ijust made that up :)) and me just reading his body language and facial cues. I have no idea what he is actually saying to me but we can converse by body language which is extremely powerful. I will answer him with ‘general answers’ and plenty of facial acknowledgement.
We can laugh together, chat together and we can even feel his pain together by simply watching his movements and face. If dad touches anywhere near his belt..it is toilet time. If he pulls at his buttons he his frustrated or bored, if he stabs a fork into an armchair…he is definitely not happy! (he did this only a few days ago).
By reading the cues you can avoid agitation before it happens and often prevent situations occurring. My question of the day is:
“how do you safely remove a potential weapon eg cutlery, from a person with dementia without hurting them and reducing the risk to myself or others? Any suggestions?…….I may even ask the police or our trainers to see the best methods, as this is really important, and can occur without notice or provocation.