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some help

Posted: 5/31/2012
Angela, OR:

i have a 94 yr old female who cries most of the time fakes cries but wont cry if im close in her eye sight but as soon as i do a chore or something else she begain to scream yell or make bizzare strange noises and as a rcm of an adult foster care home and care for 4 others im a very busy caregiver. She has been going thru at least 4 months of medications adjustments and do have a mental health eval once again on the horizon but in the mean time what are some things i can do to help her. We had gotten a private caregiver aide and this elderly lady still fusses and in fact the aide refuses to return, i lost 2 other potential new caregivers cause this dilema. She screams help me all day long no matter where she is at and when asked whats wrong, she then has a simple quetion, i walk away come back she screams help me again i eventually ignore the help me cause they are not serious just her and then she becomes voilent, pulling her hair and hitting her legs. Other residents in the home have been upset due to lack of sleep or not able to watch a tv show or eat a meal in peace. what do you suggest that could be tried to help her not have so many frequent daily outbursts of behaviors, must be terrible to always feel so scared and need 24 hr of re-ensurance from someone. Most of the time she is wanting the 1:1 attention that i wish i could provide,but cant in this kind of setting. I have 2 other hard care residents as well.


Dear A.,

I certainly commend you for going above and beyond seeking help for this situation. Your patients are very fortunate to have you.

Suggest to have the assessment date moved up for everyone’s sake as these behaviors clearly are decreasing quality of life for the others in the home which could lead to health problems. They should consider dental and podiatry issues for this woman as well. Often times these behaviors are signaling that something deeper is going on.

Research the work of Naomi Feil on the internet. Along with validation therapy, she offers a lot of training on understanding behaviors you are seeing and how best to provide care. Today, much of her insight is available on the internet and YouTube videos to help the cost factor. I trained with Naomi many years ago and I’ve found a way to apply her concepts everyday since. She embraces the meaning of understanding the individual and the care need. I am confident you and your patients will benefit tremendously.

May you be blessed. I hope this has helped; thanks for writing in.

Karen L. Rice, LNHA, Gerontologist, Mediator

Alzheimer’s & Family Care Management

Alzheimer Mediation For Dementia Conflict