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No doubt about it: when someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other cause of dementia, it’s a crushing blow.
Not only must you face the fact that your loved one has a degenerative and ultimately fatal condition, you also have to deal with a plethora of increasingly strange behaviors. Mother tells the same story 50 times a day and wanders the house all night, or dad compulsively loads and then unloads the dishwasher.
Or your devoted spouse of 30 years is suddenly convinced you’re cheating on him with the next-door neighbor.
If you feel confused, worried, frustrated, or even angry about the bewildering behaviors exhibited by your family member, congratulations. But now it’s time to come to terms with a hard truth: the real source of your negative reaction is not necessarily the patient. It’s you.
While every case of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is different, Rubinstein says there are practical ways for caregivers to successfully deal with the behavioral changes that result from a patient’s memory loss.
Your loved one with Alzheimer’s may constantly check to see if the door is locked, empty or rearrange wallets or purses, pack and repack clothing, or things like that. These things are all manifestations of anxiety.
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