“I’m Not Going”: Handling Alzheimer’s Stubbornness with Compassion

“I’m Not Going”: Handling Alzheimer’s Stubbornness with Compassion

When a loved one living with Alzheirmer’s disease becomes resistant to everyday activities, it can be frustrating and at times heartbreaking. When a loved one refuses to take a bath, their medication or even refuses to leave the house can leave the family member or caregivers overwhelmed. But with understanding, patience, and the right tips, you can navigate these challenges with grace.

Why the Resistance?

  • Confusion and loss of Control: People with Alzheimer’s experience changes in their brain that can make small simple tasks feel overwhelming and confusing. Stubbornness can be a way of reasserting control in a world that increasingly feels out of their grasp.
  • Fear and Anxiety:Changes in memory and perception can create anxiety around new places, people or routines. Resistance may be an expression of this fear.
  • Physical Discomfort: Sometimes, what appears as stubbornness can be a sign of an unmet need like pain, hunger, or the need to use the bathroom.

Tips for Overcoming Stubbornness

  • Stay Calm and Positive: Arguing or forcing the issue will only make things worse. Maintain a soothing voice and offer reassurance.
  • Break Down Tasks: Instead of “It is time for your bath”, try smaller steps: “ Let's pick out a nice outfit”, followed by “ Let’s freshen up your face”.
  • Offer Choices:” Would you like a bath or a shower?” Giving a sense of control can be very helpful.
  • Change the Timing: If mornings are a struggle, try bathing in the afternoon. Flexibility is key!
  • Distraction and Redirection: “Let’s go for a short walk and then come back for your medications.” Sometimes having a change in scenery can make all the difference.
  • Seek Professional Support: In-home care providers like Amy’s Helping Hands in Windsor are invaluable. They offer specialized care, respite for family caregivers, and can suggest strategies tailored for your loved one’s needs.

Checklist for Caregivers:

  • Rule out any medical causes: Address any underlying health issues that may be contributing to resistance.
  • Create a comfortable routine: Predictability provides a sense of security.
  • Focus on connection: By spending time doing activities your loved one enjoys. Having a positive relationship is a powerful tool.
  • Practice self-care: Caring for someone with Alzheimer can be emotionally draining. Make sure you allow time for yourself to recharge.

Amy’s Helping Hands: Your Partner in Care

Amy’s Helping Hands understands the unique challenges of Alzheimer’s care. Our compassionate caregivers provide tailored in-home care in Windsor, focusing on creating a positive and supportive environment for your loved one. Please contact 519-915-4370 for your free in-home assessment.