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Bad Advice?
Posted: Friday, March 17, 2023 4:07 PM
Joined: 6/18/2022
Posts: 83

I just got an Email from some group....CareBlazers? I first assumed any input about care is well received and welcomed...Bring it on! I need all the help I can get! Topic was how re-direction is bad advice. They went on saying how we need to get to bottom of the distress and fix things that way. That we're dismissing their feelings by quickly re-directing the behavior. What? Thats sound advice for a friend, or anybody NOT suffering from this disease. They gave an example of a man screaming and how the caregiver got to the bottom of why he's screaming and it comes out he was worried about his wife and daughter that are arriving by bus....WHAT? What if the quick re-direction works! As if someone suffering from this disease would remember a bus schedule or even having family members out and about. Maybe they're advice is for early dementia/Alzheimer's but it does nothing for me or my mom. How do you get to the bottom of delusion. Of non-existent people and places...Re-direction is absolutely the best advice I've ever gotten in dealing with this and it pissed me off for them saying its wrong. And how can someone even make that statement? Whatever works, right?
Posted: Friday, March 17, 2023 5:07 PM
Joined: 3/25/2022
Posts: 21

Hi Floyd. I think your last sentence is key, and every individual should do whatever works for them. If what you're doing with your mom is working, great!
Careblazers is a dementia care course run by Dr. Natali Edmonds. I am a member of the group, but Dr. Natali has lots of freely available videos on Youtube offering advice.

She doesn't actually discourage redirection, though. What she says is that often people jump immediately to distracting the loved one, in a way that comes across as dismissive of whatever is upsetting them or causing difficult behavior. 

She simply encourages people to acknowledge what your PWD is saying, let them know that you have heard what they're saying, reassure them that you understand and/or will help them, and then engage them in in a way that redirects them.

Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:00 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 4154

I think the best advice can be summed up by YMMV.

What works is going to be different based on the personalities and relationship of PWD and their caregiver, type of dementia, stage of dementia and the context in which the behavior is occurring. I think it's why when we answer questions for new members, we often offer a range of strategies for certain common issues that come up. Aside from seeing a CELA and not trying to reason with a PWD, there are no universal truths that come to mind. 

I found in the middle stages, sometimes validation needed to come before the redirection, later redirection alone was often enough to banish anxiety or upset. 

Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 11:17 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21306

Hi Floyd....

All here are on or have been on a very difficult journey...everyones path is similar but at the same time unique. What we do here is share and support. We have a lot of tools to share that have worked in different situations.

CareBlazers is touching on is the theory of "validation". It is an extremely useful tool. For more information on this google Naomi Feil.

You will want as many solution possiblities as possible at hand as you make your way. I say do what works until it doesn't. 


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