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Providing Comfort for Someone with Dementia When They’re in the Hospital

Alzheimer’s Care

Dealing with Alzheimer’s is difficult enough in a person’s home. When they’re in the hospital, wake up and are confused, it can be overwhelming. It can lead to a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. A spouse, adult child, or close family member or friend might not be able to truly offer the comfort he or she is desperate for at that moment.

How can you offer comfort?

Be as positive and supportive as possible. This stay in the hospital could be for a couple of days or may be for an extended period of time. They want to go home. They want to be surrounded by familiar items. They want to be in their own bed.

You don’t have to lie, but you can offer encouragement. Saying something like, “You will be back home before you know it,” could be an effective way to at least provide some comfort and reassurance. These men and women want to know they will be able to return home. If that is a real possibility and it won’t be too long before they’re discharged, you can let them know that.

Maintain consistency.

Another important component for providing comfort to somebody who is in the hospital when they are dealing with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is being consistent. If a family member has been stopping by this senior’s house every day in the morning to help them get going, they should continue with that routine, even though he or she won’t be necessarily getting ready for the day in the same way.

That routine can provide a great deal of comfort.

Even when people are dealing with more advanced stages of dementia, when they’re not recognizing some of the people or their surroundings, that routine can help them feel more comfortable in the midst of those episodes.

Clothing, blankets, pillows, and other tokens that remind the senior of home, whatever is allowed to be in the room with them, might help them find some grounding, some comfort in the midst of the noise and the other things that are out of the purview of their normal routine.

Experienced hospital staff will also have great advice.

Each hospital is different, but most of them will have well trained and highly experienced nurses and doctors who understand the dynamics of Alzheimer’s and what may be beneficial to this senior who is feeling stressed and anxious because they’re out of their element.

Bringing comfort to a senior with Alzheimer’s can help to derail aggressive behaviors and also reduce stress and anxiety.


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Christy Swadkins

Christy Swadkins is the owner of Golden Heart Senior Care serving Summerlin and the Las Vegas area.Her personal and professional background brings a unique and rich quality to the care she provides for her clients.

Christy has a M.A. degree in Psychology and has worked helping families for over 25 years. She has worked in various settings including social service agencies, nursing homes and schools. Christy's ultimate professional goal is to use her talents and experience to make a difference in the lives of others.

Several years ago Christy's dad started showing signs of Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Her family was faced with emotionally challenging decisions and she realized how difficult this situation can be for families. Christy wanted to use her personal experience to support others who are in the process of taking care of their elderly loved ones.

Christy has developed an exceptional support program for those providing care for elderly family members. Educational information and emotional support is available to help families cope with the stress and physical demands of caring for senior loved ones. It is Christy's philosophy that each stage of life is precious and individuals of all ages need to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

Christy seeks out Golden Heart team members who demonstrate a nurturing, respectful and professional demeanor.Christy truly appreciates the caregivers who work for Golden Heart and provides them with exceptional educational, emotional and professional support.

Christy is honored to be supporting the families of the Las Vegas valley.