Although it may sometimes be difficult to ask for help or expect someone to truly understand what you are going through, we encourage you to trust our team to listen to you and to guide you through this journey.
Most likely, you've never gone through an experience such as this before and could truly benefit from the support of professionals who have been working with this population and the placement process for years. We want you to take advantage of our Alzheimer’s and dementia knowledge and experience.
With the grouping of multiple resources, such as our Management Team, our support group, and educational books from professionals, a family can achieve a high level of understanding, and sometimes comfort about this decision. It truly takes a team approach to move forward.
Here are some helpful tips for interacting with a loved one with dementia:
Be patient and supportive - Let your loved one know you're listening and trying to understand what is being said.
Show your interest - Keep good eye contact. Show your loved one that you care about what he or she is saying.
Avoid criticizing or correcting - Don't tell your loved one what he or she is saying is incorrect. Instead, listen and try to find the meaning in what is being said.
Avoid arguing - If your loved one says something you don't agree with, let it be. Arguing usually only makes things worse.
Focus on feelings, not facts - Sometimes the emotions being expressed are more important than what is being said. Look for the feelings behind the words.
Our team can offer you many other communication tools.
Dealing with Guilt
The feelings that Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers go through after a loved one moves to a community setting varies. There can be guilt from being excited about your newfound freedom to guilt from needing to ask for help. These feelings are normal and healthy.
The caregiver has an adjustment period to their new lifestyle just as the resident does. It is important to talk with the Sydney Creek staff about your feelings. We want you to feel as supported as possible during this time. You're not alone. We encourage you to hear from caregivers and loved ones who have shared their stories with us.
Although it may sometimes be difficult to ask for help or to expect someone to truly understand what you are going through, we encourage you to utilize the resources that are available for you and your family.
You will also find numerous books discussing Alzheimer's home care and care for dementia for both caregivers and families. A few to review are:
A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care, A Guide for Family Caregivers
by Virginia Bell, David Troxel
The 36-Hour Day
by Nancy L. Mace, M.A., Peter V. Rabins, M.D., Paul R. McHugh
Learning to Speak Alzheimer's
by Joanne Koenig Coste
Validation Techniques for Dementia Care: The Family Guide for Improving Communication
by Vicki de Klerk-Rubin
Taking Care of Lucille Through Seven Years of Alzheimer's
by Cornelius Deasy
There are many websites that can be helpful in confirming and calming your concerns and fears. A few to review are:
Mayo Clinic: Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
UC San Diego School of Medicine: Shirley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center
Most importantly, please know that the caregivers at Sydney Creek in San Luis Obispo are always available to talk with you.
Attending Sydney Creek’s support group is one of the most helpful ways to help yourself through this process. You may have attended Alzheimer’s support groups in the past, but at this group you are truly amongst your peers who have taken the step of placement of a loved one.
Here’s a message from one of our our facilitators:
“When I had to make the difficult decision to place my mom at Sydney Creek, I remember feeling like I was the world’s worst daughter—I had just placed my mother in an Alzheimer’s facility!
In the five years she was a resident at Sydney Creek, I learned how to cope with ‘our’ situation (hers as a resident, and my dealing with her being a resident). After a short time, I realized it was not only the best decision for her, but also the best decision for ME!
My goal is to get you ‘up to speed’ with YOUR adjustment to their life at Sydney Creek as quickly as possible. As I like to say, ‘it will take your loved one about six weeks to adjust, but it will take you about six months (optimistically).’
Each meeting takes on its own character—family members learn how to redirect, how to use fiblets, when to visit and for how long, how to leave without tears and other valuable coping skills that will make life easier for everyone. You will also find that it is not just you going through this either (and you’ll probably walk away realizing your situation is not NEARLY as bad as that other poor guy!).
Everyone shares disasters as well as successes. Sometimes there are tears and there’s ALWAYS laughter. No two residents are alike, no two solutions are alike, but we all combine our collective coping skills to help with ‘that week’s issue(s).’ After a few meetings, you will have mastered some of the basic skills and be able to visit (and leave) much more easily—AND you won’t be so hard on yourself. It WILL get easier—I promise.
As a family member of a Sydney Creek resident, you are also part of our Sydney Creek family and we care about you as well as your resident. You will soon realize that sometimes the best way you can care for your loved one is to allow someone else to take care of them…so you can go back to your own life—without guilt.”
– Susan Price
Meet with one of our Community Relations Coordinators, request more information or schedule a tour.
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Caring for a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer's is emotionally challenging—as is the decision to move them to a Memory Care facility. The Village at Sydney Creek is here to assist you with this transition. Our community in San Luis Obispo, California provides a knowledgeable staff and the necessary resources to make this step as smooth as possible—logistically, mentally, and emotionally.
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