5 top dementia care tips from Teepa Snow

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Teepa Snow's top 5 dementia care tips
Teepa Snow
is simply amazing. I wish I had known of her tools and techniques years ago; I could have created a less stressful and more peaceful journey for myself and my care partner.

These are five great tips for anyone in a care partnering relationship with someone with dementia. Teepa expands on each one in the short video at the end of this post.

1) Step back first

Before you do anything, take stock of what’s going on in the environment, observe the person and their behaviour, be mindful of the moment in time – forget about what happened an hour ago or yesterday. The reality of a person with dementia can be extraordinarily dynamic. Ask yourself what is going on for them now, at this particular point in time, before you say or do anything. (See also: 1) the “B” in BANGS; and 2)  the “A” in BANGS)

2) Respond don’t react

It’s easy to get caught up in reacting to other people and in the process behave in ways that are unproductive. With the help of a counsellor as well as by teaching myself through experience, I learned to look at my own reactions to “problematic” responsive behaviours which I discovered I often provoked myself! That was an eye opener I can tell you.

Once I identified that I was part of the problem, I was able to respond in much more helpful ways and thus become part of the solution. (See also: the “A” in BANGS)

3) Have a flexible plan

Yes, we need to fill the day with activities, meals, quiet time, etc. But, and it’s a BIG but, it’s critical to be flexible. The plan we have may not fit with the changing minute-to-minute wants, needs and desires of the person with dementia. Plans are good guidelines. They fail when we try to stick to them at all costs. Better to go with the flow. (See also: the “G” in BANGS)

4) Know about control

Remember you cannot control anyone else’s behaviour, especially someone with dementia whose ability to use reason and logic may be significantly reduced. The only person’s behaviour you can control is your own. Teach yourself to behave in ways that reduce anxiety for yourself and the person with dementia. (See also: the “A” in BANGS)

5) Stop doing what doesn’t work

This reminds me of a relationship tip I read years ago and am still trying to internalize: “You can’t change the dance if you don’t change the steps.” It took me awhile to learn that arguing with a person who is living with dementia does not work. Full stop. There’s no point contradicting or disagreeing. Once I stopped doing that, everything started to go much more smoothly. (See also: the “N” in BANGS)

You can learn practical skills, tools and techniques by watching Teepa Snow’s videos on YouTube or by buying her practical caregiver tips videos here. They are amazing. Truly. I only wish I had known about Teepa’s techniques five years ago.

 

 

Alzheimer’s Music Connect CDs are available here. Get a 10% discount with promo code MYALZS10.

Teepa Snow’s videos are available on Amazon here.

And my BANGS model is outlined at these links:

“B” is for breathe.

“A” is for assess, accept, and agree.

“N” is for never, never argue

“G” is for go with their flow, let go of your ego, get over it, get on with it, get down to it

“S” if for say you’re sorry

4 Comments

  1. Oh- I wish I had known some of this stuff years ago with my own mother. It was a catch-as-catch-can sort of ‘disease’ and no one wanted to talk about it. Most avoided us because they didn’t know what to say or do. Any tool you can get and use is a good one. xo Diana

    • Diana, yes, I too wish I had had more tools at the start of my journey. I searched, but found little to help me. There is much more out there now, and it’s far more accessible which is a blessing to those who are just beginning as care partners. Also, I’m happy to be able to share what I have learned, and what I’m still learning, so the people have a better chance of avoiding some of the pitfalls in finding more joy and happiness. As you know, and clearly demonstrate in your own life, our life experience is defined in large part by our attitude.

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