Have A Little Compassion
By: Michelle Remold
Anyone who has experienced Alzheimer’s or dementia in any way knows that things don’t always go smoothly. The individual with the disease may have behavioral issues. These can be anything from yelling to laughing at inappropriate times. When at home, these disruptions might be easier to remedy, but while in public the issue of how to deal with the behaviors comes to the forefront.
As a friend, caregiver, spouse, or family member there is the option of explaining to those around you that the person has Alzheimer’s or dementia, but that can get old pretty quickly. I don’t think anyone wants to have to explain something every time it occurs. As a society however, I think there are things we can do to help those involved feel as though an explanation is not necessary.
First, I think staring can be a problem. While out, someone yelling may disrupt what we are doing, but does staring really solve anything? Place yourself in their shoes, I’m sure having people stare or give you looks is very awkward.
I also think that having compassion can make a large difference as well. Think about what they might be feeling or dealing with and how you would want to be helped or approached. A little compassion can go a long way and I think that it can be overlooked at times.
Overall, I think tolerance and patience are important. Whether it’s a child crying, someone singing loudly, or whatever it maybe, try to be a little more tolerant; you never know what the situation maybe. I think that if someone has personally gone through similar situations it may be easier to be more patient, but I think that it is something we should strive for. After all, everyone can use a little support and it is nice knowing people are behind you.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.