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Alzheimer’s – Managing the Repetitive Behaviors

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The emotional experiences of my father as he navigated the symptoms of Alzheimer’s were both heart-wrenching and enlightening. The manifestations of this condition often fueled a deep sense of insecurity and anxiety within him, creating a complex emotional landscape.

The constant companion of memory loss brought about perpetual worries and fear of forgetting essential appointments or cherished moments. Visual-spatial problems intensified this anxiety, causing him to feel lost and disoriented even within the walls of our familiar home. The once-familiar surroundings became a source of confusion and uncertainty.

The diminishing ability to cope with stress marked a significant shift, rendering my father increasingly dependent on me as his caregiver. I became his anchor, the person he trusted to help navigate the storm of emotions. In this role, I witnessed the poignant effects of Alzheimer’s on his behavior.

He would follow me like a shadow wherever I went, seeking reassurance and security. Multiple phone calls throughout the day and repeated questions became his way of securing himself in the present. The dependence on my presence grew to the extent that any momentary absence triggered feelings of distress and agitation.

Why the constant questions??

Our emotional symbiosis became evident when my weariness or impatience inadvertently sparked his agitation. The vulnerability of his emotional state became apparent during those moments, as he felt threatened and became agitated in response to my frustration. The delicate balance of patience and understanding became paramount in maintaining his emotional well-being.

Even a brief separation would set off a chain reaction of worry and restlessness if he couldn’t see or hear me. The fear of losing me, even momentarily, drove him to wander in search of my presence, risking the possibility of getting lost in the process. The intensity of this emotional attachment underscored the profound impact of dementia on his sense of security and connection.

Navigating these emotional intricacies required a compassionate understanding and a commitment to being a steadfast anchor in his ever-shifting reality. The journey was emotionally taxing, but in those moments of vulnerability and dependence, our connection became a lifeline—a reminder of the profound impact that emotional support can have on someone grappling with the challenges of dementia.

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