As Alzheimer’s progresses, the person with the disease will likely need a level of supervision and assistance that one caregiver can’t provide without assistance. Often, this situation necessitates that professional caregivers come into the home.
It’s not uncommon for people with dementia to resist this change. Having to spend the day with a person you’ve never met and allowing them to help you perform some of the most intimate self-care tasks understandably makes some people with dementia feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. People with dementia don’t have the cognitive skills and emotional control to cope with major changes. Also, cognitive changes make it more likely for the person to feel threatened by or suspicious of a new person in their home. And the person doesn’t have the reasoning skills to understand why it’s necessary for the professional caregiver to be there. Keep all of this in mind if you encounter resistance from the person. Rather than trying to reason with them, validate their feelings, reassure them that everything is going to be OK, and focus on the positives in the situation. Try some of the following approaches to ease the transition.