Monday, May 9, 2011


Lori La Bey is a speaker, trainer, consultant, spokes person, and author who advocates for people with Alzheimer’s Disease. She authors a blog called Alzheimer’s Speaks.

Lori defines her PRIDE Principal™ this way: Preserve, Respect, Independence, Dignity for Everyone. As caregivers we are charged with the responsibility to “preserve” these things for our person with dementia (PWD). Today we’ll look at respect.

Respect – is a need we all have, no matter where we are in life. As a caregiver, preserving the self respect of your PWD is a great way to help that person feel good. Avoiding snappish replies and talking down to someone will help preserve their self-esteem.

Situation #1 – the PWD is repeatedly asking about dinner.

“I told you already, we’re going out to dinner. Stop badgering me about it!” The caregiver has arms crossed, frown in place, tapping a toe on the floor, assaulting the PWD with both verbal and physical disrespect.

“We’re going out for dinner tonight, it will be fun.” The caregiver is smiling, even though it’s the fifteenth time these words have been repeated in the last half hour. The caregiver is answering the question and giving positive non-verbal communication as well.

Situation #2 – the PWD is having difficulty tying a shoe.

“Let me do that, we’re going to be late. You can’t even tie your own shoe.” The caregiver takes the laces out of the PWD’s fingers and ties the shoe.

“Those shoes need cleaning up, wear this pair today.” Or, “Those shoes don’t go with your outfit, wear these instead.” The caregiver holds out a pair of slip-on style shoes. The caregiver offered the PWD a way out of a frustrating and embarrassing situation with a logical reason for changing what wasn’t working.

Preserving a PWD’s self respect will help keep peace and harmony in the home. A PWD who retains their self-esteem is less likely to become angry, sullen, uncooperative, or depressed.

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