ARTICLES / General /
Colicky Dementia /
By Shay Jacobson, RN, MA, NMG
The family caregiver should:
Recognize your limits. Pay
attention to internal warning signs when you are
feeling overwhelmed. The sooner you spot your
personal limits, the easier it is to plan
aheadófor extra help, a break, an excursion
outside or a quick pep talk from a friend or
Reach out for support. If
you can, enlist help during the worst times of
the day. Say yes when people offer to help with
housework, meals or respite. Find a caregiver
support group to talk to and get out of the
house when you can.
- You donít have to be perfect.
It would be impossible to be fully
present and attentive to a person, especially a
colicky person, 24 hours a day. Experts estimate
that meeting the personís needs at least
one third of the time is
enough to support healthy bonding and secure
attachment. Donít worry about getting it exactly
right all of the time. Instead, try to relax and
enjoy the times when your loved one is at peace.
Am I the reason they are upset?
Are you distracted, overwhelmed, and at a breaking
point? If youíre stressed out and exhausted, youíre
going to have trouble relating in a soothing,
nurturing way. So itís important to get the support
you need. Extra support is essential if you are:
- Suffering from a major illness or chronic health
- Overwhelmed or fearful about caregiving
- Exhausted from lack of sleep
- Feeling neglected, isolated, or unsupported
Colicky dementia does happen and it must be
addressed head on. It is clear that
recognizing the root causes and treating the client
in a holistic manner can help. One must first
assess the client for medical and psychological
conditions as well as dysfunctional family dynamics.
Utilizing some of the learned interventions from
dealing with the colicky infant can help open
simple, practical strategies for this population.
Providing relief and support for the caregiver with
24/7 responsibility is imperative, regardless of the
age of the dependent person. Watching for
nonverbal signs of distress must be employed
universally. There is an undeniable benefit in
administering soothing techniques for all states of
anxiety regardless of its origins.
Shay Jacobson is the founder and president of
Lifecare Innovations and the related companies,
Lifecare Home Solutions and Lifecare Guardianship.
She is a National Master Guardian and has recently
been appointed to the National Board to serve a
three-year term. Visit her Web site