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Colicky Dementia

By Shay Jacobson, RN, MA, NMG

(Page 3 of 4)

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 loved one.

  • 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:

  • Depressed
  • Suffering from a major illness or chronic health problems
  • 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


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