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How to live in the world of your loved one with Alzheimer’s

Betsy Broyles with The Broyles Foundation shares how caregivers should learn to live in the world of your loved one with Alzheimer’s.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Betsy Broyles with The Broyles Foundation joins Theba Lolley for a conversion about caregivers living in their world vs. the world of their loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Betsy Broyles specializes in providing care for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, and she offers counseling services through The Broyles Foundation.

“One of the things that we have to do as caregivers is we have to learn to live in their world,” says Broyles. “Especially as the disease progresses, they lose the ability to live in our world.”

When caregivers are not with their loved one, they deal with daily tasks like paying the bills, laundry, groceries, and more. When caregivers step into that room with their loved one, they must live in their loved one’s world.

“You’ve got to keep it simple and keep it safe,” says Broyles. “When you step in that room with your loved one, you have to think about what they can do, not what they cannot do. You live in their world because as the disease progresses, they cannot live in our world. When you try to force them to live in our world, that’s when you have behavioral change because they just can’t do it.”

Theba Lolley agrees that caregivers should join their loved one’s in their world. She says if you expect your loved one to join you in your world, it is going to cause chaos.

Betsy explains that your loved one wants to be with you because you are their security blanket.

“Seeing you right there, it means everything to your loved one,” says Broyles. “As hard as that can be sometimes, because our minds are always going, the fact that you can shut down and just spend that time with your mom is perfect.”

“The pandemic really helped,” says Lolley. “It really was a great training ground because I was already here, and I had to figure out how to adjust from going down to my office down the hall to our little bedroom cave. But I wouldn’t change it for the world, because it settled me down on a personal level, and it helped me settle down to a place where I could join her a lot more than if there had not been a pandemic oddly. It is one of those weird blessings during it.”

Learn more about The Broyles Foundation here.