Little has been written specifically focused on how to lessen the stress suffered by the dementia caregiver. This guide is not intended to be a primer to understanding Alzheimer’s disease but rather to provide a few meaningful ways to make the job of care giving less onerous and life more pleasant for both parties.
The title of this manual is purposeful. An Alzheimer’s patient becomes a stranger in that their behavior, likes, dislikes and actions change from what we have previously known and lived with in prior years. Regrettably, we cannot predict nor anticipate patient behavior, which implies we are now dealing with a stranger; a person we do not know. Yes, the appearance may be familiar, perhaps some habits and routines continue in the beginning, but as time goes on the patient eventually will become a complete stranger! The caregiver must embrace an attitude of warmth and hospitality toward the patient, much as they would do in welcoming a new acquaintance. Hence……“Welcome Stranger’’.