BRYAN, Texas — As Alzheimer Awareness month approaches, one local facility that helps people adjust to living with the disease shared with KAGS how acceptance and humanizing makes adjusting to a new life with Alzheimer's easier.
Sharing a meal, decorating a pumpkin, or simply holding hands are all ways to create human interactions, all while establishing a new structure that those with Alzheimer's aren't necessarily able to adhere to.
At Hudson Creek Alzheimer's Special Care Center, they focus on the person as opposed to the disease itself. According to Nigel Skyte, Alzheimer's care isn't a one-size-fits all situation. Furthermore, he explained how the disease alters the mind which is something that those who care for Alzheimer's patients must understand when caring for someone living with it.
"We don't challenge you, we don't say 'no this isn't the time to get up'. Because you can't that's where their thought processes are. So to challenge you, what we do is support it," said Skyte. "There isn't a monolithic dementia, what you need to take out of it is the diagnosis."
Alzheimer's and dementia manifests itself differently in everyone. However, the staff at Hudson Creek work to approach each case differently to become closer to their patients.
"It's okay to be who you want to be. And with most people if you create a nice, safe, loving, caring environment, and allow people to be who they wanna be, then they're relaxed. And that's the key to addressing people with dementia," said Skyte.
The key is not thinking about what they are living with, but how they are using their time to live in who they have become.
"Here they have an expansive area inside and outside to walk anywhere they want to. If they want to get up at 2 o'clock in the morning here because we have nursing here 24/7, it's fine," explained Skyte.
All staff are trained to make living with the disease normal because like Skyte says, all humans want the same thing: Acceptance and love.
"What it comes down to is just loving the person for who they are, whatever stage they are and not try to realign them to reality," said Skyte.