Conversations with Caregivers
A series of short videos that offers practical advice from real family caregivers who care for persons with dementia.

Caregiving for someone with dementia requires creative problem solving and trial-and-error to figure out how to best support, communicate with and protect the person. Some caregivers have discovered really effective strategies, and we want to share their approaches with you!

The Conversations with Caregivers series of short videos offers practical advice from real family caregivers who care for persons with dementia; a general term for diseases that cause the gradual loss of ability to think, communicate and live independently. These videos are intended to help viewers manage common caregiving challenges; nevertheless, the content will not apply to every situation. Please seek professional medical advice for questions and concerns about your or your loved one’s medical condition.

Members of our team at UCSF worked with three families and filmmaker Keith Moreau to produce Conversations with Caregivers. You can watch below or on YouTube at bit.do/conversationswithcaregivers. These videos were produced with support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and Tideswell at UCSF in partnership with the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. They were made possible by the generosity of the families who agreed to be filmed.

Series Introduction

Acceptance

In this video, caregivers talk about the challenge of accepting that their loved one has dementia. Caregivers describe how changing the way they thought about their situation helped them cope and grow through their experience. For more information, please see these resources:

Activities

In this video, caregivers talk about ways they help the person with dementia stay active and engaged. They share creative ideas for building on things the person likes and finding ways to help the person stay socially connected. They adapt activities to match the person’s abilities and give praise and encouragement to help the person be successful. For more information and ideas, please see these resources:

Introduction to Support Groups

In this video, caregivers talk about the benefits of attending support groups. They discuss common fears and misconceptions; practical, social, and emotional rewards; and various group formats that are available. To find a support group near you, please see these resources:

Support Groups In Action

In this video, caregivers share insights, laughs, and wisdom with each other in a frontotemporal dementia caregiver support group. To find a support group near you, please see these resources:

Balancing Safety & Independence

In this video, caregivers talk about strategies they have used to keep the person with dementia safe while doing their best to honor the person’s independence. They talk about common risks like driving, falls, disorientation, and eating and cooking hazards. For more information, please see these resources:

Meals

In this video, caregivers demonstrate practical tips for meal time. They show special utensils and ways to set the table and organize the kitchen. They also talk about using verbal and visual cues to help the person eat independently. For more information, please see these resources:

Playing Along

In this video, caregivers talk about how they learned to communicate better with the person with dementia. They playfully redirect the person’s attention instead of arguing with them. When the person is upset, they offer empathy and reassurance instead of trying to explain or reason with them. For more information, please see these resources:

Patience & Preparation

In this video, caregivers talk about the work they do to make day-to-day activities go smoothly. They use strategies like following a routine, allowing enough time, and having supplies ready in advance. They also communicate with respect and use patience and humor to avoid conflict. For more information, please see these resources:

Helping with Dental Hygiene

In this video, a caregiver describes their approach to making mouth care a comfortable and pleasant experience. They select a time of day when things are calm. They set up their supplies and tell the person what they’re going to do each step of the way.

For more information, please see these resources: