Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dementia Care-giving Personality Types

 Today, more than ever family members are becoming care-givers. And many of these family members do not have any prior training, knowledge or understanding of what care-giving entails. The service of care-giving is all consuming and can either lead to elation, or depression and poverty. And for individuals unable to put a family member in place to care for their loved ones, there can often be years of scrambling to get the right fit of “one on one” care, or a memory care facility for dad or for mom when they are unable to care for themselves and need assistance.

So, the question is: How do people go about finding the right person to fill the very important need of care-giving?  Is there a magic employment agency that can guarantee the proper person for a care-giver in the perfect setting to fill each and every need in every situation?? How do families in dementia crisis move forward to provide care, support and end of life planning when the average person living with Alzheimer’s can live 7-9 years with this debilitating and disrupting disease?

 There is an understanding in healthcare management circles that states, " When looking to fill the receptionist position always hire the personality!" This sounds logical, but isn’t always followed. Many times, the number cruncher, detail oriented paper pusher gets the” meet and greet,” job over the people person with the huge personality. This can cause the front office of an organization, (any organization large or small) to have a negative, angry and abrasive person meeting people face to face for the first impression of consumer interaction.How many times has customer service translated into a mass exodus of possible clients due to a management hiring error??

 Conflict can ensue when the wrong personality type is selected for the wrong position in the general workforce. And this type of thing happens every day in dementia care-giving.  It isn’t uncommon for a controlling family member lacking interpersonal communication skills to volunteer to be the caregiver when that particular personality type may not be a good fit for the position. Even if the position is an unpaid, volunteer position it must be filled with the most thoughtful vigilance because it translates into quality of life issues.

Here are some personality types that work well with people with dementia:
 1) A flexible, easy going personality. 2) A sense of humor, 3) A deep love and respect for elderly people, 3) Patience, 4) A team-player,5) Physical and emotional stamina. 6) A people person.

Here are personality types to avoid with dementia care-giving:
1)     A domineering, bossy and demanding personality, 2) Inflexible, controlling personality types, 3) Impatient personality, 4) Short tempered, easily angered personality type, 5) Dishonest personality 6) Micro-manager, unwilling to learn new ways to communicate lacking spontaneity. 7) A loud and aggressive tone of voice. 8) Sarcastic complainer.

Some of the above are obvious. Care-givers working with the elderly can either be a great fit with people lending to a contented and peaceful environment or in the case of a wrong personality choice - a disastrous quality of life. And the working relationship between the caregiver and the person being cared for all depends on the blending of personalities and positive communication choices.   These considerations ought to be discussed before any arrangements are made to care for your beloved aging parents. 

Observing the impact that personalities from staff members have with communications on a day to day basis need to be noted when looking for a facility such as a nursing home or assisted living situation. Directly observing interactions between staff members and residents long before any arrangements are made to have a family member move in can avoid future conflict and disruption.The tone of voice, the use of sarcasm, physical space, listening skills are a few examples of what to observe before taking action.

Like anything else, there are good and not so good interactions between people and working institutions. Finding a good fit for your loved one whether they are cared for at home, or in a "for profit," end of life living situation takes time and research. Some families have special circumstances where they are not able to do what is needed in a specific time-frame, but they do their best anyway. That's all any of us can do!!

Positive Communication methods for people living with dementia:  We recommend seminars by Teepa Snow,M.S., OTR/L.FAOTA, Naomi Feil, MSW,, and her books, all of them. And the life changing, ground breaking books, "Contented Dementia," by Dr. Oliver James, "The Mindful Caregiver," by Nancy L. Kriseman, and "Deeper Into The Soul," by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D, and Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D

Copyright 2015 Caregivers Get Fit! Mama  Nicey

 DISCLAIMER:  The information in this blog is information only for educational purposes. It is not meant to be a replacement for getting medical advice from your own health professional regarding your own individual health challenge or condition. It is advised that before starting an exercise program, or making dietary changes of any kind, to seek out the advise of your own individual health care provider first.  Dr. Denise will not diagnose, treat, or give direct personal consultations/advice to you on this blog for any medical condition, but will give general examples, and scientific research on many different health topics.  How you decide to use the information is between you and your own medical/ health professional.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Michael,
      My mother passed in April 2019 and I am just now getting back on my blog. Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy to share our dementia journey. Thanks for reading.

  2. I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you.

    1. Kathy,
      I apologize for responding so late. My mother passed in April 2019 and I am just now returning to my blog. Thank you for reading this and for taking the time to comment.

  3. Nice Blog! this blog is all about the Dementia care facilities. The service of caregiving is all consuming and can either lead to elation, or depression and poverty. Keep Sharing!

    1. Hi S.A.C.A.L,
      I am so happy you have been reading this. I stopped blogging after my mother passed to focus on writing books, but appreciate your comments so much. I have so much more to share about the end of life process, etc. Thanks again!


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