A Guide For People Diagnosed With Dementia
This booklet is written for people who have been diagnosed with dementia to give you information and to help you continue to live well.
The booklet suggests ways to look after yourself including how to adjust to change and managing your day, as well as working, driving, keeping involved and active and planning for the future.
It Does Take A Village
Whether a loved one lives alone at home, at home with a caregiver, or in a care setting with assistance, it will always take the ongoing monitoring by family or caregivers to address new concerns. When in doubt about what steps to take, enlist the services of a professional in the field to help you sort out your options. Ultimately, your loved ones well-being is most important.
Average Dementia Survival: 45 Years
Study of Dementia Patients Shows Women Live Slightly Longer Than Men
Jan. 10, 2008 — The average survival time for people diagnosed with dementia is about four and a half years, new research shows. Those diagnosed before age 70 typically live for a decade or longer.
In an effort to learn more about survival characteristics among patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, researchers from the U.K.’s University of Cambridge followed 13,000 people who were aged 65 and older for 14 years.
During the follow-up, 438 of the study participants developed dementia and 356 of these people died.
Overall, women lived slightly longer than men after a diagnosis of dementia — around 4.6 years vs. 4.1 years. And frailer patients died sooner than healthier ones.
But being married, living at home, and even degree of mental decline were not found to have a big impact on survival.
The research is published in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal BMJ Online First.
“When we took everything into account, the big predictors of how long people survive remain sex, age, and functional ability,” University of Cambridge professor of epidemiology Carol Brayne tells WebMD. “Functional ability was a much better marker of how close someone was to death than cognitive decline.”
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Working When You Have Dementia
If you’ve received a dementia diagnosis, you may be worried about how you’ll cope at work. You should speak to your employer as soon as you feel ready.
In some jobs, such as the armed forces, you must tell your employer. If you’re unsure, check your employment contract.
You can also get advice from the disability employment adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus, your trade union or your local Citizens Advice service. If you decide to leave work, seek advice about your pensions and benefits.
If you want to continue to work, speak to your employer about what adjustments can be made to help you, such as:
- changes to your working hours
- scheduling meetings at different times
- changing to a different role that may be less demanding
Under the Equality Act 2010, your employer has to make “reasonable adjustments” in the workplace to help you do your job.
Find out more about working and dementia from Alzheimers Society
Do They Need More Support
As the illness progresses, most people with dementia will require an increasing amount of help with day to day life. Check that theyre receiving all the benefits and allowances theyre entitled to. As well as a personal budget and other financial support, they may also be able to get help with laundry, meals, shopping or housework.
Tip: If they havent had one already contact their local social services department and arrange a health and social care assessment. If they are eligible for support, a care plan should be drawn up stating exactly how they will be supported. The care plan should be reviewed in the first three months and then once a year at least.
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Keep An Eye Out For These Issues
Aging can be difficult, but its particularly challenging when the person who is aging is a parent. Over time, life-long relationships can be upended and the parentwho has presumably spent a lifetime caring for a childbecomes the one who needs help. However, crossing that boundary is tricky and exposes all kinds of feelings and emotions for both the parent and adult child. Older people may want to stay in their home and maintain their independence, and thats completely understandable. An adult child may not want to fight with a parent whos determined to live on their own. But there may come a time when a living arrangement needs to change for a parents safety and welfare. Role reversal is difficult to navigate and it;might be a challenge to know exactly when and how much help an elderly parent needs. Keep an eye out for these warning signs that an older parent or relative probably shouldnt be living alone anymore.
What If It’s Hard For Me To Stay In Touch With People
Having dementia can make it harder to do things, and this;can mean that you see people less than you used to. If you;live in a rural area, it can be harder to get to the nearest shop;or visit people. Or you might live in a city where there is better;transport but less sense of community. However, there are still;things you can do to stop yourself feeling isolated.
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Can Dementia Patients Live At Home
People with dementia can live at home, especially in the early stages of dementia.
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning that its symptoms get worse over time. One of the significant signs of dementia is short-term memory loss. Short-term memory loss means they can often forget:
- Where they placed things
- New names or places
- Scheduled events or appointments
They may need help remembering new information, but living at home isnt a huge issue in the early stages of dementia.
Additionally, home is a place of comfort and certainty. The later stages of dementia can bring about confusion, wandering, and the risk of getting lost. Keeping individuals with dementia in their homes provides them with familiarity. This familiarity may include:
- Events and other appointments;
Home is an excellent place for someone with dementia to remain, regardless of their dementia stage.;
How Do You Start The Conversation
Bringing up the possibility of having a home aide or moving your parent into a nursing home or assisted living facility can be difficult. Dr. Lichtenberg says to approach the topic delicately by asking your parent how theyre feeling and what their goals are, and asking whether or not theyve noticed any changes in their behavior. From there, you can introduce the idea of getting help, explaining that its a smart first step to achieving those goals. People with declining cognition often cant understand that something is wrong, so its important to take it slow and account for their perspective. Take the time to get educated about the three most common forms of dementia, so you can attempt to understand what your parent is going through.
- Lisa Gwyther, director of Duke University’s Family Support Program
- Peter Lichtenberg, PhD, director of the Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
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Improving Safety For Alzheimers Patients Living Alone
Living in a place that is safe, familiar and comfortable is important for those suffering from Alzheimers disease. With time, Alzheimers disease impairs judgment and problem-solving skills, increasing a persons risk of injury. Therefore, family members with a patient who wants to remain at home can help reduce certain environmental risks. For example, to promote safety and limit challenges and frustrations:
- Schedule tasks and establish a routine to makes each day less confusing.
- Involve the patient to promote independence.
- Minimize distraction to make it easier for a patient to focus.
- Create a safe environment that prevents trips or falls and, if necessary, install grab bars in critical areas around the home.
- Take fire safety precautions by keeping lighters out of reach. Ensure a fire extinguisher is accessible and the smoke alarms have fresh batteries.
- Use locks where necessary and lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns.
While they may be able to live alone for many years after being diagnosed, an Alzheimers patient will eventually need assistance, especially if living at home alone. Eventually, they may even need 24-hour care.
Devoted Guardians’ Response to COVID-19
Signs Of Dementia In An Older Adult And The Dangers Associated With Them
Some of the signs of dementia include:
- Misplaced items. Are there lightbulbs in the fridge? Are clothes being folded and then stacked in the living room? Sure, maybe it is a change of pace, but odd little changes are a sign of a mind that has trouble focusing and following through on tasks.
- Forgetfulness. We all have trouble remembering things, but persistent forgetfulness about short and long-term events is a worrying sign.
- Confusion. Are you having to explain several times the plan for an outing or event and find that your aging loved one cant follow the thread? For example, youre going out lunch, youre leaving at 11:30, taking Marys car, etc. When the mind slowly starts to fog, small details go away, and the result is overall confusion.
- Lack of cleanliness. No one should have to have an immaculate house at all times, but signs of damage, neglect, and general unkemptness can be a sign of someone who forgets to do basic chores.
- Worsening person hygiene. The same as with the home, only for the person. This is an even more serious sign, as personal hygiene is, for most people, a routine.
So what to do when you notice this? How do you overcome these dangers? You get information, and you take action.
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Dementia And Early Death
Across the globe, dementia rates are expected to double every 20 years for the foreseeable future, with an estimated 81 million cases by 2040.
It is clear from earlier studies that people with dementia have decreased survival compared with people without dementia. Even mild mental impairment linked to dementia is associated with an increase in death risk.
But the characteristics associated with mortality among patients with dementia have not been well understood.
There is general agreement that women with dementia tend to live slightly longer than men, but the impact of other characteristics, including education level, age at diagnosis, and marital status are less well known.
And many previous studies have been restricted to patients being treated for the disorder by a specialist or in a hospital setting, Brayne says.
“We wanted to see what is happening with the entire population, not just people who are treated for dementia,” she says.
Slightly over two-thirds of the people in the study who developed dementia were women, and the median age at dementia onset was 84 for women and 83 for men.
The median age at death was 90 for women and 87 for men. And average survival times varied from a high of 10.7 years for the youngest patients to a low of 3.8 years for the oldest .
As in other studies, dementia was associated with shorter survival, but the cognitive level among people with dementia did not appear to play a major role in death.
Is It Really Safe To Live Alone With Dementia
This;;article;in VOX states; the following: Dementia is how we describe symptoms that impact memory and lead to a decline in cognitive performance often in ways that disrupt daily living. There are different brain disorders that cause dementia, but Alzheimers is the most common, followed by cerebrovascular disease and Lewy bodies disease.
A lot of people with dementia manage to keep living on their own quite well during the early stages of the disease. Taking precautions and having the support of trustworthy people around them should make things easier for them. This includes not only safety precautions but also legal and financial precautions as well. All of this while a patient can still take part in making decisions.
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How Can You Promote Independence In A Person With Dementia
Even though its often not best to allow someone with dementia to live alone, you still want to promote independent living for as long as possible.
Independent living usually means providing a routine and encouraging your loved one to do simple daily tasks themself. These daily tasks might include:
- Bathing and dressing
- Socializing with friends
- Creating and following a daily to-do list
Anything that keeps them active and thinking for themselves is beneficial. There may come a time when your loved one with dementia needs around-the-clock care. Until then, promote an independent lifestyle as much as possible.
The Influence Of The Covid
- 1Department of Psychiatry, Course of Integrated Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
- 2Department of Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University United Graduate School of Child Development, Osaka, Japan
Background: Under the COVID-19 outbreak, the Japanese government has strongly encouraged individuals to stay at home. The aim of the current study was to clarify the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the lifestyle of older adults with dementia or mild cognitive impairment who live alone.
Methods: Seventy-four patients with dementia or MCI aged 65 years, who regularly visited the dementia clinic of the Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Hospital, were recruited in this study. The patients were divided into two groups according to their living situation: living alone group and living together group . Additionally, the spouses of patients aged 65 years were assigned to the healthy control group . Subjects’ lifestyle changes were evaluated between April 8 and 28, 2020.
Results: No subjects with acquaintances or relatives were infected with COVID-19 within the study period. The proportion of subjects who reduced going out in the living alone group, living together group and healthy control group was 18.2, 52.5, and 78.4%, respectively. The proportion of subjects who went out less frequently was significantly lower in both the living alone and living together groups than in the healthy control group.
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What Is Assisted Living
It can be very confusing to know what assisted living really means and how it differs from things like nursing homes or retirement communities. Assisted living facilities are communities that provide long-term assistance and support for the elderly. This is different than retirement homes or nursing homes .
It is important to note that assisted living does not always include skilled nursing for serious conditions, but does offer options, depending on the facility, that will help increase ones quality of life.
Some assisted living facilities offer just basic services like meal prep and housekeeping, while others offer comprehensive assisted living care. In this type of facility, things like the administration of medicine and the assistance with routine tasks, such as bathing, dressing, etc. are provided.
The residents calling these facilities home are typically elderly individuals, people with memory/cognitive disorders, or those with physical, psychiatric, or developmental disabilities. ;
Stage : Moderate Dementia
Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.
While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.
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Caring For Those With Dementia
Researcher Murna Downs, PhD, says most people don’t recognize that dementia is a disease people live with, and not just a death sentence.
Downs’ research focuses on quality-of-life issues among dementia patients.
“People with dementia live a long time, and we now know that there is a lot of awareness,” she says. “People assume that if someone doesn’t know where they are they have no other capacity for thinking and feeling. But people with dementia continue to think and to laugh and to feel the rain on their faces, and to try to make sense of their world.”
She adds that patients are often isolated because family members or other caregivers fail to recognize their need for interaction and stimulation.
“The therapeutic potential of human contact cannot be underestimated,” she says. “You would never put a small child in a chair and let them sit there all day with nothing to do. Children need stimulation and human contact and so do people with dementia.”
SOURCES: Xie, J. BMJ Online First, Jan. 11, 2008. Carol Brayne,professor, lecturer in epidemiology, department of public health and primarycare, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, England. MurnaDowns, PhD, professor in dementia studies, Bradford Dementia Group, Universityof Bradford, England Ferri, C.P. Lancet, 2005; vol 366: pp2112-2117.
When Is It Time For Senior Care
This alone is a reason why those who suffer from dementia, or their families, should look into options for housekeeping services, private duty caregivers, or a personal home health aide for elderly people.
Further, those who live alone are faced with a considerably worse prognosis in case of an emergency for sepsis, pneumonia, or myocardial infarction. There is also a risk of falls for elderly seniors with dementia living at home.
Dementia isnt the same in all people who suffer from it. Some even die of something else before dementia reaches its peak. Others, on the other hand, live a long time with severe symptoms.
Although not all families have the resources to provide for their loved ones, for those who do, its understandable that they are uncertain about what should be done next.