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Can You Work With Dementia

How Psychologists Can Help

Working With Dementia (2 of 4)

Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a syndrome caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.1 Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases, and nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimers or another dementia.2

New research suggests that people are often correct when they think their memory is declining. Individuals may pick up on subtle signs before they are obvious to others. Normal memory problems do not affect everyday life. If someone forgets where they put their keys, it may be because that individual is not well organized. However, if someone forgets what keys are used for or how to unlock doors, it may be a more serious matter.3

A diagnosis of dementia can be emotionally overwhelming for the individual as well as the family. Individuals with dementia require more intensive care and assistance as the dementia worsens. Though there may not be a way to completely alleviate symptoms of dementia, maintaining sleep patterns, a healthy diet, regular exercise, cognitive stimulation and socialization can help people with dementia maintain a normal level of functioning for as long as possible.

Good Work In Practice: Dementia

The Dementia-friendly financial services charter is a guide that the Alzheimers Society has created in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and in consultation with 24 other financial services organisations to help the industry become more dementia friendly.

It lays out ways this could be done, including offering customers with the condition more choice, such as the option to flag up to the bank that they have dementia so customer service can be tailored appropriately. Another suggestion is the appointment of a champion to drive forward the principles of the charter in each branch.

So far, the charity has secured support from the Financial Services Ombudsman, the British Bankers Association, the Building Societies Association and the Association of British Insurers. Several sector leaders including Barclays and RBS have already signed up to the charter.

The Alzheimers Society continues to call for organisations from across the financial services industry to sign up to the principles of the charter and start reflecting on the changes they need to make.

Can I Be Fired For Having Dementia

Employers should not dismiss a person on disciplinary grounds if the effect on their work is caused by dementia.

However, they can dismiss someone on capability grounds if a person is unable to do the work and reasonable adjustments have been made.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says:

If you are being dismissed on the grounds of capability, this should only be done following careful discussion, expert advice and research of all possible reasonable adjustments. It may be more appropriate to offer to move a disabled person to a different role than to dismiss on the grounds of capability

If you want to apply for a new job after receiving a diagnosis, the Equality Act also protects you from being discriminated against. You can speak to a disability employment adviser for further advice.

Also Check: How Can You Get Alzheimer’s

Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia

When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:

  • Delusional behavior

Dementia Care: Keeping Loved Ones Safe And Happy At Home

Dementia care  Verity Healthcare

Of the 5.8 million people in the United States who have Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia, many remain at home, an option thats been shown to help them stay healthier and happier and live longer.

But home care isnt always easier caregiving often falls on the shoulders of family members and friends. And these well-meaning loved ones can burn out without the proper support, experts warn.

The care of dementia is actually the care of two people: the person with the illness and the person taking care of them, says Johns Hopkins geriatric psychiatrist Deirdre Johnston, M.D. But when Johnston and a team of researchers studied more than 250 Baltimore residents with dementia and their caregivers, they found a staggering 97% to 99% of both groups had unmet needs.

Keeping your loved one safe and happy at home with dementia home care can seem overwhelming. But dont lose heart: Plenty of help is out there, for your loved one and for you. Here are some tips that may help:

Also Check: How Do You Diagnose Early Onset Dementia

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.

Making Medical Decisions For People With Dementia

With dementia, a persons body may continue to be physically healthy. However, dementia causes the gradual loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning abilities, which means that people with dementia at the end of life may no longer be able to make or communicate choices about their health care. If there are no advance care planning documents in place and the family does not know the persons wishes, caregivers may need to make difficult decisions on behalf of their loved one about care and treatment approaches.

When making health care decisions for someone with dementia, its important to consider the persons quality of life. For example, medications are available that may delay or keep symptoms from getting worse for a limited time. Medications also may help control some behavioral symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimers or a related dementia. However, some caregivers might not want drugs prescribed for people in the later stages of these diseases if the side effects outweigh the benefits.

It is important to consider the goals of care and weigh the benefits, risks, and side effects of any treatment. You may need to make a treatment decision based on the persons comfort rather than trying to extend their life or maintain their abilities for longer.

Also Check: What Happens To The Brain When You Have Alzheimer Disease

Do Not Ignore Physical Abuse

As much as one needs to be tolerant, kind, forgiving, and patient with older adults who have dementia, it does not mean that they have to excuse the patients when they become physically aggressive and allow the abuse to continue. It is not to be accepted, and if it happens, it is best to alert your doctor who will work on the solution to make sure it stops. It will keep both the patient and caregiver in safety.

From physical manifestations to angry outbursts, taking care of an individual with dementia may not be easy. However, working with the tips above can help caregivers and loved ones to get through it. Remember that there are plenty of treatments, interventions and special care providers who can help therefore, you should never be shy about getting help when you need it.

What To Look Out For In A Dementia

How to Talk to Someone With Dementia

Even if you think your dementia is undeniable, the disability insurance company might see your case differently. Sometimes, insurance adjusters will try to argue that disability insurance claims for dementia are limited to two years of benefits, citing the policys mental health or self-reported symptoms limitations.

Do not fall for this tactic. Dementia affects both your mental and physical health, and you might have a strong argument that these limitations do not apply to your claim. A skilled disability insurance lawyer can help you collect evidence, including brain scans and blood tests that document your condition.

Similarly, even if you have an any occupation policy, which only pays disability benefits if you cannot perform any type of work, do not assume that you are not disabled. Working with neuropsychologists, doctors, and other specialists, a lawyer might be able to show that your dementia makes it impossible to work.

Also Check: How Do Doctors Diagnose Dementia

Develop Helpful Daily Routines

Having general daily routines and activities can provide a sense of consistency for an Alzheimers or dementia patient and help ease the demands of caregiving. Of course, as your loved ones ability to handle tasks deteriorates, youll need to update and revise these routines.

Keep a sense of structure and familiarity. Try to keep consistent daily times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime. Keeping these things at the same time and place can help orientate the person with dementia. Use cues to establish the different times of dayopening the curtains in the morning, for example, or playing soothing music at night to indicate bedtime.

Involve your loved one in daily activities as much as theyre able. For example, they may not be able to tie their shoes, but may be able to put clothes in the hamper. Clipping plants in the yard may not be safe, but they may be able to weed, plant, or water.

Vary activities to stimulate different sensessight, smell, hearing, and touchand movement. For example, you can try singing songs, telling stories, dancing, walking, or tactile activities such as painting, gardening, or playing with pets.

Spend time outdoors. Going for a drive, visiting a park, or taking a short walk can be very therapeutic. Even just sitting outside can be relaxing.

Changes To Your Role To Help You Work With Dementia

If you decide to continue working, think about whether making changes to your role could help you do your job better.

Some adjustments that people living with dementia make to their roles include

  • Changing your work schedule to give you time to rest if you are tired
  • Simplifying your schedule and opting out of less important meetings
  • Requesting to be moved to a quieter area with less distraction
  • Using technology or calendars to remind you of meetings and deadlines
  • Moving to a less senior or demanding role.

As dementia is a progressive condition, there will likely come a time when continuing to work is no longer possible.

There are many reasons why people have to give up work it is not a failure to have a condition that makes it impossible to continue working.

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The Importance Of Doctor And Third Party Statements

When determining your RFC, the SSA will generally place the most weight on your treating doctors’ opinions, your medical history, and any psychological or neuropsychological testing. But the SSA will also consider statements given by third persons such as family members and caretakers. These statements are helpful because they give a glimpse into your ability to interact with others, perform daily activities, and concentrate on activities. These statements should contain detailed information on why you cannot perform any work. It is best to have statements from individuals who have known you for a long period of time and who can provide an opinion as to how your daily functioning has declined over at least a one-year period.

In addition, the SSA is also required to consider any work evaluations and any attempts you have made at performing work. The agency must also review any statements you provide about your own treatment and symptoms.

You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month In SSDI Benefits

Living Well With Dementia

Dementia Care

Psychologists work to assess, diagnose, treat and support individuals with dementia and lighten the burden on their families. Dementia is a syndrome caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Living well with dementia.

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Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment

Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:

  • Getting lost easily
  • Noticeably poor performance at work
  • Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
  • Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
  • Losing or misplacing important objects
  • Difficulty concentrating

Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.

Where To Get Help

“Dementia is progressive, so unfortunately there comes a point where working isn’t practical. But it progresses over months, years. It really depends where you are on that trajectory, what implications it has on day-to-day life.

“The vast majority of people with early dementia are just as safe as you and me – in fact perhaps a little bit more so, because they may take care to avoid hazardous situations.”

Then there are the benefits that working may have on a person’s well-being by providing routine, companionship and a sense of satisfaction – and of course an income.

For Doug, the financial implications have been severe.

His earnings “have gone from roughly ã120,000 a year to zero”, he says. His wife’s part-time job in a local post office brings in ã500 a month, and Doug is entitled to around ã1,000 a month in Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment. “That money doesn’t really cover everything. We’re always having to scrimp and save,” says Doug. In order to clear their mortgage, they sold their house and downsized to a property in Upper Rissington, Gloucestershire. He’s still too young to claim his state pension.

He recognises that, as a contractor, he was always at risk from the vagaries of short-term employment. Nonetheless, he’d rather be sharing his skills and contributing to the economy rather than claiming money from the government.

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Angry Behavior In People With Dementia

When someone with dementia gets angry, they may:

Sometimes, there are warning signs. The person may raise their voice, scowl, or swing their arm at empty space.

Other times, you may not see it coming. This “no-warning” anger can be hard to cope with because it is unpredictable.

Anger and aggression are most likely to develop in the middle stages of dementia. At the same time, there may be other challenging behaviors like wandering, hoarding, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Do Not Shy Away From Asking For Help

Living with dementia

No one may have all the answers especially when it comes to taking care of a person with dementia. Try doing research on how their behavior changes and what needs to be done to help them live their lives without too many complications. Hire help when it becomes too much as it also ensures that you do not become too frustrated or drained. When you have multiple family members who can help, ask everyone to pitch in and look after the patient so that you can get some personal space to breathe and re-energize when it is your time to look after the patient. When you feel like you can no longer look after your loved one at your own home, it may be time to consider assisted living. In such case, look into dementia care homes that can provide specially trained professionals.

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Stage : Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

Unable To Work Due To Dementia Consider Filing For Long

When you or a family member are preparing for a life with dementia, long-term disability insurance will likely be part of your plan. You might have an employer-sponsored plan or a private policy that provides monthly income when you can no longer work.

Before you apply for disability insurance benefits, you should carefully review your policys language. While some policies will only pay monthly benefits to those who are completely unable to work, others will issue benefits if you are unable to do your current job. Some plans will even pay a residual or partial benefit if you return to a different, less difficult job.

If you need help understanding your policys terms and conditions, we can help you. Our team of experienced disability lawyers has helped disabled individuals recover millions in compensation and benefitsgiving both them and their families peace of mind.

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Can You Die From Dementia And How Does It Kill You

Many people worry about developing dementia one day. However, experts say there are things you can do to by more than 30 percent. In this article, we’ll cover some of the easy lifestyle changes you can make to improve your odds of staying healthy.

If you have dementia, you may be wondering what it might mean for your long-term health. Know that it’s not the type of disorder that can shorten your life expectancy, but it may make you more susceptible to contracting certain illnesses. We’ll talk about that in more detail later on, and we’ll share some suggestions to ease your fears and worries.

What Will Cause Death?

For many, dementia is unfathomable. It’s scary to think about losing memories and the ability to function normally. If you have been diagnosed with dementia, know someone who has, or are just curious about the subject, you may wonder how a person with dementia dies.

It’s possible that you could die from complications of dementia, but you’re unlikely to die from the disease itself. For example, dementia could damage your brain over time to the point that you lose the ability to breathe and therefore die. However, for many patients, this is not the case.

Even though there are around 50 million people worldwide who have dementia, you’re not destined to get it. There are billions of people who don’t have it and who will never get it.

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