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HomeExclusiveHow Do You Care For An Elderly Person With Dementia

How Do You Care For An Elderly Person With Dementia

Paying For A Care Home

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Who pays for care will depend on individual circumstances.

If you’re entitled to local council funding, the council will set a personal budget. This will set out the overall cost of a care home, what the council’s contribution will be, and what you’ll have to pay.

The council must show there’s at least 1 suitable care home available at your personal budget level.

If you choose a care home that’s more expensive than the council considers necessary, top-up fees may have to be paid.

If the person with dementia isn’t eligible for council funding, they’ll have to pay the full cost of the care home .

Paranoia Delusion And Hallucinations

Distortions of reality, such as paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations, can be another result of the disease process in dementia. Not everyone with dementia develops these symptoms, but they can make dementia much more difficult to handle.

Lewy body dementia, in particular, increases the likelihood of delusions and hallucinations, although they can occur in all types of dementia.

What Do Elderly People Think About Life And Death

As we get older, death seems to be nearer than when we are younger. In as much as anyone can die regardless of age, for an older person, it seems like it is more likely to happen, especially when dealing with different health conditions that the body does not handle as it used to in the younger years.

For older persons, death does not always spell sorrow and terror, as is the case with younger people. Many of the older people are contented with what the short-term future has for them. You may think that people may get anxious as they become older, but this is not the case. Older people do not have much sadness and anxiety, especially related to death. They are actually more positive about life and death.

As we grow older, our perspective shifts. This is when you realize that things are not as they always seem. Most people fear death because they feel that they will lose the things that they have been working so hard to get over the years. However, for older people, this attachment to things acquired is not really pronounced. This is how some of the fear of death actually melts away.

When you look around you and you realize that there are things that are a part of you that will outlive you actually help in a major way. This could be the legacy we have in children or gardens planted. There are yet others who place value on their country, their religion, or families that live on even after they are gone.

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What Are The 7 Stages Of Dementia

People with dementia have problems with thinking, memory, and reasoning, and lose the ability to carry out tasks of daily living. They may also experience changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Dementia is typically defined in seven stages. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia.

Why Someone With Dementia Asks To Go Home

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Alzheimers and dementia damage the brain and cause a person to experience the world in different ways.

So, what we hear as I want to go home is often a request for comfort rather than literally asking to go somewhere.

The kindest thing to do is to meet them where they are, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.

The goal is to reduce your older adults anxiety or fear so they can let go of the idea.

Helping them to calm down also gives you a chance to check ifdiscomfort, pain, or a physical need is causing this behavior.

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How To Motivate A Person To Do A Medical Check

It is vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Healthcare providers emphasize that early diagnosis can extend the years of a fulfilling life. Unfortunately, many people seek help too late, when the few medications that could slow the development of dementia and improve their health condition no longer work.

The common reasons for denying help among dementia patients are:

  • Lack of understanding of their condition
  • The feeling of being forced into something
  • Denial of health issues due to fear of diagnosis
  • Genuine disbelief in the severity of their case

Unfortunately, there is no universal guide on how to help elderly parents who dont want help. People are all different: for some, experiencing the fear of getting lost on a familiar street is enough, and someone is happy to check their health with their spouse. It is necessary to show understanding and, if possible, not to deceive your loved one, because the doctor at the reception will need consent for the examination. The sooner you manage to convince the patient to start treatment, the less likely the condition will get out of control.

If a parent with dementia refuses help, you must be extremely careful and gentle in how you suggest a visit to the doctor. Remember to choose the approach while taking into consideration the mental condition of the person and their personal traits. Here are some tips on how to convince a person to seek medical treatment:

Devise A Daily Routine

In much the same way that a familiar home environment is reassuring, establishing a daily sequence of tasks and activities also helps keep Alzheimers patients focused and oriented. Begin by observing your loved ones daily routines and looking for patterns in their mood and behavior. This information will help you alter your expectations and optimize your care plan. For example, if they tend to be less confused and more cooperative in the morning, then adapting your routine to make the most of those lucid moments may help the entire day go more smoothly.

Keep in mind that Alzheimers patients abilities and preferences often fluctuate from day to day, so try to be flexible and adapt as needed. From there, consider incorporating the tips below into your Alzheimers care plan to ensure a long, safe and successful home-based care experience for you and your loved one.

Read more:The Importance of Creating a Daily Routine for Dementia Patients

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Tips For Changes In Communication And Behavior For People With Dementia

Communication can be hard for people with Alzheimers and related dementias because they have trouble remembering things. They also can become agitated and anxious, even angry. In some forms of dementia, language abilities are affected such that people have trouble finding the right words or have difficulty speaking. You may feel frustrated or impatient, but it is important to understand that the disease is causing the change in communication skills. To help make communication easier, you can:

  • Reassure the person. Speak calmly. Listen to his or her concerns and frustrations. Try to show that you understand if the person is angry or fearful.
  • Allow the person to keep as much control in his or her life as possible.
  • Respect the persons personal space.
  • Build quiet times into the day, along with activities.
  • Keep well-loved objects and photographs around the house to help the person feel more secure.
  • Remind the person who you are if he or she doesnt remember, but try not to say, Dont you remember?
  • Encourage a two-way conversation for as long as possible.
  • Try distracting the person with an activity, such as a familiar book or photo album, if you are having trouble communicating with words.

Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia

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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

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Find Resources For Coping With Caregiver Stress

When a loved one is in the moderate and severe stages of dementia, it is normal to feel high levels of caregiver stress. You may also need to cope with grief as you approach the loss of a loved one. It might be comforting to compare notes with a social worker experienced in working with caregivers. The social worker can share coping strategies for dealing with the many demands of caring for a loved one.

In the meantime, review these thought-starters:

  • Schedule me-time. The more demanding your caregiving situation is, the more important it is to look after yourself.
  • Take regular breaks. This will help you to avoid caregiver burnout due to the often overwhelming demands of caregiving.
  • Dont try to do everything on your own. Seek support from family, friends, and outside resources.

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Paranoia Delusions And Hallucinations

Paranoia and hallucinations in the elderly can take many forms. Seniors may make false accusations of theft or abuse, see people and things that arent there, or believe someone is trying to harm them. These behaviors can be especially difficult for caregivers to witness and try to remedy.

How to Handle Mental Health Issues in the Elderly

Hallucinations and delusions in elders are serious warning signs of a physical or mental problem. Keep track of what your loved one is experiencing and when so you can discuss it with their doctor as soon as possible. This behavior could be explained by something as simple as a side effect of a new medication they are taking, dehydration or a UTI.

Oftentimes, paranoia and hallucinations are associated with dementia. When this is the case, caregiving experts seem to agree that the best thing to do is go with the flow. Do not try to talk dementia patients out of a delusion. Validation is a good coping technique, because what the elder is seeing, hearing or experiencing is very real to them. Convincing them otherwise is fruitless and may make them more upset. Acknowledge the seniors concerns and perception of reality in a soothing voice. If they are scared or agitated, redirect them while assuring that they are safe and you will help them through the experience.

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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.

If He Or She Doesn’t Recognise Their Environment As ‘home’ At That Moment Then For That Moment It Isn’t Home

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Try this instead:

Try to understand and acknowledge the feelings behind the wish to go home. Find out where ‘home’ is for them – it might not be the last place they lived. It could be where they lived before moving recently or it could be somewhere from their distant past.

Often people with dementia describe ‘home’ as a pleasant, peaceful or idyllic place where they were happy. They could be encouraged to talk about why they were happy there. This can give an idea as to what they might need to feel better.

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How To Communicate With Someone Who Has Dementia

As dementia progresses, it affects peoples ability to express themselves so you may need to learn new ways to understand and communicate with the person you care for. Here are some tips:

  • If they don’t seem to be making sense, try to look for the meaning behind their words.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, using simple language and short sentences.
  • Avoid offering them complex choices keep things simple with questions that only need a yes or no answer.
  • Avoid testing their memory by asking them about what they’ve been doing. Try not to get into arguments about what they say even if you think theyre mistaken. Simply listening to what theyre saying rather than correcting them can help someone feel acknowledged.
  • Create a memory book to help them remember special times. This could be a collection of photos that represent happy events like weddings, holidays, or the birth of children. Memory books can help health and social care professionals understand the person. too.
  • If youre struggling with unusual or challenging behaviour, speak to the persons GP to get a referral to your community mental health team. The Alzheimer Societys factsheet Aggressive behaviour has more useful information including how to react, working out triggers, and dealing with your own feelings.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that distress and confusion may be caused by other health needs than dementia. Always discuss any concerns with the person’s GP so they can check for physical causes of symptoms.

    Plan For Gaps In Care

    Caregivers may need to take on more caregiving responsibilities if in-home health aids or other family members cannot come by as frequently.

    They can prepare for unexpected gaps in care by first making a list of essential supplies, such as medication, personal hygiene products, and food.

    It is a good idea to stock up on nonperishable, essential supplies.

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    Path To Improved Well Being

    Dementia affects your loved ones ability to communicate thoughts and emotions. Your loved one may not know how to tell you their needs. They may not understand what you want when you ask a question or make a request. This can be frustrating. Follow these tips to reduce stress and improve communication:

    • Be positive. Keep your tone of voice and body language calm. Control your facial expressions. Speak in a pleasant manner. And use touch to give your loved one affection.
    • Be clear. Get your loved ones attention. Speak slowly and calmly. Use simple words and phrases. You may have to repeat the information or question multiple times. Dont get frustrated when this happens. Ask yes or no questions. Avoid giving choices if there are none.
    • Acknowledge feelings. If your loved one is sad, angry, or upset, dont ignore it. Let them know that you understand as you work to calm them. For example, you might say, I can see that you are frustrated. Lets go for a walk.

    Take care of yourself

    As the caregiver of a person who has dementia, you must first take care of yourself. If you become too tired and frustrated, you will be less able to help your family member. If you need a break, try the following:

    When a loved one has dementia, your family doctor can be a trusted resource and partner in their care. Read More

    Moving To A Care Home

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    If the persons needs become too great for you to manage at home, you may need to consider other long-term options. If youre becoming exhausted or the person with dementia is becoming harder to care for, a care home might be the best option for you both.

    A move to a care home can be a difficult decision, but there are limits to the care you can provide.

    If the person you care for is moving into a care home, familiar furniture, belongings or music can help them feel more settled.

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    How Healthcare Professionals Care For Patients With Dementia

    Whether youre a nurse, a physician, a medical assistant or a home health aide, heres what you need to know about caring for someone with dementia.

    Dementia is one of the most common and severe causes of disability for older people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization , approximately 50 million people suffer from dementia and nearly 10 million new cases crop up each year.

    Because of the diseases debilitating effects, patients with dementia often require individualized care. And, because dementia affects a significant portion of the elderly population, its likely you will work with patients with this disease during your healthcare career.

    Caring for a patient with dementia can be challenging, especially if you dont immediately recognize the signs of the disease, or arent fully aware of the mental, physical and emotional challenges a patient with dementia faces on a daily basis.

    Whether youre a nurse, a physician, a medical assistant or a home health aide, heres what you need to know about caring for someone with dementia:

    Dont Forget To Care For Yourself Too

    Joining a carers group can be a good way for you to find people who truly relate to the situation you are in. It is a good place to share and talk it out or learn coping mechanisms others use to care for those with dementia. Social services or a dementia adviser or counselor can direct you to a local group. Alternatively, there are plenty of online support groups you could consider joining.17

    When you are close to someone with dementia you may find yourself asking why me. You may also get upset, angry, or frustrated, and possibly even feel guilty about thinking this way. At times, you may feel you are losing the love or affection you have for that person as these emotions take control. On the flip side, you may also feel guilty for taking time out to do something for yourself, or about losing your temper at them or not being kind enough. Dont beat yourself up about it. This is as hard on you as it is on the person you love who has dementia. And you need downtime too. Some of these things could help:18

    References

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