Dont Counter Aggressive Behavior
People with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s may become aggressive in response to the environment. Bath time is often when the aggressive behavior is displayed. The caregivers and/or family member’s approach may also play a part. Rushing, speaking harshly, or forcing a person may result in an aggressive response. When someone with memory loss displays aggressive behavior, it is a form of communication. It may be the only way a person has left to say, Pay attention to me! I don’t want to take a bath! When someone is communicating vigorously, it is the caregivers and/or family member’s job to respect that communication. Hitting, kicking, or biting are ways of saying, stop. The appropriate response is to stop. That doesnt mean not to try again in five minutes or a half an hour.
When Are You Available To Start Working
Sample answer: I’m available to start working immediately. I’d like to understand the patient’s issues, meet with the patient, and ensure that they’re comfortable with me. This includes providing a formal introduction and learning about them. From there, I’d like to be able to begin working with them.
Answer With Different Modalities
Some of us learn better through reading, pictures, or audio. When a dementia patient repeats the same question, it can indicate that they do not understand your answer.
Try using more than one sensory modality to answer and avoid repeated questions. Use a picture, a drawing, a recording, or written words to answer their questions. Display these items prominently in front of the patient.
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Questions About Loved Ones Who Are Dead
Where is my mum/dad/husband/best friend?Why: As the illness progresses and their recent memory disappears, events from the distant past can become very vivid for people with dementia. So if they ask after a loved one who died decades ago, it could simply mean that theyve been thinking about them recently or that something has triggered a memory of them that theyd like to share.
Try saying: Oh, I was just thinking about them myself. Remember that day we.Why: You arent ignoring the question, just side-stepping it and leading the conversation into a more pleasant area for both of you.Or Im sure theyd love to see you but they cant get here. Tell me more about them, what would they say if they were here with you?Why: This is a satisfying answer which isnt, strictly speaking, a lie but does involve being fairly economical with the truthOrThey cant see you because theyre at work/shopping/at school.Why: Now you definitely are lying, but many people believe this sort of therapeutic lying is acceptable and sometimes necessary if its in the best interests of the person with dementia.
What Can I Do To Support Myself
Finally, dont forget about yourself. Ask the doctor if he or she can refer you to a dementia support group.
Caring for a person with dementia is challenging work that demands ongoing commitment. Its a marathon, not a sprint, and that means you must take care of yourself. Seek help from friends and family. Prioritize self-care, and accept help whenever it is available. If you experience signs of caregiver depression or anxiety, seek help from a doctor or therapist. These are treatable conditions, and getting the right support can help you sustain the energy that caregiving demands.
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Who Is This Dementia Quiz For
Below is a list of 9 questions composed for people who are concerned about memory loss. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have symptoms of dementia, currently known as Neurocognitive Disorder , and are based on criteria in the DSM-5.
The following questions encompass the six domains of cognition that are evaluated when assessing symptoms NCD: executive functioning, complex attention, perceptual-motor ability, social interactions, learning/memory-related difficulties, and challenges involving daily activities.
Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.
Ten Tips For Communicating With A Person With Dementia
We arenât born knowing how to communicate with a person with dementiaâbut we can learn. Improving your communication skills will help make caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Good communication skills will also enhance your ability to handle the difficult behavior you may encounter as you care for a person with a dementing illness.
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Why Does Dementia Occur
Alzheimers is far and away the leading causeit accounts for about two-thirds of all late-onset dementia . Other disorders and diseases account for the rest. And why Alzheimers disease occurs is an unending and, perhaps, philosophical question. For example, you could ask, What are the changes in the brain that precede and are associated with the onset of symptoms? But then you would also have to ask why those occur. And so on. You could also ask: “What predisposes certain people to get Alzheimers disease?” The greatest risk factor is age. Among U.S. men and women ages 65 to 75, about 3% have Alzheimers for ages 75 to 85, between 10 to 15% live with the disease and for those older than 85, approximately 35% have it.
So, why is age a risk factor? We dont fully knowand thats a big area of current research. The second most important risk factor is family history and genetics: The major genetic risk factor is called apolipoprotein E4 , which might account for up to 40% of the risk. But why is APOE4 a risk factor? Again, we dont fully know. A nonhereditary risk factor is previous head injuries. And, of course, there is much ongoing research about lifestyle, including diet and exercise. So, theres not a clear-cut answer on why dementia occurs.
Play To Their Strengths
Sometimes memory loss is so devastating that we all forget that there is a person still in there somewhere. Family members can be distraught by what’s missing and forget that there’s still a lot there within the person, and that they have strengths.
They still have long-term memory, so its up to the caregiver and/or family member to find them. It’s interesting that, medically, doctors do tests on other conditions but when it comes to memory loss, it’s often looked at like a switch: Either they got it, or they don’t. Just like everything else, there’s a progression of memory loss, and its up to the caregiver and/or family member to find out where the patient and/or loved one is, and bolster that.
Strength #1: Long-term memory & stories
Everyone has a short-term memory drawer and long-term memory drawer, and we put information in each. People with dementia and/or Alzheimers have a short-term memory drawer that has no bottom. He/she puts things in, and then they get lost. The long-term memory drawer, however, has a solid bottom. Lots of stories that are retrievable await . Encourage your patients and/or loved ones to tell you stories. You can even use photos to encourage stories. Photos are wonderful long-term memory reminders.
Strength #2: Humor & music
Strength #3: Spirituality
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Go Somewhere Else For A Few Minutes
It is difficult sometimes not to run out of patience when your elderly loved one asks you the same question all over again. In these situations, you may snap and start yelling at your senior. To avoid that, leave the room, take a deep breath, and just chill out for a few minutes. When you come back, you will have more energy and patience to handle their questions.
These would be four simple ways to respond. If you are taking care of someone with dementia, check out what things you should and shouldnt do. Perhaps you are unsure whether your loved one has dementia or not, so make sure you are aware of the early signs of dementia. Dementia doesnt need to be frustrating for caregivers, if you are prepared well and know what to do.
How To Find Quality Care For A Combative Dementia Patient
My 65 yr old uncle had back to back strokes in 2020. He was placed in a nursing home where they found that he was suffering from dementia. He then became violent and was evicted from the NH. I found a memory care facility that seemed to be perfect for him but after a few months he became combative and violent. He was then transferred to another facility where they stopped giving him seroquel because it was not allowed for dementia patients. He has been at this new facility since September 2021 and now becoming combative and violent again. I was told today that he needs to be moved to a new facility because he has refused his medication for 2 months and they cannot control him. What are my options now seeing that I can’t bring him to live with me?
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Focus On Work History
A person’s background can be essential in this role. Whether it’s a previous nursing position or physical therapy position, there may be alignment between a prior job and the caregiver role. Think of prior work situations where patience, honesty, and reliability were pivotal to the job function.
For more information please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Do Not Try To Stop A Person Who Wants To Leave A Room
Staying in one place for long periods may result in behavior problems in the dementia patient. It is essential to have a safe environment where they can enjoy the outdoors without any problem. When someone tries to leave a room, do not force them to stop. Doing this may result in an extreme reaction such as severe distress or injuries.
Instead, it is best to accompany the patient so that they are safe. You can even suggest going for a drive around the block so that they can experience a new environment for a short period. If they do not want company, just let them go but stay close by to make sure that the patient is safe at all times.
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How To Diagnose Alzheimers Vs Dementia
Alzheimers is a progressive and fatal brain disorder. Dementia is not a specific disease, but an umbrella term that defines a syndrome and used to refer to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Alzheimers is one of the most common causes of dementia. Both Alzheimers and dementia are diagnosed using a variety of different assessments and tests, including a physical exam, lab tests, cognitive and neuropsychological tests, and an analysis of changes in behavior.
Dont Say No Dont Or Cant
One of the biggest mistakes in dealing with patients and/or loved ones with memory loss is being negative and telling them that they cant do something. Words like no,” don’t, or can’t create resistance. This comes up regularly with family members when the patient and/or loved one might be still driving, and the caregiver and/or family member has made the decision to stop them from driving. One should never say, You can’t drive anymore. They can still technically drive , and they can get very combative when told no. A way to counter this is to say, I know you still can drive, that’s not even a question, but you know what happened the other day? I was out on the highway and this car cut me off, and I had to make a split-second decision it was really scary Its likely they will say, You know what? I’m having a little trouble with those decisions too. The issue isn’t the mechanical driving, it has more to do with comprehension, and many times this answer works much better than, You can’t drive anymore, which can be construed as confrontational.
You may find a patient and/or loved one up too early or confused about time. Instead of using messages such as, Youre up too early, you need to go to bed, try leading with statements such as, You know, I’m getting sleepy. Id like a little snack before I go to bed, and then gesture for the patient and/or loved one to sit with you.
Ways To Communicate With A Person With Dementia
- Stand or sit where the person can see and hear you as clearly as possible usually this will be in front of them, and with your face well-lit. Try to be at eye-level with them, rather than standing over them.
- Be as close to the person as is comfortable for you both, so that you can clearly hear each other, and make eye contact as you would with anyone.
- Communicate clearly and calmly.
What Other Types Of Treatment Could Help
There are many supportive treatments that may help, although there is no known cure for most types of dementia. Nutritional and emotional support are very important. Counseling or psychotherapy may help someone come to terms with having dementia as well as alleviate depression or anxiety. As well, exercise may slow the progression of impaired thinking, and occupational therapy can teach people new ways to cope as their condition changes.
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Dont Ask A Person With Short
A patient and/or loved one can construe even the simplest of conversation starters as a real question, but they honestly dont know the answer to it. This can be embarrassing and can send them back into a fogthey try their best to give an answer that makes sense to them and often produce immediate physical concerns: I’m having a lot of pain, for example. A caregiver and/or family member might ask, What did you have for breakfast? and the person with memory loss doesn’t remember at all. They might say earnestly, I haven’t had anything to eat for weeks, . So these are questions to avoid because it causes fear for the person, that they have failed. But there are things you can talk about
Do Try To Be Forgiving And Patient
Do not forget that dementia is the condition that results in irrational behavior and causes dementia sufferers to act the way they do. The patients demand plenty of patience and forgiveness from the people looking after them. Have the heart to let things go instead of carrying grudges around for something that the patient may not be in control of.
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What Is Dementia And What Causes It
Dementia is a syndrome that causes a person to develop difficulty and problems with their memory or their ability to think. Unlike the normal changes that happen in a persons memory and thinking over time, dementia affects someones ability to function in their daily life activities and their normal routine .There are different causes of dementia. These causes are typically underlying neurological conditions . One common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease. Other causes include diseases that impact brain blood vessels. For example, strokes may cause what is commonly termed Vascular Dementia. Some causes include Lewy Body Disease and Parkinsons disease.
Common Frustrations & Difficulties
Communicating with a person with memory loss can be difficult, but the right strategies can bridge the gap and foster a more fulfilling relationship between the patient and/or loved one. For caregiverswhether you’re a professional or a family member caring for a loved oneits important to adopt a positive attitude to effectively communicate.
Engaging with patients and/or loved ones in an encouraging and patient manner will help minimize feelings of frustration. If you’re struggling to connect with a patient and/or loved one with memory loss, its important to know a few common frustrations and traps and how you can avoid them.
First, remind yourself that people with dementia and/or Alzheimers only have the present moment, so we can let them know that we enjoy their company. When caring for someone who has the disease, the most important thing to take care of is that persons feelings. A person with memory loss cant remember the minute before, they dont know whats going to happen in the next minute. They cant do that kind of thinking, so how they feel right now is the most important thing to pay attention to.
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Questions About Keeping Active
Regular physical activity has many health benefits. It helps to lower and maintain healthy blood pressure, which is good for heart health, and reduces the risk of stroke. It also helps you keep your weight in check, which will reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and other conditions.
While research is underway to investigate a direct effect of exercise on dementia risk, medical conditions like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are known risk factors for dementia. Therefore, staying active may not only help maintain a healthy body, but has knock-on benefits for our brain health too.
Mentally-stimulating activities may include doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku, learning a new skill, or taking up a new hobby. Its not clear which, of these things could be most beneficial, but its a good idea to do things you enjoy to keep your mind active.
Several studies have suggested a link between mentally-stimulating activities and a lower risk of dementia. Other studies have found that spending more time in education is associated with a lower risk. Research is ongoing in these areas to see which activities might be most beneficial.