Work With Staff To Provide Person
Person-centred care involves a relationship between staff, the person with dementia and the family to provide care that is shaped by the personâs unique interests, likes and dislikes. Both person-centred care and end-of-life care have a common goal of improving the quality of living and dying for the person with dementia.
Communicating appropriate information about the personâs history, previous occupation and daily routines can greatly help staff in providing more person-centred care. The Alzheimer Societyâs All about me booklet may be useful in recording this information.
Visit our page on person-centred care to learn more.
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3. Be patient. If you are talking to a loved one in the early stages of dementia, he or she is not going to be able to focus on the conversation for a long period of time.
As attention wanders, be patient, listen attentively, talk about other things, then bring the conversation back to the topic at hand. Wondering how to actually put it into practice? Try one of these tested strategies if you get stuck:
“Every ounce of patience is required when Im looking after my first cousin. I mean, he acts so weird at times. So I learned to use three steps: First, I try to stay calm, and also attempt to make the home environment as mellow as possible. Next, Ive found that playing some of his favorite music helps create a positive vibe. I swear this works! Finally, whenever I can, I try to chunk down activities into small steps. It helps us stay focused and helps me be more patient.” – Man caring for his cousin with dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be difficult. Home Care Assistance has worked with leading experts to develop training programs for our teams so they can provide the specialized care needed for seniors experiencing cognitive decline. You can contact a Care Advisor at or and learn more about how we can support your needs.
Learn about our elderly care services.
Common Causes Of Sleep Problems In Dementia Patients
Troubled sleep is thought to be a dementia risk factor as well as a behavioral symptom. Here are some factors that may contribute to your loved ones sleep problems:
- Brain changes. Dementia patients have steeper changes in their brains sleep architecture and their circadian rhythms, causing sleep disturbances.
- Over-the-counter medications. Some over-the-counter medications labeled PM can disrupt sleep by making patients sleep for a bit but then making them more confused or sleepy at the wrong time, Hashmi says.
- Diet. Caffeine, excess sugar , and alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, Hashmi says.
- Electronic screens. The blue light from a computer, portable electronic devices, and television screens can delay sleep and disturb sleep patterns, Hashmi says.
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Can Someone With Dementia Live Alone And Other Important Questions
Helping dementia patients live at home is one of the best ways to encourage their health, longevity, and comfort. There are times when moving someone with dementia is necessary, but its often best to keep them at home.
There can be some worry and uncertainty regarding individuals with dementia living at home, especially if theyre alone. If youre an adult child or family caregiver to someone with dementia, you may have lots of questions about your loved one living at home.
In this article, were sharing expert information about people with dementia living at home and how to get help for dementia sufferers living alone. Well answer some of the most pressing questions, like:
- Can someone with dementia live alone?
- How long can dementia patients live at home?
- How can you promote independence in a person with dementia?
Keep reading to learn more about the risks and benefits of people with dementia staying at home.
When Guardianship Is Required
The elderly parent who lives alone in an unsafe condition but who refuses assistance is an archetypal character in the world of the senior advocacy. For instance, imagine a senior named Elda who has Alzheimers disease:
Eldas grown children became concerned because shes living alone with Advanced Alzheimers. Elda recently left the stove on again and started a minor, but very smokey kitchen fire. Her children unplugged the oven, so shes been eating generic goldfish crackers and Pepsi . She has sundowners and often wanders the not-so-safe neighborhood at night looking for a corner-store that closed 20 years ago. She has lost $20,000 and counting to Nigerian email scammers. And she recently fell, bruising her hip badly after tripping on a box of old newspapers in her cluttered apartment. Her children know shes a disaster waiting to happen.
If Elda continues to refuse assistance in this situation, the best option for her family would be to seek guardianship.
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Petition The Court For Commitment
In some states, any adult may request an investigation to ascertain whether commitment of another person is warranted. In other states, only a close family member or mental health provider may initiate the process.
State laws also vary with respect to who can file a petition with the court. Your state may allow you as a concerned family member or friend to file a petition for commitment. Otherwise, the county attorney or another party files petitions based on information gathered during the investigative process.
Understanding The Causes And Finding Ways To Cope
When someone with dementia lashes out at you for seemingly no reason, it’s normal to feel surprised, discouraged, hurt, irritated, and even angry at them. Learning what causes anger in dementia, and how best to respond, can help you cope.
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Making Sense Of Guardianship
Caregivers for people with Alzheimers disease often reach a point when they realize their loved one is unable to make rational or informed decisions. If their parent is cooperative and easy going, this incapacity may not be a problem. But if its coupled with a tendency to stubbornly refuse assistance or care, it can be dangerous. This is when guardianship can be an important tool for families. Guardianship also can be required when a person with Alzheimers or dementia is no longer able to legally sign power of attorney documents due to mental incapacitation.
Guardianship gives you the legal right to make decisions for a parent or loved one with Alzheimers or dementia. Guardianship is obtained through a court proceeding and granted by a judge.
Coping With A Dementia Diagnosis Tip : Reach Out To Others
Receiving a dementia diagnosis can leave you feeling isolated and alone. You may feel cut off from friends and family who arent able to fully understand what youre going through. You may retreat into your shell for fear of being a burden to others. Or you may even worry about how your relationships could change once people learn you have dementia. While these worries are natural, theyre not a reason to isolate yourself. At this difficult time, the love and support of others can have a huge impact on your mood and outlook.
Living with Alzheimers or another dementia is not easy, but there is help for this journey. Dont wait for others to offer support be proactive and reach out. The more support you have, the better youll be able to cope with symptoms and continue to enrich your life.
Stay connected with family and friends. Maintaining your closest relationships and continuing to enjoy social activities can make a world of difference to your health and attitude. As we age, retirement, relocation, and the loss of loved ones can often shrink our social networks, but its never too late to build new, meaningful friendships.
Seek spiritual counsel. Religious leaders can offer real comfort to believers, as well as ongoing social contact. Even people who do not regularly attend religious services may look towards religion following a diagnosis of dementia. If youre not religious, you may prefer to speak to a therapist or counselor.
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Tips For Managing Dementia Wandering
The No. 1 priority is to keep your loved one safe, Hashmi says. He suggests the following actions:
- Secure all doors. Be especially vigilant about doors that lead outside.
- Use technology. Tracking devices and surveillance systems are widely available and affordable.
- Enlist a team. Neighborhood watch groups and local police are often happy to help keep an eye out for your loved one.
Care Arrangement: Geriatric Psychiatric Facility
When a loved one suffering from a degenerative brain disease like dementia starts to experience changes in their behavior, us caregivers are hopeful that it might be a temporary change, or that it was just this one time and might never happen again.
Days and weeks pass and those “once in a blue moon” episodes where you or your loved ones safety might be in question become more regular and eventually something snaps, it’s too much and you need help for your loved one.
Geriatric Psychiatric Facilities are there to focus in on how to stabilize your loved one by assessing their current medications and identifying what other options your loved one has to ensure they, yourself and everyone around them is safe and happy.
Read on for more details on this great resource available when you might need it the most!
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Importance Of Palliative Care
The overall goals of palliative and end-of-life care are to improve the quality of living and dying for people with dementia and their family. A palliative approach to care is not only beneficial at the end of life but often for months in advance. Palliative care can start much earlier and be provided at the same time as potentially curative treatments. A person may continue to receive any necessary medications. These include medications to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as those that prevent pain and discomfort.
The Canadian Virtual Hospice defines palliative care as âan approach to care that focuses on comfort and quality of life for those affected by progressive, life threatening illness. The goal of palliative care is to control pain and other symptoms, support emotional, spiritual and cultural needs and maximize functioning.â In the past, a palliative care approach was most commonly offered to individuals in the final stages of dying from cancer. But there is now a consensus among experts that a palliative approach to care for people in advanced dementia is considered the best practice and that the care should be individualized to meet the needs, values and preferences of the person and their family.
âItâs important for staff to be informed about the âlittle thingsâ that will help keep the person comfortable.ââ Barbara Dylla, a former caregiver in Montreal.
Scenario : The Person Is Mentally Competent But Fails Or Refuses To Sign A Power Of Attorney
In this scenario, the person with dementia is still able to make sound decisions, but hasnt done any estate planning or has refused to set up any powers of attorney or co-owned financial accounts.
At this point, says Anderson, the person is still entitled to make decisions on their own regarding finances and health care.
They could sign financial and health care powers of attorney to designate a trusted person to make these decisions for them. Or, they could choose to make no estate planning decisions at all.
This can create a very difficult situation for everyone involved.
Option 1: Suggest standby conservatorship and/or guardianship insteadOne option is to have an open, honest discussion with the person. Emphasize the importance of having a financial or health care power of attorney and the negative consequences of not having any powers of attorney in place.
If the person still refuses to sign a power of attorney, you could suggest that they consider signing standby conservatorship and/or guardianship papers instead.
These documents would allow them to choose who they would want to make financial or healthcare decisions for them. Later, these documents would allow the court to hold a voluntary proceeding.
Doing this would be simpler, easier, and cheaper than if an involuntary guardianship or conservatorship were required.
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Nursing Homes Oust Unwanted Patients With Claims Of Psychosis
They are finding what families say are pretexts to send patients to hospitals for psychiatric care and then refusing to let them return.
- Read in app
In a New York nursing home, a resident hurled a bingo chip. At a home in Georgia, a 46-year-old woman, paralyzed from the waist down, repeatedly complained that no one had changed her diaper. In a California facility, a patient threw tableware.
In all three cases, the nursing homes cited the incidents as a reason to send the residents to hospitals for psychiatric evaluations and then to bar them from returning.
Across the United States, nursing homes are looking to get rid of unprofitable patients primarily those who are poor and require extra care and pouncing on minor outbursts to justify evicting them to emergency rooms or psychiatric hospitals. After the hospitals discharge the patients, often in a matter of hours, the nursing homes refuse them re-entry, according to court filings, government-funded watchdogs in 16 states, and more than 60 lawyers, nursing home employees and doctors.
The practice at times violates federal laws that restrict nursing homes from abruptly evicting patients.
The financial incentive to have more Medicare or privately insured patients, and fewer on Medicaid, becomes more pronounced when the Medicaid patients have illnesses, like dementia, that require extra care from staff.
Within 24 hours, the hospital cleared her for discharge.
What Are Some Other Typical Dementia Behaviors
In addition to aggression, confusion, sleep problems and wandering, symptoms of dementia can also include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, apathy and sexual inappropriateness. And, behavioral dementia symptoms tend to occur more frequently as the dementia progresses.
Up to 90% of patients have one or more of these symptoms during the course of their disease, studies show. It is important to discuss all dementia symptoms with your loved ones physician to rule out or treat any medical conditions that could be causing the behavior.
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Sections 135 And 136 Powers Of The Police
Sections 135 and 136 of the Act give certain powers to the police. This includes the power to remove a person from their home or a public place to a place of safety for a mental health assessment, or so other arrangements can be made for their treatment or care. An AMHP and a doctor should be involved in this process. The place of safety is usually a police station or a hospital.
Case Study: No More Mammograms
I had the privilege of serving as guardian to a wonderful lady I loved to pieces. At the point she had advanced disease progression, it no longer made sense for her to have mammograms, even though she had a history of breast cancer.
Her perception of having labs drawn was she was being punished. She jerked away, yelling, Ow! as she slapped at the lab tech. I had no reason to believe a mammogram would go any better.
Additionally, I had to think about what would happen if a mammogram came back with a spot. Would I say yes to a biopsy? What if that came back bad?
Would I say yes to surgery, knowing anesthesia would exacerbate her dementia symptoms? What about post-op recovery? Would I say yes to her going to rehab, knowing an unfamiliar environment would further aggravate her symptoms?
What if she needed chemo and/or radiation? Would I say yes to that, knowing shed not understand why an IV was hooked up and try to pull it out?
Thats what I mean by beginning with the end in mind. Before you say yes to testing, think about what youd do if the results dont come back the way you want.
On the flip side, good news is great. But how would going through the diagnostics add to your parent or partners quality of life? What would it change?
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Advice For Family Members