Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomeHow To Cope When A Loved One Has Dementia

How To Cope When A Loved One Has Dementia

Dont Say No Dont Or Cant

Is your loved one with dementia slipping away? Here’s how to cope with loss & grief

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.

Troubling Behavior And How To Deal With It

One of the biggest challenges there is when caring for someone you love is the behavioral changes that happen.

Take these ground rules into consideration with every situation:

We cannot change people, especially ones with a brain disorder, such as patients with dementia. If you attempt to change them, you will not be successful. It is a better idea to do the following:

Try and work with them instead of trying to change them. For example, if they want to sleep in a certain place, do not try and force them to move, rather make them comfortable where they want to be.

We can change our environment and our behavior, which, most of the time will cause the person you care for to change theirs as well.

Coping Strategies For Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers

If you are a caregiver for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease , you may face difficult challenges as you try to provide care and understand the behavior changes of the person you are caring for. Understanding the behavior of a person with AD can help lessen these difficulties.

People with AD may exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Extreme anxiety about daily life, which may be exhibited by asking questions and repeating information about once familiar events and/or people, preparing for appointments/day care well ahead of time and using notes and reminders endlessly.
  • Apathy or a lack of initiative about tasks that used to be routine, though now feel overwhelming. For example, the person who always enjoyed puzzles but no longer does them because they are too overwhelming and require skills he/she no longer possesses.
  • Frequent agitation may occur as people become less able to interpret their environment and control or express their feelings. For example, a person with AD may strike out at a caregiver.

You May Like: Does Diet Coke Cause Memory Loss

Your Family Would Much Rather You Asked Questions Than Worried About Things If They Dont Know The Answer Themselves They Can Help You To Find Out


When somebody in your family has dementia, it can change your life in many different ways. Its normal to feel many different emotions. At the bottom of this page you can read some quotes from other young people about how dementia has affected them.

These feelings are all normal, but they can be very difficult to cope with. If you need support, the best thing to do is to talk to someone you trust and ask for help.

Should You Keep Trying To Communicate

How To Cope With A Loved One Who Has Dementia?

Family members may frequently ask, How often should I visit?, or, Should I visit at all, because they dont seem to be understanding what were saying, most of the time they dont seem to recognize me, etc. Caregivers can encourage family members to visit because its important to them. Also, the person with memory loss may catch some things on some days, and if family members can make the interaction a pleasant moment, it can be rewarding for both.

Communication amongst family becomes particularly difficult when the person with dementia and/or Alzheimers doesn’t recognize family members anymore. In this situation, a spouse or children can think that it doesnt do any good to go talk to the personthat anyone could talk to him/her because they dont remember who they are. But there is a richness that happens because of family history together, something that can only come from people that have been family or friends for a long time.

The type of communication families can get out of visits can be pulled from the strength of the patient and/or loved ones long-term memories. They can still talk about the past, and for family members, to hear those things are perhaps a worthwhile gift.

Even though the patient and/or loved one can no longer communicate the way they used to, there are still other ways to enjoy time together. There is beauty and simplicity in being in the present moment.

Read Also: Neurotransmitter Alzheimers

Relay Your Message Very Clearly

When you speak, do so slowly, do not use long sentences, use a neutral tone, and do not raise your voice. You must keep them as comfortable as possible at all times. If they do not understand at first, repeat the question in the same manner as before. You may become frustrated after repeating yourself, but to not show them that you are feeling this way. Give them a few minutes if they are having trouble understanding.

Dealing With A Parent Who Denies Dementia Symptoms

Is Dad or Mom having difficulty remembering appointments or names? Or getting lost coming home from the grocery store? You may notice it is becoming more difficult to have a conversation as your parent becomes confused and cant find the words to finish a sentence.

The signs of dementia are obvious to you, but when you mention the possibility to your parent, they deny the dementia symptoms and refuse to get help. What can you do?

Its important to understand the two main reasons why a parent would deny dementia symptoms:

Recommended Reading: Where Does Bobby Knight Live

Stay Calm During Episodes

Many people with dementia will become angry when asked to do a simple task or if they are incapable of understanding where they are. While this may be heartbreaking and difficult to witness, staying calm during angry episodes is one key way to cope when someone has dementia.

You shouldnt force your loved one to do a task, such as taking a medication, if they refuse. You also should never try to trick your loved one into doing something or come up from behind them. Give them space if needed or talk to them in a calm voice to try to understand the problem.

You should avoid being aggressive or yelling back at your loved one if they begin to give you difficulty. This will only result in them becoming violent or scared. Many people with dementia wont understand why you are getting upset, and this will only escalate the issue.

Giving your loved one time to explain themselves can help you work through the challenges that they currently face.

If You’re Struggling To Cope

Does your loved one with dementia resent you? Try this!

Carers often find it difficult to talk about the stress involved with caring. If you feel like you’re not managing, don’t feel guilty. There’s help and support available.

You may benefit from counselling or another talking therapy, which may be available online.

Talk to your GP or, if you prefer, you can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service.

Also Check: Alzheimer’s Paranoia Medication

How To Deal With Dementia Behavior Problems

  • How to Deal with Dementia Behavior Problems: 19 Dos and Donts

Dementia is a disease that affects millions of people across the globe every year. It is often a highly misunderstood condition that is marred by numerous misconceptions, which make the condition difficult to understand and study.

You should know that dementia is not a name for an illness, rather it is a collective term that describes a broad range of symptoms that relate to declining of thinking, memory, and cognitive skills. These symptoms have deteriorating effects that usually affect how a patient acts and engages in the day-to-day activities.

In advanced dementia stages, affected persons may experience symptoms that bring out a decline in rational thought, intellect, social skills, memory, and normal emotional reactivity. It is something that can make them powerless when it comes to living normal, healthy lives.

Relatives, caregivers, spouses, siblings, children and anyone close to a person who has dementia need to know how to deal with behavioral problems that surface because of the illness. Examples of dementia problems may include aggressiveness, violence and oppositional behaviors. Find out some of the vital Do and Donts when dealing with a dementia patient.

Know What To Expect: The Changing Needs And Habits Of Someone With Dementia

If someone has dementia, you might at first assume it may only impact their ability to remember things or learn. But this has more far-reaching impact than youd imagine. As the illness progresses, you may notice changes in these areas:3

  • Communication
  • Eating patterns, likes, and dislikes
  • Continence or ability to control when they answer natures call
  • Sleeping habits

While this can be unnerving, it is something that can be managed with awareness, practice, and the right help. What follows are some guidelines and tips that could make the experience of caring for a loved one with dementia a little easier on you and them.

You May Like: What’s The Difference Between Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s

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.

    Living With: A Family Member With Dementia

    Book Review

    Dementia is a disease that can bring grief to a family if it isnt handled correctly. There are so many myths circulating about the illness, and many people do not understand that dementia is a manageable condition. In fact, many families living with a dementia patient can find some peace and a little stability. It just takes a clear understanding of what dementia is and how it can be managed.

    First, everyone must realize the dementia is a symptom of another, more complex disease or disorder. It isnt contagious and you cant just come down with it like a cold.There is always something else that leads to the dementia.

    These conditions include:

    • Narrowing blood vessels
    • Head injuries
    • Kidney disease
    • Liver disease

    Some of these conditions only cause a temporary form of dementia that can be overcome with physical therapy, medication and time. Other forms of dementia are degenerative, so they get worse as the years go on. If your loved one suffers from the latter versions, it is best to make their time with you as enjoyable as possible. To do so, you may have to accommodate the dementia sufferer while the disease is still manageable.

    Read Also: Alzheimers Ribbon Color

    Tips For Caregivers And Families Of People With Dementia

    On this page

    A caregiver, sometimes referred to as a caretaker, refers to anyone who provides care for another person. Millions of people living in the United States take care of a friend or family member with Alzheimers disease or a related dementia. Sometimes caregivers live with the person or nearby, other times they live far away. For many families, caring for a person with dementia isnt just one persons job, but the role of many people who share tasks and responsibilities. No matter what kind of caregiver you are, taking care of another person can be overwhelming at times. These tips and suggestions may help with everyday care and tasks.

    How Our Helpline Works

    For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

    We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.

    Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

    For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.

    If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.

    You May Like: What Causes Low Blood Pressure In Dementia Patients

    Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Dementia

  • 20 Things to Remember If You Love Someone With Dementia

  • February 6, 2019

    Caring for someone with Alzheimers disease is a difficult job, one that can cause caregivers a great amount of stress. However, if you love someone with dementia, you know that the position can also bring joy into your life and be extremely rewarding as well.

    In honor of the upcoming Valentines Day holiday, here are 20 things to remember when caring for a loved one with dementia.

    How To Cope When Your Loved One Is Diagnosed With Alzheimers

    What to do when your loved one with dementia calls you mean names

    When your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimers your plan for your future will change, and that is a frightening prospect. What will happen, who will your loved one become, and what will you do? You may not be ready to think about the progression of this disease, but you have many options to support you and your loved one through this, from senior home care and specialized Alzheimers and dementia support at home, to the support of your doctors. Here are some strategies to help you cope with this difficult time.

    1.Take It Slow

    There is a lot to learn about Alzheimers. Take your time researching, thinking, and talking to each other. A good starting point is our Alzheimers and dementia resource page. You might feel pressed into major decisions, but just wait until youve had time to explore all your options and consider your new reality. And remember, new treatments and support for people with Alzheimers are being continually developed.

    2. Care For The Family

    An Alzheimers diagnosis can instigate tension within the family. Symptoms of the illness can cause confusion, anger, and pain. Each family member will need support. Whether thats extra love and understanding, a family mediator, or individual therapists will depend on your family dynamic. Your local Alzheimers Society is a good source of support options. Youve begun a challenging journey together, but your family can pull through it with help and support.

    3. Dont Forget Yourself

    Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Jelly Drops For Dementia Patients

    How To Talk To Someone With Dementia Alzheimer’s Or Memory Loss

    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 you and your patient or loved one.

    Those struggling to communicate with a person who has memory loss are not alone. As many as four million people in the US may have Alzheimer’s, and, as our population ages, that number is expected to increase. Anyone who is a senior caregiver is likely to be affected and will need to understand how to cope with what is happening.

    Memory loss associated with aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s typically doesnt happen overnight. Slowly, little-by-little, it sneaks up, until one day, family members realize that they can no longer communicate in the same way with the person they’ve known for years. They suddenly can’t rely on their words and their sentences dont match the situation.

    Because we cannot see the diseasethe way we see a broken armits even more confusing when caregivers see how their patient and/or loved one will have good and bad days. The days when theyre alert and clear-headed make a caregiver hopeful. Then the bad days come, and family members and caregivers feel the pain of losing their patient and/or loved one all over again. This slow and normal progression of the disease makes communication a major challenge for caregivers.

    This blog will share more information and advice to improve communication, including:


    Most Popular