Do Not Try And Alter Undesirable Behavior
Lack of understanding may push one to try and change or stop any undesirable behavior from patients who have dementia. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to teach new skills or even reason with the patient. Try instead to decrease frequency or intensity of the behavior. For instance, respond to emotion and not the changes in behavior. If a patient insists on always asking about a particular family member reassure them that he or she is safe and healthy as a way of keeping them calm and happy.
Do Try And Identify The Trigger That Causes Behavior Change
After spending some time with a patient who has dementia, caregivers may be in a position to identify some of the things that make dementia sufferers yell, get physical, or change their mood. For some, it may be something simple such as taking a bath or even getting dressed.
The best approach to handle this is not to force the patient to do something that they do not want to do. Try and distract them with something else that allows them to relax and calm down. Once they are not a danger to themselves or anyone around them, try going back to the subject, but this time reassuringly and calmly.
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.
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Caregiving In The Early Stages Of Alzheimers Or Dementia
In the early stages of Alzheimers disease or another type of dementia, your loved one may not need much caregiving assistance. Rather, your role initially may be to help them come to terms with their diagnosis, plan for the future, and stay as active, healthy, and engaged as possible.
Accept the diagnosis. Accepting a dementia diagnosis can be just as difficult for family members as it for the patient. Allow yourself and your loved one time to process the news, transition to the new situation, and grieve your losses. But dont let denial prevent you from seeking early intervention.
Deal with conflicting emotions. Feelings of anger, frustration, disbelief, grief, denial, and fear are common in the early stages of Alzheimers or dementiafor both the patient and you, the caregiver. Let your loved one express what theyre feeling and encourage them to continue pursuing activities that add meaning and purpose to their life. To deal with your own fears, doubts, and sadness, find others you can confide in.
Make use of available resources. There are a wealth of community and online resources to help you provide effective care on this journey. Start by finding the Alzheimers Association in your country . These organizations offer practical support, helplines, advice, and training for caregivers and their families. They can also put you in touch with local support groups.
Using Music For Dementia Care Can Be Powerful
Music, and singing in particular, has great power over the brain. Singing old songs can act as a key to unlock past memories. It can also promote the use of our grey matter, making the brain more active.
Some areas in the brain used for communication can be negatively affected by dementia. These are areas such as language centres.
Music is still able to reach other parts of the brain, and provide great benefits even when speech is lost. This applies to instrumental or classical music, as well as songs with lyrics.
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Helping Someone With Everyday Tasks
In the early stages of dementia, many people are able to enjoy life in the same way as before their diagnosis.
But as symptoms get worse, the person may feel anxious, stressed and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate.
It’s important to support the person to maintain skills, abilities and an active social life. This can also help how they feel about themselves.
Tips To Help Manage Dementia Sleep Problems
There are ways to help your loved on get a better nights sleep, Hashmi says.
Avoid things that disrupt sleep.
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, and sugar near bedtime.
- Avoid over-the-counter sleep aids. Instead, Hashmi suggests you talk to a doctor about whether melatonin might help your loved one sleep.
- Remove electronics from the bedroom.
Create a routine that supports sleep.
- Make sure your loved one gets enough daytime light to help with circadian rhythms.
- Change into comfortable clothing, signaling nighttime.
- Consider warm milk, a hot shower, relaxing music or reading before bed.
- Pick a bedtime not too late and stick with it every night.
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Tips For Home Safety For People With Dementia
As a caregiver or family member to a person with Alzheimers or related dementias, you can take steps to make the home a safer place. Removing hazards and adding safety features around the home can help give the person more freedom to move around independently and safely. Try these tips:
- If you have stairs, make sure there is at least one handrail. Put carpet or safety grip strips on stairs, or mark the edges of steps with brightly colored tape so they are more visible.
- Insert safety plugs into unused electrical outlets and consider safety latches on cabinet doors.
- Clear away unused items and remove small rugs, electrical cords, and other items the person may trip over.
- Make sure all rooms and outdoor areas the person visits have good lighting.
- Remove curtains and rugs with busy patterns that may confuse the person.
- Remove or lock up cleaning and household products, such as paint thinner and matches.
Healthy And Active Lifestyle Tips For People Living With Dementia
Participating in activities you enjoy and getting exercise may help you feel better, stay social, maintain a healthy weight, and have regular sleep habits.
Try these tips for a healthy and active lifestyle:
- Try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week. But be realistic about how much activity you can do at one time. Several short mini-workouts may be best.
- Aim for a mix of exercise types endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. For example, you could do a mix of walking or dancing, lifting weights, standing on one foot, and stretching. Even everyday activities like household chores and gardening help you stay active.
- Your diet may need to change as dementia progresses to maintain a healthy weight. Talk with your doctor about the best diet for you, and choose nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein and dairy products. Avoid added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
- Stay social by talking on the phone with family and friends, joining an online support group, or going for a walk in your neighborhood.
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Moving Into A Care Home
As the symptoms of dementia will get worse over time, many people eventually require support in a care home. Depending on their needs, this could be a residential care home or a nursing home that offers services for people with dementia.
If you’ve been caring for a partner or relative with dementia, this can be a difficult decision to take. Talk through your concerns with friends and family.
Remember that you will still be involved in the care and support of the person with dementia after they move to a care home. You may be able to arrange a trial period in a care home for the person you care for.
Your local council will have to carry out another needs assessment to confirm the need to go into a care home and a financial assessment to decide how much the person will have to pay towards their care home fees.
Residential and nursing homes are inspected by the Care Quality Commission . You can read their reports of care homes in England.
Help Them Stay Organized But Without Doing Everything For Them
Having a nighttime routine also helps with sleep problems that some seniors with dementia encounter. Doctors suggest non-drug options to manage sleep issues in those with dementia-related sleeping issues. The right room temperature, comfortable bedding, nightwear, and a soft light that isnt too dark can help. So can reading or listening to music to wind down instead of television or a drink which can act as a stimulant and disrupt sleep.9
A person with dementia may need help with their daily tasks and life which theyd managed alone until now. Having a set routine can help. Dont do everything for them though it might make them feel unwanted or useless. Instead, have them do things with you or assist with little jobs around the house. If tasks seem daunting, break it down into simpler steps for them. You could even use notes or little posters at critical locations to help them remember what to do or how to do something.10
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Help With Incontinence And Using The Toilet
People with dementia may often experience problems with going to the toilet.
Problems can be caused by:
- urinary tract infections
- constipation, which can cause added pressure on the bladder
- some medicines
Sometimes the person with dementia may simply forget they need the toilet or where the toilet is.
Planning For The Future
- Talk to the person with dementia to make sure that they have a current up-to-date will that reflects their wishes.
- Encourage the person with dementia to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney so that a responsible person can make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to.
- Talk to the person with dementia about making an advance decision to refuse certain types of medical treatment in certain situations. It will only be used when the person with dementia has lost the capacity to make or communicate the decision in the future.
- If the person youre caring for has already lost the ability to make or communicate decisions but doesnt have an LPA, you can apply to the Court of Protection who can make decisions on behalf of that person or appoint someone else to do so.
If the person you care for drives, the law requires them to tell DVLA about their diagnosis. A diagnosis of dementia doesn’t automatically mean someone has to stop driving straight away what matters is that they can drive safely.
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Resources For Alzheimer’s Care
Explore the Alzheimers.gov portal for information and resources on Alzheimers and related dementias caregiving from across the federal government.Phone: 1-800-438-4380
Alzheimer’s AssociationPhone: 1-800-272-3900
The Alzheimer’s Association offers information, a help line, and support services to people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Local chapters across the country offer support groups, including many that help with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Call or go online to find out where to get help in your area. The Association also funds Alzheimer’s research.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of AmericaPhone: 1-866-232-8484
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America provides information about how to care for people with Alzheimer’s, as well as a list of services for people with the disease. It also offers information for caregivers and their families through member organizations. Services include a toll-free hotline, publications, and other educational materials.
Eldercare LocatorPhone: 1-800-677-1116
Caregivers often need information about community resources, such as home care, adult day care, and nursing homes. Contact the Eldercare Locator to find these resources in your area. The Eldercare Locator is a service of the Administration on Aging. The Federal Government funds this service.
Phone: 1-800-222-2225TTY: 1-800-222-4225
Exercise That Doesnt Feel Like Exercise
- dancing seniors clubs often include dancing parties in their social calendar. If the person with dementia doesnt know how to dance, simple dances such as square dancing can be learned and enjoyed, as long as their partner can take the lead
- gardening raking and mowing the lawn are good forms of exercise. Make sure you are on hand to help if required
- housework such as vacuuming and folding laundry. Most people with Alzheimers disease can continue to perform certain types of housework if they are supervised.
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Sleep Tips For People Living With Dementia
Dementia often changes a persons sleeping habits. You may sleep a lot, or not enough, and wake up many times during the night. Poor sleep quality can make dementia symptoms worse.
Tips for better and safer sleep:
- Follow a regular schedule by going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when traveling.
- Develop a relaxing bedtime routine with lowered lights, cool temperature, and no electronic screens.
- Avoid caffeine and naps late in the day.
- Have a lamp thats easy to reach and turn on, a nightlight in the hallway or bathroom, and a flashlight nearby.
- Keep a telephone with emergency numbers by your bed.
- Talk to your doctor if you have problems sleeping.
Do Keep Eye Contact When Speaking
Communicating with a dementia patient requires a lot of patience, especially during later stages of dementia. It is vital to ensure that you talk in a place that has good lighting, a place that is quiet and without too many distractions. Do not try and stand over the person you are talking to, but rather try to be at their level and keep eye contact at all times. Take care to make sure that body language is relaxed and open. Prepare to spend quality time with the person so that they do not feel rushed or like they are a bother.
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Simple Ways To Help Someone With Dementia In The Short And Long Term Aaa
Dementia is one of the biggest health issues facing the entire world. There are over 5 million Americans living with dementia. The disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. In England, there are over 670,000 people living with dementia. Recently, Public Health England and Alzheimers Society have joined forces to help raise awareness of people living with this disease through their Dementia Friends campaign.
Celebrities are doing commercials urging friends to help those living with the disease and the campaign centers around simply understanding the disease and what you can do to help. One of the campaigns initiatives are giving ways in which someone can help a loved one living with the disease. Here are 5 simple ways one can help:
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Finding Care And Support: Tips For People Living With Dementia
Many people may be able to help in different ways. These people might include family members, friends, professional caregivers, community organizations, and others with dementia. For example, you can:
- Ask friends or family to help with needs like cooking, paying bills, transportation, or shopping.
- If you live alone, find people you trust who can visit often.
- Consider letting trusted neighbors know of your diagnosis so they can help if needed.
- Use social service agencies, local nonprofits, and Area Agencies on Aging to connect with in-home help, transportation, meals, and other services.
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Get A Carer’s Assessment
If you care for someone, you can have an assessment to see what might help make your life easier. This is called a carer’s assessment.
A carer’s assessment might recommend things like:
- someone to take over caring so you can take a break
- training in how to lift safely
- help with housework and shopping
- putting you in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk to
A carer’s assessment is free and anyone over 18 can ask for one.
Deal With Personal Hygiene And Incontinence
Urinary tract infections, incontinence, constipation these are just some issues the elderly have to deal with. Add to that the tendency to forget the need to go to the toilet or even where the toilet actually is, and a person with dementia has even more trouble. Prominently signpost the toilet with a board of some kind, keep the door open for easy access, and ensure the person with dementia has clothes that are quickly removed using a zipper instead of buttons helps. When it comes to personal hygiene, the fear of falling or becoming disoriented might keep someone from washing regularly. Some patients may allow a caregiver to help with this or be present when they are bathing.14
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