Remember That Hard Time Will Pass
As hard as the transition process may be for the senior citizen and their family, it is not something that will last a lifetime. When aging individuals finally settle in their new living quarters, they may get really busy with all of the social activities and recreational opportunities. They will spend time bonding with the staff, making new friends, enjoying various social opportunities and enjoying an environment where they are properly taken care of. Your parent may still feel lonely at times but in the long run, they will adjust, and thanks to the concern of their family members they will enjoy better quality life to be comfortable, content and safe in their later years.
Although moving a parent with dementia to assisted living can be a daunting task for many, proper planning, and patience can help make the transition a smooth ride for everyone involved.
Do Not Shy Away From Asking For Help
No one may have all the answers especially when it comes to taking care of a person with dementia. Try doing research on how their behavior changes and what needs to be done to help them live their lives without too many complications. Hire help when it becomes too much as it also ensures that you do not become too frustrated or drained. When you have multiple family members who can help, ask everyone to pitch in and look after the patient so that you can get some personal space to breathe and re-energize when it is your time to look after the patient. When you feel like you can no longer look after your loved one at your own home, it may be time to consider assisted living. In such case, look into dementia care homes that can provide specially trained professionals.
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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Activities For Dementia Patients: 50 Tips And Ideas To Keep Patients With Dementia Engaged
The prevalence of Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia is on the rise, yet the cost of dementia care options continues to grow. For many, family caregiving becomes the most practical and cost-effective solution, at least for a time. Keeping dementia patients actively engaged in everyday activities and cognitively challenging tasks is beneficial for both body and mind and, in some cases, it can even slow the progression of the disease. Staying active and engaged can help to reduce dementia sleep problems, as well.
Weve put together a list of 50 tips and ideas for keeping dementia patients active and engaged through everyday activities, outings, cognitively challenging tasks, and social and emotional activities, many of which can be used throughout most of the stages of dementia. Youll also find a few helpful tips for selecting activities that are appropriate based on the patients interests, abilities, and other considerations.
Advice For Family Members
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Do Not Engage In Arguments
One of the worst things a person can do to an individual who has dementia is to start an argument or even force them to do something that makes them upset or angry. When the discussion or argument is too heated, it may be better to walk away to create an environment where everyone can remain calm. Experts agree that one of the ways that can yield results when it comes to dementia behavior problems is to get rid of the word no when dealing with patients. Avoid forcibly restraining a dementia sufferer at all costs.
Why Might A Person With Dementia Hide Hoard Or Lose Things
People with dementia often lose items as a result of their memory loss. They may misplace common items, such as glasses or keys, or put an item somewhere for safekeeping and then forget where it is. They may also leave items in unusual places for example, leaving the remote control in the bathroom, or tea bags in the fridge.
If the person thinks an item should be somewhere and its not, this may lead them to think that someone is hiding or stealing things from them. This is a type of delusion. It can be difficult both for the person and those around them. It can help to try see things from their point of view. The person with dementia is trying to make sense of their reality and what is happening.
It is also important to note that there may be truth in what the person is saying dont dismiss it because they have dementia.
Choose A Community Specializing In Memory Care
Not all assisted living communities are created equal, and many of them arent equipped to adequately care for residents with Alzheimers or dementia. Moving is challenging enough, and the last thing you want to do is have to move your parent a second time unless you absolutely must, so it is important to select the right community specializing in memory care.
Use theseQuestions to Ask When Visiting Memory Care Communities to help you select the best new home for your loved one.
Find Support And Let Go Of Guilt
Broaching the topic of memory care with your parent and other family members can bring up complex emotions. Just as its important to take care of your loved one, its also crucial to prioritize and check in with yourself. Newlin recommends the following strategies, all of which helped her through her mothers move:
- Join an online or in-person support group.
- Talk to a therapist or counselor.
- Preserve your relationship with your parent or relative and remind yourself that moving them to memory care is an act of love.
I needed my mom to be my mom again, and I needed to be her daughter again, but I was her caregiver, says Newlin. Now that I have someone else whos taking care of her, Im able to have that relationship again. You have to be fair to yourself. Step outside of the situation and ask, Whats the best thing for this person and how can I keep them safe? I know my mom is safe now.
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Dementia Causes Loss Of Cognitive And Behavioral Function
Dementia is the term used to describe the loss of both cognitive and behavioral functions, typically in the elderly. It can impact not just the ability to remember, reason, and think, but also things like problem-solving capability, visual perception, ability to manage ones own life, and even behavior and personality due to lack of control on emotions. While some amount of nerve loss in the brain is normal as one grows older, if you have dementia this happens at a far greater rate and to a greater extent.2
Talk About For Now Not Forever
Newlin avoids panic by focusing on the short-term with her mother. Weve never told my mom that shes going to be in memory care for the rest of her life, she says. Weve said, This is where youre going to go now. They can help you with the things that you need help with. As time passes, she brings up coming home a whole lot less.
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Making Your Home Dementia Friendly
As a caregiver for someone with dementia or Alzheimers, you know the challenges. One such challenge may be adapting your living space to better accommodate your loved ones changing needs. This month we thought we would look around the house, room by room, and see how it can be modified to make it more dementia friendly. When your home incorporates the elements of dementia friendly design, your loved ones risk of falling is reduced, his memory is aided, and he has more freedom to use his own abilities. A good design helps your loved one thrive.
Before going through each room, we will first review some elements of good dementia design.
What Support Is Available For Me If I Care For Someone With Dementia
When youre caring for someone else, its easy to overlook your own needs. But looking after your health and making time for yourself can help you feel better and cope better with your caring role.
Caring for someone with dementia may lead to feelings of guilt, sadness, confusion or anger. Unlike with other conditions, it can be difficult to share these feelings with someone with dementia, leaving you feeling very isolated.
Its important to acknowledge these feelings, and theres no right or wrong way to feel. If youre feeling anxious, depressed or struggling to cope stressed, talk to your doctor who can let you know about help and support available to you.
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Q: What Is The Best Way To Bring Up A Possible Assisted Living Facility Transition
Ms. Drelich: I think it is best to be honest and open from the earliest of conversations. It is sometimes helpful to point out to the parent that this is also for the childs benefit, not just for the older person. For example, saying something like, Dad, I am very concerned about how you are managing. It worries me to see you like this.
Very often older people do not want to be a burden on their family, and in the process, they may even hide things from them. If the family member can openly and caringly stress their concerns, this often makes all the difference.
Consider Visiting The New Assisted Living Community Together Before Moving Day
Familiarity is key to feeling safe.
Once a community is selected, some people find visiting the community a few times before moving day helps ease the transition. You and your loved one may consider attending and participating in activities and events, meeting other residents with similar interests and interacting with staff.
Each of these visits proactively builds layers of familiarity.
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Seek A Credible Outside Opinion
In situations where families struggle to agree, someone with experience in senior living or senior health can often help lead to a consensus, says Adair Nelson, a Senior Living Advisor with A Place for Mom. In fact, Nelson has served as a mediator in several family discussions throughout her career. Similarly, families might reach out to their parents primary care physician, a geriatric care manager, or a neurologist for a professional opinion.
The family needs to have consistent messaging. Keep it conversational. I would focus on socialization, safety, and quality of life issues.
David Troxel, former president and CEO of the California Central Coast Alzheimers Association
If your parent has yet to get a neuropsychological exam or its been some time since theyve had one, nows the time, says Troxel. This helps determine whether or not the family member is displaying symptoms of Alzheimers or dementia, as well as how far the disease has progressed. Additionally, doctors will ask caregivers about any changes theyve observed, as well as use cognitive exam tools like the Mini-Mental State Exam or Montreal Cognitive Assessment . In many cases, a thorough doctors visit can solidify a decision to move a parent to memory care.
How To Convince Elderly Parents To Move
Convincing your elderly parents to move takes patience on your part. Here are some tips on how to get your elderly parents to move.
Listening to what their needs and fears are and then addressing them in their language can help. Focusing on future events while respecting the past can also help.
Helping them to feel that they are in control will go a long way in convincing them that moving is the best option for them.
But be patient, it will take time to absorb this new concept .
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How You Can Help A Person With Dementia Who Is Hiding Hoarding Or Losing Things
- Try to keep items in places where the person is used to them being for example, hanging keys on a specific hook or always keeping them in the same drawer.
- Consider getting copies of items that are important or often misplaced, such as keys, glasses or important documents.
- Keep rooms and drawers tidy so that things are less likely to get lost and easier to find if they are misplaced. Put items that are often used where they can be seen and are easily accessible.
- Consider getting a tray marked letters or post to make sure that these do not get misplaced. This can also allow you to double-check important items such as GP appointment letters or test results, as long as the person consents to this.
- Use visual clues to explain where items go, such as pictures or photos stuck to cupboard doors as reminders of what goes inside them.
- Consider a locator device to help find items that often get lost, such as keys. For more information on these see Using technology to help with everyday life.
- When looking for a lost item, use your knowledge of the person to help you think where they might have put things.
- If the person puts items in unusual places but this doesnt pose a risk to anyone in the household, it may be best to leave things as they are.
Assistive technology to help with losing things
There are many devices that can help with everyday living, including hiding, hoarding or losing things.
Moving Upends Their Life And Changes All Routines
In a facility, the timing of the daily routine will be changed. They are not able to control their own schedule to regain stability and routine that works best for them. They are at the mercy of the schedule of the nurses on duty at the facility who, sadly, are often overworked taking care of a whole floor of patients at the same time.
Helene Bergman, a certified geriatric care manager, notes that relocation for an older adult with or without Alzheimers Disease can be traumatic. She explains that the severity of the effects of moving can depend on how advanced they are in their memory care journey. The more aware they are, the more traumatic the effects.
Transfer trauma is a common term used to describe the cascade of consequences unleashed when a dementia patient is moved during the early stages of dementia. The complications include loneliness, depression , anxiety, guilt due to moving, and agitation.
Although some experts and facilities are equipped to navigate the dementia patient through the trauma of moving, inviting the help of in-home care can avoid the trauma of moving altogether.
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Social And Emotional Activities For Dementia Patients
What you need for this activity:
- 10 pairs of wooden shapes such as cubes, rectangular cubes, prisms, spheres, and eggs
- A cloth bag
Start by spending a few moments having the person look and feel each shape.
Have them observe the different forms each shape takes on when placed down on a different side. Once theyre familiar with the shapes, you can move on to activities that involve touch.
Place the cubes and rectangular cubes inside the bag, and ask the person to reach in and feel one shape. As they pull the shape out of the bag, they verbally say whether the shape is a cube or a rectangle.
You can also play a matching game with the person in your care by placing all of the wooden shapes in the bag, and have the person find matching pieces by feel. Repeat this process until all of the pieces have been paired.
Placing the objects in the bag eliminates distractions and stimulates the sense of touch, while the matching process helps to strengthen cognitive function. – Activities & Games for Dementia and Alzheimers Patients, Elizz Twitter: