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.
Health Monitoring: Guardian Ii Wearable Elderly Dementia Care Support With Gps And 2 Way Calling
What is it? Stay Safe, Independent and Active at all times with the CPR Guardian II medical alert watch.
How can it help? The CPR Guardian is a discreet comfortable elderly alarm bracelet designed to keep the wearer safe, independent and active at all times. It is an emergency alert system with a built-in emergency assist button, a heart rate monitor, mobile phone and GPS tracking.
The GUARDIAN II is a GPS tracker that provides you and your loved ones with peace of mind and reassurance knowing you can always be there for them whenever they need you. The guardian II could quite easily be the best medical alert system for dementia sufferers and those who support them.
Where to buy it:www.cprguardian.com
Can Dementia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There is little you can do to prevent or avoid dementia. If you have a head injury or brain tumor, ask your doctor if there are lifestyle changes you can make. Youll want to take precautions to avoid additional head trauma or concussions. If youre at risk of stroke, talk to your doctor about possible preventions.
Currently, the American Academy of Family Physicians concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment.
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Putting Together Wooden Puzzles
Puzzles are a fantastic way to work on cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination. Try finding jigsaw puzzles with larger, more simple pieces to put together.
Not only do puzzles have cognitive benefits, but theyre also great for working on those fine motor skills! And the feeling of accomplishment from finishing a puzzle is sure to make you feel good too. Stick with wood or cardboard rather than plastic, as the latter can be hard to grip and pick up.
Folding Laundry And Socks
Another activity that can help with dexterity is folding laundry or socks. This task requires fine motor skills, which are often severely impaired in dementia patients, but it also helps boost their mood and gives them a sense of purpose while allowing them to clean their own space and feel accomplished.
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Ways To Respond When Someone Is Experiencing Dementia Hallucinations
1. Determine if a response is neededThe first step is to determine whether the hallucination is bothering your older adult.
If its pleasant, you might not want to respond or call attention to it.
Just know and accept that its a dementia symptom and thankfully isnt causing distress.
If the hallucination is upsetting them or causing them to do something unsafe, then its time to quickly step in to provide comfort or redirect to a safe activity.
2. Stay calm and dont argue or try to convince using logicWhen someone is having a dementia hallucination, its important to stay calm and avoid contradicting them.
What theyre seeing is a dementia symptom and is very real to them.
Trying to explain that it isnt real simply wont work because of the damage that dementia has caused in their brain.
In fact, knowing that you dont believe them might make them even more upset and agitated.
If theyre calm enough to explain, it may also help to understand what theyre seeing. Listen carefully and try to pick up clues to what theyre seeing.
But keep in mind that dementia damage in the brain may affect their ability to use the correct words. For example, they could unintentionally say cabbages when they mean green cushions.
3. Validate their feelings and provide reassuranceBe careful not to dismiss your older adults experience.
Brushing off what theyre seeing by saying something like, Dont be silly, theres nothing there, is likely to upset them.
Dont Forget To Care For Yourself Too
Joining a carers group can be a good way for you to find people who truly relate to the situation you are in. It is a good place to share and talk it out or learn coping mechanisms others use to care for those with dementia. Social services or a dementia adviser or counselor can direct you to a local group. Alternatively, there are plenty of online support groups you could consider joining.17
When you are close to someone with dementia you may find yourself asking why me. You may also get upset, angry, or frustrated, and possibly even feel guilty about thinking this way. At times, you may feel you are losing the love or affection you have for that person as these emotions take control. On the flip side, you may also feel guilty for taking time out to do something for yourself, or about losing your temper at them or not being kind enough. Dont beat yourself up about it. This is as hard on you as it is on the person you love who has dementia. And you need downtime too. Some of these things could help:18
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Memory Aids In The Home And Dementia
Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. If you are a carer of someone with dementia, there are many ways you can help them remember things and find their way around.
Think about what types of things the person with dementia usually forgets. This will help you work out what memory aids to use.
For example, if they have trouble remembering to do jobs, then place a whiteboard in a central location, such as near the fridge, and write daily task lists on it. If they are constantly losing their keys, put the keys in the same place each day, and put reminders up in other parts of the house.
Putting photos and familiar objects around the home helps the person with dementia stay connected with their past.
Putting up large clocks, maybe with the day and date, helps them stay connected with the present.
You can find out more by reading the Dementia Australia help sheet about memory changes.
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.
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Take A Break From Caring
Taking regular breaks can help you to look after yourself and better support you in caring for someone with dementia.
Family and friends may be able to provide short breaks for you to have time “just for you”.
Other options include:
- day centres social services or your local carers’ centre should provide details of these in your area
- respite care this can be provided in your own home or for a short break in a care home
Keep A Central Calendar
A paper calendar may be an old-school memory aid, but it is one that can help any senior with their everyday responsibilities and tasks. Set up a large calendar in the senior’s living space that is in a central location and easy to read. The calendar could even be a whiteboard with activities or tasks listed that can easily be wiped clean as completed. A calendar should include everything from social engagements, to appointments and even when visitors or helpers are going to be stopping by.
The calendar needs to be somewhere that the senior will pass by daily as they may need multiple reminders of upcoming engagements. A good central location is in the kitchen. In addition, investing in a large calendar clock which will display the date and day of the week as well as the time can be helpful.
When a senior is consistently reminded of what they need to do that day, week or month, they are much less likely to be surprised, overwhelmed, confused or disoriented.
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Tips For Changes In Communication And Behavior For People With Dementia
Communication can be hard for people with Alzheimers and related dementias because they have trouble remembering things. They also can become agitated and anxious, even angry. In some forms of dementia, language abilities are affected such that people have trouble finding the right words or have difficulty speaking. You may feel frustrated or impatient, but it is important to understand that the disease is causing the change in communication skills. To help make communication easier, you can:
- Reassure the person. Speak calmly. Listen to his or her concerns and frustrations. Try to show that you understand if the person is angry or fearful.
- Allow the person to keep as much control in his or her life as possible.
- Respect the persons personal space.
- Build quiet times into the day, along with activities.
- Keep well-loved objects and photographs around the house to help the person feel more secure.
- Remind the person who you are if he or she doesnt remember, but try not to say, Dont you remember?
- Encourage a two-way conversation for as long as possible.
- Try distracting the person with an activity, such as a familiar book or photo album, if you are having trouble communicating with words.
Fidget Toys Like Bubble Poppers
Fidget toys are a relatively new thing, mainly among children and pre-teens. But fidget toys can also be a great tool for memory care facilities to use for dexterity therapy. The fidget toys called pop-its are like plastic bubble wrap that require users to push a small round bubble in varying patterns and colors. It is fun and intended to alleviate anxiety in young children and can be just as beneficial for elderly folks with anxiety.
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How The Disease Affects The Brain
Physiologically, dementia and/or Alzheimers affects various parts of the brain, specifically, it affects the brain in such a way that people have a difficult time learning new information. This is why, for a long time into the disease, patients and/or loved ones can remember things that happened a long time ago. They can remember wedding dates, the war they fought in, where they went to high schoolbut they can’t remember the visit that they had with their daughter yesterday. This is because the disease affects certain parts of the brainthe temporal lobeswhich are responsible for helping us learn new things.
The reason theyre able to hold onto the memories that happened a long time ago is that those memories are represented throughout the brain. Long-term memories don’t require just one or two areas of the brainthey’re probably represented in multiple systemsso the disease has to be quite advanced before patients and/or loved ones start losing those memories.
In the brain of someone with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, there are actual holes in the brain that form. In an image of an Alzheimer’s brain, one can see where many of the brain cells have diedand it affects every area of the brain.
Watch Old Movies Or Tv They Used To Love
What was grandmas favorite movie? Chances are you can find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watch it together. Not only will they enjoy the movie, but they might also remember things about it that they forgot. The same goes for TV showswatch an episode or two of their favorite show from when they were younger.
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.
Be Direct Specific And Positive
Here are some examples of what you can say:
- Lets try this way, instead of pointing out mistakes.
- Please do this, instead of Dont do this.
- Thanks for helping, even if the results arent perfect.
You also can:
- Ask questions that require a yes or no answer. For example, you could say, Are you tired? instead of How do you feel?
- Limit the number of choices. For example, you could say, Would you like a hamburger or chicken for dinner? instead of What would you like for dinner?
- Use different words if he or she doesn’t understand the first time. For example, if you ask the person whether he or she is hungry and you dont get a response, you could say, Dinner is ready now. Lets eat.
- Try not to say, Dont you remember? or I told you.
If you become frustrated, take a timeout for yourself.
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Memory Games With Cards Or Blocks
Many memory games require the user to find matching cards or blocks, which can be challenging for those with severe dementia. Still, patients with dementia can benefit significantly from such games early on. Simple ones like wooden jigsaws are fun and engaging while working on cognitive skills like problem-solving.
Why Asking Lots Of Questions May Not Work
Do you remember when? is the question many people might associate with reminiscing. However, it might not be the best starting point for a person with memory problems. Plain, factual questions can be particularly challenging and stressful for people with dementia, who may fear they will get the answer wrong or be embarrassed about not being able to remember. How many children did you have?, Where were you born?, How old were you when…? these are all examples of questions which a person with dementia may find hard to answer.
So what is the alternative to asking questions like this? A good starting point might be to share a memory yourself as a way of leading into asking a question more gently. This helps gives clues for the sorts of things you will talk about, and may help the person to relax and recall their memories more easily, without fear of mixing things up or forgetting. It could go like this: I remember my first primary school teacher. She was called Mrs Jones, she was very tall with long hair and she was very kind. You can then ask, I wonder if anyone here can remember their favourite teachers?
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Doing Rather Than Talking
Sometimes it can work well to invite a person to show you a particular skill that relates to their past. For example, ask someone who has been a nurse to show you how they used to take blood pressure, or ask a mother how she burped her baby using a doll as the baby.
When a person with dementia is struggling to use words, they may find it is easier to use actions to share something from their past. This is certainly what happened for Beryl, an older woman with dementia. One day I was spending time with her and, although I knew a bit about her past, I was struggling to get a conversation going. I knew she used to be a secretary, and for some reason it occurred to me to give her a small notebook, rather like a shorthand notebook, and pen and to start dictating a letter to her, as if I was her boss. I started saying something like, Dear sir, thank you for your letter of and so on. I was amazed to watch as Beryl immediately started writing extremely fast in shorthand. Within those few moments, her body language changed from a slumped disinterested position to an upright and attentive posture of a woman who knew her job.
Why Do Dementia Patients Keep Say They Want To Go Home
A person with dementia may want to ‘go home’ because of feelings of anxiety, insecurity, depression or fear. Is the person with dementia happy or unhappy now? If they are unhappy, it may be possible to discover why. If they cannot tell you why, perhaps a member of the staff or another resident knows why.
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What Causes Dementia
Dementia is caused by the damage of brain cells. A brain disease, such as Alzheimers, could trigger dementia. A brain tumor, head injury, or stroke could cause dementia.
Dementia isnt the same as normal aging. As you get older, it becomes harder to recall information. Your short- and long-term and remote memories are less affected by aging. Your recent memory is more affected. For example, you may forget what you ate for breakfast or where you set your keys. These are normal changes.
A memory problem is serious when it affects your daily life. Memory problems that arent part of normal aging include:
- Forgetting things more often than you used to.
- Forgetting how to do things youve done many times before.
- Trouble learning new things.
- Repeating phrases or stories in the same conversation.
- Trouble making choices or handling money.
- Not being able to keep track of what happens each day.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. He or she can decide if a medicine or condition may be affecting your memory.
When a loved one has dementia, your family doctor can be a trusted resource and partner in their care. Read More