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Should You Correct Someone With Dementia

Dont Use Slang Or Figures Of Speech

This is how to decide whether you should correct someone with dementia

As dementia progresses, it can become harder for someone to understand what youre trying to tell them. For example, telling a loved one with Alzheimers disease that its “no use crying over spilled milk” might result in him looking to see where the milk has spilled, rather than end up comforting him or encouraging him not to focus on a past problem.

In fact, the proverb interpretation test, which asks the test taker to interpret abstract ideas such as the spilled milk reference above, is one way to screen for symptoms of dementia.

Preserving Your Loved Ones Independence

Take steps to slow the progression of symptoms. While treatments are available for some symptoms, lifestyle changes can also be effective weapons in slowing down the diseases progression. Exercising, eating and sleeping well, managing stress, and staying mentally and socially active are among the steps that can improve brain health and slow the process of deterioration. Making healthy lifestyle changes alongside your loved one can also help protect your own health and counter the stress of caregiving.

Help with short-term memory loss. In the early stages, your loved one may need prompts or reminders to help them remember appointments, recall words or names, keep track of medications, or manage bills and money, for example. To help your loved one maintain their independence, instead of simply taking over every task yourself, try to work together as a partnership. Let your loved one indicate when they want help remembering a word, for example, or agree to check their calculations before paying bills. Encourage them to use a notebook or smartphone to create reminders to keep on hand.

How Should I Correct A Dementia Patients Bad Behavior

Posted on Jan 07, 2021

So, youre helping care for a loved one with dementia. As you know, their behavior can border from pleasant to downright hostile. Most misbehavior is due to their own confusion, so it can be challenging to correct this behavior. Still, we cant just let them act out, can we? No, but we can reduce instances of misbehavior in two ways.

Read Also: Does Medicare Cover Respite Care For Alzheimer’s

Is It Okay To Lie To Someone With Dementia

The intention behind the act of telling white lies to a dementia patient is often to avoid upsetting that person with reality, which oftentimes causes unnecessary distress.

Focusing on the memories someone with dementia is talking about instead of correcting any untruths can help everyone involved.

When your parent has dementia, intention matters. The purpose of a lie is usually not to create false beliefs. Instead, lying in dementia care is designed to promote wellbeing, distract from upsetting circumstances, or protect a loved one from harm. This small but important distinction makes a difference when determining the best path forward.

aginglifecare.org

Some other instances where it may be an appropriate response to lie for the benefit of the person with dementia are

  • The car is in the shop or Its too expensive to fix are two fibs that can be told when the person with dementia is demanding to drive their car but its not safe for them to do so.
  • I need to see my doctor, I need your help. is something that you can say to get your senior loved one to go to THEIR doctor. If they believe the visit is for you, instead of them it may be easier to get them there.
  • Ill let you know when your mother/father arrive should be about an hour or so. is a fib that can be told when your aging loved one with dementia is wanting to know where their parents are and when they are coming to pick him/her up?

If You’re Struggling To Cope

Should You Correct Someone With Dementia?

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.

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A Holistic Approach: Are There Benefits To Confabulation

It may seem strange to think of confabulation as a good thing, but when we view it in a holistic way, we can see some possible benefits and coping strategies in it. A study conducted by Linda Örulv and Lars-Christer Hyden at Linkoping University outlined three positive functions of confabulation. They include:

  • Sense-making: Confabulation can help make sense of the current situation for the person with dementia.
  • Self-making: Confabulation can help establish and preserve a sense of personal identity.
  • World-making: Confabulation can help the person interact with those around him.

What these three positive functions essentially are saying is that confabulation may help those with dementia feel more positive about themselves and preserve some of their ability to communicate and interact with others.

How To Finish The Conversation

Just as you prepared to start a conversation, so you must think about how you will bring it to a close. If you are leaving the persons home, make sure you say goodbye. You should not leave the person thinking you are still in their home, perhaps in another room. This may cause confusion or anxiety.

Ensure you have their attention, smile, and let them know you enjoyed your time together and the conversation. Shaking their hand or touching them is a common gesture which gives them a strong clue you are leaving. Leave them reassured and let them know you look forward to talking again. If you are likely to be speaking to them very soon, for example later that day, say when you will return and leave a note close by indicating when the next visit will be.

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It May Feel Like The First Time For The Person With Dementia

Short-term memory loss in a person with dementia can prove challenging for family and friends and when providing care and support. While you may see the person several times during a day, each visit may feel like the first for them. This can have a great impact on a conversation, so consider how you would respond. The best approach for a care worker in these circumstances may be to introduce yourself on each visit and explain why you are there.

What Does A Person With Dementia Take Into Consideration

Should You Correct Someone With Dementia?

A person with dementia feels perplexed extra and more continuously. When they are able to’t make sense of the world or get one thing flawed, they’ll really feel frustrated and indignant with themselves. They may turn out to be indignant or disillusioned with other people very simply. They might not be capable of say why.

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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.

Should You Indulge Dementia Sufferers

It is indisputably a private choice to make if you are the circle of relatives caregiver for a cherished one who resides with Alzheimer’s illness or any other related dementia. It seems to be a simple way to permit a affected person to persist in their own reality, so long as it’s safe and does not pose any hurt to them or others.

Read Also: Does Medicare Cover Respite Care For Dementia

Is Engaging At Home A Good Fit For You

Every person living with dementia is different, but research tells us that all people love to learn, laugh, and create.

We select age-appropriate topics, people, and events that happened throughout your loved ones life to create meaning. Seeing images, hearing stories, and singing songs they are familiar bring past memories to the present. The Engaging at Home program includes meaninful content for all interests and personalities.

Full Library of Activity Materials

Wellness & Fitness Videos For Seniors

Engaging & Age- Appropriate Topics

Unlimited 24/7 Access to Online Materials

Activities tailored to your diagnoses

Fun for caregivers & families, too

Be Open To A Range Of Possibilities

Should you correct someone with dementia?

We often go into situations with set ideas of what we want to speak about or what we expect to hear and we try to switch the conversation quickly to the topic we have in mind. At the beginning of a communication, take your lead from the person with dementia. Dont try to switch topics too soon. In allowing the conversation to develop, give the person time to say what is on their mind. When the person says x they mean y .

Be aware that as word finding becomes more difficult for the person with dementia the content of speech becomes more limited. So, for example, a female name such as Julie may come to represent every female helper rather than referring to Julie in person. A reference to needing my mum may mean that the person is feeling scared and unattached rather than a literal question needing a literal answer about the whereabouts of the persons mother.

Also Check: What Causes Senile Dementia

Dont Counter Aggressive Behavior

People with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s may become aggressive in response to the environment. Bath time is often when the aggressive behavior is displayed. The caregivers and/or family member’s approach may also play a part. Rushing, speaking harshly, or forcing a person may result in an aggressive response. When someone with memory loss displays aggressive behavior, it is a form of communication. It may be the only way a person has left to say, Pay attention to me! I don’t want to take a bath! When someone is communicating vigorously, it is the caregivers and/or family member’s job to respect that communication. Hitting, kicking, or biting are ways of saying, stop. The appropriate response is to stop. That doesnt mean not to try again in five minutes or a half an hour.

Keep Things Simpleand Other Tips

Caregivers cannot stop Alzheimers-related changes in personality and behavior, but they can learn to cope with them. Here are some tips:

  • Keep things simple. Ask or say one thing at a time.
  • Have a daily routine, so the person knows when certain things will happen.
  • Reassure the person that he or she is safe and you are there to help.
  • Focus on his or her feelings rather than words. For example, say, You seem worried.
  • Dont argue or try to reason with the person.
  • Try not to show your frustration or anger. If you get upset, take deep breaths and count to 10. If its safe, leave the room for a few minutes.
  • Use humor when you can.
  • Give people who pace a lot a safe place to walk. Provide comfortable, sturdy shoes. Give them light snacks to eat as they walk, so they dont lose too much weight, and make sure they have enough to drink.
  • Try using music, singing, or dancing to distract the person.
  • Ask for help. For instance, say, Lets set the table or I need help folding the clothes.

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Do Dementia Patients Lie On Purpose

Dementia is a progressive neurological disease that damages the brain and causes mental decline. People who are suffering from dementia have difficulty processing information, remembering the past, and understanding or making decisions.

The disease progression is divided into 7 stages, with the higher numbers marking more severe dementia.

In the early stages of dementia, people may experience short-term memory loss and forget information they recently learned. The person will often ask the same question multiple times or have difficulty remembering events that are important to them, such as birthdays or anniversaries. During the mild dementia stages, they might misplace items or put them in odd places .

Patients in mid-stage dementia begin to experience major memory deficits. They might forget their address. They may not remember where they live and may not be able to understand what day it is or the time of day. Dementia patients do not lie on purpose, per se, but by the mid-stages of the disease, they do lie because it is their disease talking. In their minds, they are speaking the truth.

In the later stages of dementia , anger and aggressive behavior may take over.

Because they have problems processing information and remembering things, the person in stage 6 may also become suspicious of others. For example, a common accusation when they cant find something they have misplaced is to believe that their dementia caregivers have stolen it from them.

Are Dementia Sufferers Manipulative

Can you care TOO MUCH for someone with dementia?

It’s now not uncommon for caregivers of sufferers with Alzheimer’s to feel like they are being manipulated. Many of the behaviors of dementia can look like manipulation. The caregivers incessantly feel as despite the fact that their liked one is deliberately trying to manipulate them or uses selective reminiscence to get what they want.

Read Also: Alzheimer’s Aphasia

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.

Why Adult Children Of Aging Parents Shouldnt Feel Guilty

The simple truth is this: most people are not properly trained to be a caregiver. Some adult children do have the time, resources, and training to be a full-time caregiver for their mom or dad. Its wonderful that they care for their parentsbut that doesnt mean youre a bad child in comparison if you arent able to do the same.

Ask yourself: If you have a full-time job, are caring for children of your own, live in a separate state, or simply are not trained to provide care, is it fair to be critical of yourself for not providing the same care a professional would?

Whatever care youre able to give your parent is enough. By calling regularly to check in, visiting to make sure everythings alright, taking your parent out grocery shopping or to doctors appointments, or simply by spending time doing something you both love, youre doing your duty as their child. Those things countdont be too quick to discount them as not enough.

Still, its hard not to feel guilty, even when we know its illogical. AARP offers these tips for dealing with caregiver guilt:

  • Dont aim for guilt-free caregiving. Guilt is natural. Accept the feeling, then work to minimize it.
  • Give up the fantasy of rescuing others. You wont be able to meet your parents every need. And thats okay.
  • Maintain balance. Dont neglect other important areas of your life, including taking care of yourself.
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    Tactic : Opt For Diversion In Place Of Head

    While theres nothing wrong with asking a loved one to cease an unhelpful behavior, theres no reason why such correction should become a confrontation. Becoming stern, impatient, or visibly annoyed with a dementia patient will only escalate tensions. Instead, attempt to divert attention away from the misbehavior.

    A Dementia Patients History Should Play A Role Their Care

    This is how to decide whether you should correct someone with dementia ...

    My father had attended medical school at the University of Minnesota decades earlier, but he never finished his studies. He took some time off to be an archaeologist and then World War II broke out. During maneuvers in the Mojave Desert, Dad had passed out from the heat, hitting his head against the baked desert floor and sustaining a closed head injury. He was in a coma for months and had to relearn how to walk and talk. Fortunately, his rehabilitation was successful. He stayed in the army until the war ended but was kept stateside and trained as a sanitarian.

    Eventually, Dad became the director of sanitation for the city of Fargo, N.D., raised a family and, like so many returning soldiers, went back to school. However, this time he studied public health instead of medicine. He attended classes at night and worked during the day. I remember going to his college graduation when I was 14 years old. Dad continued taking any graduate classes that would help his career or simply because they interested him. Education had always been important to him and he became very successful in his field.

    As Dad aged, fluid started building up behind the scar tissue in his brain. He underwent surgery to drain the fluid and prevent cognitive issues, but it backfired. He came out of the procedure in a severe stage of dementia and bonded with a voice in his head that we came to call Herman. That was when reality changed for all of us.

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