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HomeHealthWhat To Do If You Have Dementia

What To Do If You Have Dementia

Putting Things In The Wrong Place

How Do You Know If You Have Alzheimer Disease

This is different to: more normal age-related behaviours such as losing things but being able to retrace the steps to find them.

Losing things or putting things in strange places, and then being unable to retrace steps to find them again, is on the official observation list for early signs of dementia.

Sometimes someone else might be accused of stealing which may occur more frequently over time. ;For example, your dad may insist that a friend keeps stealing his money, whereas its in its regular hiding place.

Other examples that may indicate potential dementia symptoms could include:

  • Teabags in the fridge and leaving the milk out
  • Toothbrush in the washing basket
  • Remote control in the cutlery drawer
  • Dirty laundry in the dishwasher

Misplacing or losing items is more common in Alzheimers Disease, rather than vascular dementia. Find out more about the different types of dementia.

Finding Other Ways To Reconnect

It can be very difficult when someone with dementia stops recognising you. But there are things you can do to keep your connection with the person, and your relationship with them, warm and open.

If you can, try entering into their world, and asking the person diagnosed with dementia about the memories they mention. Encouraging them to talk about what feels familiar will help them to feel at ease. Try not to remind the person with dementia of more recent realities that theyre having trouble grasping, such as the death of their parents, as this can cause distress and confusion. Instead talk about happy memories and events that are important to them. Taking part in activities together can be a good way to reconnect with a person with dementia. Anything you both enjoy can help you feel closer, such as:

  • Playing some familiar music
  • Going for a walk and talking about the things you see on the way
  • Flower arranging
  • Doing a jigsaw puzzle, if possible

How You Can Handle Dementia Denial

Your parent does not have to accept that they have dementia for you to help them. Getting a diagnosis of dementia is more important for you as a caregiver to be able to best help your parent.

Alzheimers Disease International states that getting an early diagnosis of dementia will:

  • Allow you to have the time to take advantage of therapies that may enhance their quality of life and slow the progression of the disease
  • Give both you and your parent time to make decisions about financial and legal issues
  • ;Prepare for the changes that will come as the disease progresses

Use the following steps to help guide you and your parent through a diagnosis of dementia:

  • Collect detailed information. Educate yourself on what the symptoms of dementia are and then make a list of the signs and symptoms that you have noticed. Make note especially of any changes that you have seen over the last year or two. The Alzheimers Association recommends listing when the symptoms began and how frequently they occur. Ask your parent if you can accompany them to their next doctors appointment and let them know you want to talk to the doctor about what is normal aging.
  • Encourage your parent to keep track of changes in their communication, daily functions and memories. Let your parent know that there are often other causes for changes in memory and that seeing the doctor can allow you to rule out treatable conditions.
  • Recommended Reading: Difference Between Dementia And Senility

    Tips For Having The Talk With A Parent About Dementia Symptoms

    Adult children;commonly have a hard time broaching the subject of dementia with a loved one. Ruth Drew, Director of Family and Information Services at the Alzheimers Association, says, I think people are worried about hurting a family relationship or upsetting people that they care about.

    Drew also says that broaching the topic early helps everyone. When you know what youre dealing with upfront, then you can plan, she adds. The person can have a voice in what happens next.

    If your loved one is exhibiting dementia symptoms, it is crucial to have the talk with him or her as soon as possible.

    Here are six;tips for talking with someone you love about dementia:

    Monday 17 September 2018

    5 Tips to Help Keep Dementia at Bay

    Dementia is the term given to a group of diseases that affect a persons thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks. While its commonly thought of as an older persons disease, dementia can affect people of all ages.

    Early symptoms of dementia can be vague and vary between people. While some people pick up on changes in their own thinking or behaviour that might be caused by dementia, sometimes these signs are first noticed by those around them.

    If youve noticed a change in someone close to you, the steps below can help you assist them in seeking diagnosis and treatment.

    Also Check: What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Senility

    Make Sure Youve Got Good Lighting

    Check that natural light can get into your house good lighting helps you see clearly and make sense of where you are. Make sure theres nothing blocking light from coming in through the window. Also make sure your bedroom is dark enough at night, as this will help you sleep better.

    Risk Factors With Dementia

    There are different personal risk factors that cause people to fall, however, people with dementia are at greater risk because they:

    • are more likely to experience problems with mobility, balance and muscle weakness
    • can have difficulties with their memory and finding their way around
    • can have difficulties processing what they see and reacting to situations
    • may take medicines that make them drowsy, dizzy or lower their blood pressure
    • are at greater risk of feeling depressed
    • may find it difficult to communicate their worries, needs or feelings

    Each person will experience dementia in their own way, and may experience all or none of these risk factors.

    Read Also: Senile Dementia Of The Alzheimer Type

    You Keep Getting Lost

    The confusion associated with dementia can cause you to feel lost more often, possibly while on your way somewhere new. But it can even happen when heading somewhere you’ve been dozens of times.For example, as Dr. Schreiber says, “you may find that you are using your GPS to go to places that you knew how to get to previously.”

    Of course, we all get turned around on occasion, so you won’t want to assume you have dementia just because you get lost while out driving or walking. And the same is true if you’ve always been bad with directions, or simply prefer sticking to a beaten path.

    If you develop a new sense of disorientation, however, or find yourself getting lost on familiar roads, let a doctor know.

    Talking To Others About Your Diagnosis

    How Can You Help Someone with Dementia

    While support from family and friends is crucial, choosing who to tell about your diagnosis is always a very personal decision. You may want to share it with just your closest family first, for example, then with a wider group of friends and acquaintances later. Whatever you decide is right for you, its important not to try to go it alone and deny people who care about you the chance to provide support.

    Its also important to be prepared for a broad spectrum of reactions. Just as you may have felt a combination of shock, anger, grief, and despair at news of your diagnosis, people close to you may have similar reactions. Remember: you dont have to cover everything all at once. Your first conversation with loved ones is likely to be just the start of an ongoing dialogue as you all learn more about the disease and the challenges youll be facing in the future.

    You may find that one of the hardest things about being diagnosed with dementia is the impact it can have on your relationships. As your independence declines, you may become more reliant on your spouse, children, or friends. You may lose your role as provider, financial decision-maker, or designated driver as others take over those responsibilities. Some older friends may even pull away, your diagnosis raising uncomfortable questions about their own health.

    When communicating with loved ones:

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    Take Care Of Your Health

    It’s important to look after your physical and mental health when you have dementia.

    To stay healthy:

    Find out more about living well with dementia.

    You Struggle To Learn New Things

    It can be tough to learn new skills, but people with dementia often have a particularly difficult time. If you have early-onset dementia, Zwerling says you might struggle with things like learning how to use a new tool, or when developing a new skill.

    You might also notice that you’re suddenly struggling to work with numbers, or that you can’t easily develop or follow a plan. If these traits have always been part of your personality, then you probably don’t have to worry. But don’t hesitate to get more information about your health should these things seem out of the ordinary, or if they start to negatively impact your day.

    Also Check: Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care For Dementia

    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.

    Knowing The Stages Of Dementia Helps You Plan

    Understanding Dementia

    Even if the stages arent exact and symptoms can still be unpredictable, being able to plan ahead is essential.

    The truth is that Alzheimers and dementia care is expensive and time-consuming. Being financially prepared for increasing care needs is a necessity.

    On an emotional level, having an idea of what symptoms to expect helps you find ways to cope with challenging behaviors.;

    It also gives you a chance to mentally prepare yourself for the inevitable changes in your older adult.

    Recommended Reading: Does Alzheimer Disease Run In The Family

    Create Your Life Story

    A “memory book” can be a way to stimulate your memory and reconnect you with your loved ones in the future.

    Your memory book could include photographs, notes, and keepsakes from your childhood through to the present day. It can be a physical book or a digital version.

    You may also want to create a;digital or;online;playlist of your favourite music.

    Do Not Get Angry Or Upset

    When looking after persons with dementia, practicing self-control is of utter importance. Learn how to breathe in and just relax without taking things personally or getting angry and upset. Remember that dementia patients do not act the way they do out of their own accord. It is the illness that makes them behave the way they do.

    Read Also: How Does Dementia Kill You

    Choose Someone To Have Lasting Power Of Attorney

    You can make one or more people an “attorney” to manage your affairs, including your money, property, and medical treatment, if it becomes necessary.

    You can choose anyone you trust to be your attorney , but they must be over 18.

    Find out more about power of attorney on our page about managing legal affairs for someone with dementia.

    Facing Dementia In The Family

    Easy Test to Find Out if You May Have Early Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s

    When you or a loved one first receives adementiadiagnosis, you may feel a range of contradictory emotions, sometimessimultaneously. Many people undergo a period of profound grief, withfeelings of shock, denial and deep sadness. The prospect of facing thissignificant life change can make you feel demoralized, embarrassed orangry. You may even want to keep the diagnosis secret from friends or otherfamily members.

    On the other hand, you may feel a sense of relief. Finally, your suspicionshave been validated, and you and your loved ones can seek out more supportand therapeutic interventions.

    Read Also: Sandyside Senior Living

    What Is Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis

    Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.

    Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.

    There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.

    How To Talk With A Parent About Dementia Symptoms

  • /
  • How To Talk With A Parent About Dementia Symptoms

  • Watching your parents age can be difficult and when signs of dementia appear, it can be harder than ever. Talking to parents about these changes;may seem overwhelming, but having the tough conversation now can lead to an earlier diagnosis and will help everyone better cope with the changes.

    Learn more about talking to a parent exhibiting dementia symptoms.

    Don’t Miss: Difference Between Senility And Dementia

    Know The Signs Of Dementia

    Early diagnosis can help people with dementia plan for the future, and might mean they can access interventions that help slow down the disease. Being familiar with the signs of dementia can help people receive a diagnosis as early as possible.

    Early signs that a person might have dementia can include:

    • being vague in everyday conversations
    • memory loss that affects day-to-day function
    • short term memory loss
    • difficulty performing everyday tasks and taking longer to do routine tasks
    • losing enthusiasm or interest in regular activities
    • difficulties in thinking or saying the right words
    • changes in personality or behaviour
    • finding it difficult to follow instructions
    • finding it difficult to follow stories
    • increased emotional unpredictability.

    Discussing Dementia Symptoms With Dr Alex Bailey

    9 Habits You Need To Adopt TODAY To Stop Dementia or ...

    In a new episode of the Age Space Podcast, we talk to Dr Alex Bailey, an old age psychiatrist working in Westminster, sharing his thoughts and advice on dementia. This includes identifying the early signs of dementia, details of memory services, supporting those with dementia to live well, psychological therapies, supporting carers and much more. Listen to the dementia explained podcast.

    What to read next…

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    Decreased Or Poor Judgement

    This is different to: making a bad decision once in a while.

    Changes in decision-making or judgement might include dealing with money or paying less attention to keeping clean and groomed. ;This can be one of the more obvious parts of your observation list for early signs of dementia.

    Look out for signs that your parent might not be looking after themselves the way they used to.; They may forget to wash regularly, wear the same clothes continuously throughout the week, forget to brush their teeth, forget to brush their hair, shave or to visit the toilet.

    Its vital to make sure your parent is keeping up with any regular appointments they may have. Make sure theyre keeping up with their health and hygiene routines with our guide to keeping healthy.

    What Is Mixed Dementia

    It is common for people with dementia to have more than one form of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

    Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, and have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease,vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death .

    Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start and influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.

    Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.

    In addition, medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and delirium can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia, as can side effects of certain medicines.

    Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:

    Recommended Reading: Does Meredith Have Alzheimer’s

    How Is It Treated

    There are medicines you can take for dementia. They cannot cure it, but they can slow it down for a while and make it easier to live with.

    As dementia gets worse, a person may get depressed or angry and upset. An active social life, counseling, and sometimes medicine may help with changing emotions.

    If a stroke caused the dementia, there are things you can do to reduce the chance of another stroke. Make healthy lifestyle changes including eating healthy, being active, staying at a healthy weight, and not smoking. Manage other health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


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