Why Someone With Dementia Asks To Go Home
So, what we hear as I want to go home is often a request for comfort rather than literally asking to go somewhere.
The kindest thing to do is to meet them where they are, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.
The goal is to reduce your older adults anxiety or fear so they can let go of the idea.
Helping them to calm down also gives you a chance to check ifdiscomfort, pain, or a physical need is causing this behavior.
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Talk To Professionals Who Care For People Living With Dementia
Unfortunately, many people underestimate the toll that taking care of a parent with dementia will have on their lives. They believe that they will look after their parents, the same way their parents looked after them when they were helpless. That is not the case. You need to contact professionals who care for people living with dementia as soon as possible. They will help you when stress seems to be overwhelming you. For example, they will provide 24-hour care allowing you to work so that you can procure the therapies, medication, and food that your parent need. They will help you avoid scenarios where you are angry with your dad or mom for failing to do a simple task. They will counsel you when you experience the pain of your parent losing their memory of who you are. Consequently, you need to contact professional caregivers as well as counsellors for you and your family members.
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Signs Of Dementia Or Other Serious Memory Problems May Include:
- Asking the same questions or telling the same stories repeatedly
- Becoming lost in places a person knows well
- Not being able to follow directions
- An impaired concept of time
- Confusing or failing to recognize/remember people and places
- Not taking care of oneself or ones home
- Significant changes in logic and judgement
- Difficulty communicating with others
- Changes in ones attention span and ability to focus
Although it is increasingly common in elderly individuals, dementia is a serious medical condition and not a normal part of the aging process. The above symptoms may come on slowly and be very subtle at first. However, even one of these cognitive issues can have serious real-world consequences, like making it difficult for a senior to pay their bills on time, manage and attend appointments, keep a household in order, feed themselves, or socialize with family and friends.
The Warmth Of The Human Touch
Ever noticed how a good massage helps soothe any person, even a baby enjoys it. A gentle touch or a warm hug can result in a calming effect. It creates a bond between the carer and the person with dementia and helps increase trust. A gentle pat on the hand or shoulders or a soft back rub is a great way to help them feel less agitated or anxious. Truly, touch is everything when words fall short.
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Seek A Medical Diagnosis
Once you notice the symptoms of dementia, you must talk to your loved one about your concerns. If your loved one is receptive to your discussion, recommend a visit to the physician to have him or her assessed for dementia. In some cases, your loved one may deny anything is happening. If this occurs, you may need to recruit support from someone he or she trusts, such as a caregiver or another member of your family. If your loved one continues to deny something is wrong, you can also speak with his or her physician privately to see if he or she might talk to your loved one.
Hire a professional caregiver if youre feeling overwhelmed and need a break from your caregiving duties. In Omaha, NE, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Talk With Close Family Members Or Friends
Check in with others who know your loved one to see if theyve noticed any changes. Do this in a respectful, confidential manner to avoid unnecessary hurt or embarrassment.
When Alzheimers strikes, although many people become quite skilled at covering their memory lapses, they find it difficult to maintain that around those who know them well. Its often helpful to verify if others have made similar observations they may have been questioning the same thing and not have known whether to raise the concern or ignore it.
Of course, your objective here is not to spread a rumor or gossip, but rather to collaborate with those closest to your loved one.
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In This Comprehensive Guide Youll Learn:
- How many people are having a conversation with their parents?
- Key Facts About Dementia
- 10 Dementia Warning Signs
- It May Not Be Dementia
- Mums Memory Issues Puts Her Daughter At A Crossroad
- What To Do If You Notice A Sign of Dementia In Your Parents
- Conversation Starters with your parents about memory loss
- A Letter Template to communicate with your parents GP
- Why Early Conversations Are Better To Help With Prevention and Management of Memory Decline
- How Does Occupational Therapy Help People Living With Memory Loss or Dementia
When A Parent Showing Signs Of Memory Loss Refuses Help: Having A Conversation With Your Mums Doctor
Most doctors have a short amount of time in their days.
Trying to reach them over the phone may be hard.
An email or even a letter may be an effective way to get a message to your mums GP about your concerns and your observation of your mums risk.
When communicating your concerns with your mums GP try and be short, clear and concise .
Heres a template to have a conversation with your mums doctor.
Dear Dr xxxxx,
Re : My Mum, Name and Date Of Birth and her experience of memory problems
In the last Ive observed the following changes in my mums memory performance and its impacting aspects of her life which is unusual for her and concerning for me.
- List examples of conversation, managing day to day life, driving etc
I bring this to your attention as Ive attempted to raise this with my mum and this was received < describe> .
My siblings/partner and I are here to support mum as best we can.
Mum has consented or not consented to this communication.
Id appreciate your support and attention to this matter when next you review her.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly.
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How To Have The Conversation
If you are not sure whether your loved one may have dementia, check these 10 warning signs.
If you remain concerned, the Alzheimers Association offers six tips for talking with a loved one.
- Have the talk as early in the disease stage as possible
- Think about who is best to approach your loved one
- Practice how you will start the conversation
- Offer support and companionship
Early Signs Of Dementia And How To Spot Them
Spotting the early signs of Dementia can make all the difference to the progression of the disease. If it is diagnosed during the early stages there is a chance that medication will slow down the diseases that cause the damage to the brain.
Weve put together this guide to the early signs of dementia for you to look out for, and some specific symptoms you can monitor. Please use the links below to navigate the article:
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How To Talk To A Parent When They First Show Signs Of Dementia
Is your mother or father acting differently? Do you suspect that something is off and that your loved one might be displaying dementia symptoms? There are a number of tell-tale signs that your family member might be having more than just a bad day.
Youve probably heard that older people may have excellent recall about things that happened decades ago, but will struggle to find the right words to say or remember why they walked into the kitchen. Treasure the former and take note of the latter.
Some symptoms of dementia are not related to memory problems. For example, you could notice someone becoming moodier. Emotional issues including depression often crop up during the early phase of dementia. Personality changes with dementia are also common, but there are ways to cope and understand what your loved one is going through.
You might also observe a lack of interest in things your family member always enjoyed. They could become confused more easily, or have a habit of repeating themselves.
Have you noticed one or more of these things? If so, are you having an imaginary conversation in your head where you discuss it with your parent? If you are like many adult children, you are scared to have this difficult conversation in the real world.
Being fearful is understandable. On the other hand, waiting to talk about it might delay treatment options that could help your parent.
Monday 17 September 2018
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.
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Avoid Confrontations With Your Parent
Communication skills for people living with dementia deteriorate over time. They cannot express what they need or feel as well as they did in the past. Consequently, frustration sets in leading to frequent outbursts of anger. Do not take it personally. At the same time, caregivers experience a diverse mix of issues. For example, maybe caring for a person with dementia is becoming problematic for them. That is especially true when trying to reconcile such care with work and social schedules. Consequently, they may lash out at their parent out of frustration when their parent cannot understand something or fails to follow a particular instruction. Stop these confrontations as soon as you think your parent has dementia. Do not fight over who is right or wrong with them. Do not push them to accept that they said something when they believe that they did not say it. Do not become angry with them when they forget about something you have just told them. It could be memory loss setting in as the disease that they are experiencing worsens.
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:
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Being Present And Offering Support And Help As You Can To Your Parents
One of the factors we observe in people who are thriving at home with memory changes are those with robust and supportive relationships.
Offering your help and support through the assessment, investigation, diagnosis and ongoing days ahead can help address stress, overwhelm and anxiety.
One point to mention here is to be aware of the vision you have about your support role for your mum.
What you want and what you dont want AND who you need to be in your team to help out.
Its likely you never expected to be having a conversation or ever thinking about vision for support involving you and your mum.
But its worth doing and heres why.
Perhaps the role you most value is that of being a daughter or son but youre happy to help mum with her calendar management.
For other tasks like, shopping, house cleaning, bathing and dressing this can be supported by another person.
Weve seen families and carers push themselves so hard to be everything for their loved one that it can end in a breakdown.
A breakdown in their relationship, their vision of themselves, their own social networks and even in their health.
Carer breakdown is real and it happens more often than not. So, perhaps start with a vision for yourself and your mum. Have this conversation early.
Get a good, stable and quality team around you to focus on the other tasks.
Safeguard your vision for the relationship you want to maintain with your mum.
Alzheimers Behaviors To Track
For each of these behaviors, try to make note of the following:
- Whether theres been a decline or change compared to the way your parent used to be
- Whether this seems to be due to memory and thinking, versus physical limitations such as pain, shortness of breath or physical disabilities
- When you or another person first noticed problems, and what you observed
- What kinds of problems you see your parent having now
If you dont notice a problem in any of the following eight areas, make a note of this. That way youll know you didnt just forget to consider that behavior.
Have you noticed:
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Ask Your Loved One How She Feels Her Memory Is Working
Some people are aware of and worried about their memory. They may have noticed some lapses and might be relieved to talk about it. Others, of course, may become angry, defensive and deny all concerns. Knowing your loved one as you do, you can consider if a direct and gentle approach would be effective or not.
When you talk with your family member, be sure to choose a good time of day and use “I statements” such as, “I’m a little worried about you, Mom. I’m wondering how you’re doing. I thought I noticed you have a harder time lately with your memory and wondered if you’ve noticed the same thing.” This approach can decrease someone’s defensiveness and is generally more effective than a statement like this: “You seem like you’re having trouble with your memory.”
You also might want to avoid using the “Alzheimer’s” word for now since it’s not known if your loved one has this diagnosis or not. Consider instead using words like “memory problems.”
Be Aware Of The Signs Of Dementia
Although dementia is not only about memory loss, that’s one of the main signs.
Some of the other signs of dementia include:
- increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning
- changes in personality and mood
- periods of mental confusion
- difficulty finding the right words or not being able to understand conversations as easily
You may like to suggest you go with your friend or relative to see a GP so you can support them. You’ll also be able to help them recall what has been discussed.
A GP will ask how the symptoms have developed over time. They may also do a memory test and physical examination. Blood tests may be done to check if the symptoms are being caused by another condition.
If other causes can be ruled out, the GP will usually refer your friend or relative to a memory clinic, or other specialist service, where they may have more assessments to confirm whether they have dementia.
Read more about how dementia is diagnosed.
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