S For Communicating With Someone With Dementia
- Keep yourself in the persons eyeline, and try not to suddenly appear from the side or from behind
- Speak clearly and in short sentences
- If the person is struggling to recognise you, introduce yourself and tell them about the connection between you, for instance: Hello mum, its Julie and I have little Danny, your grandson with me.
- Be reassuring look the person in the eye and smile
- If a person with dementia is getting agitated, take yourself to another room for a few minutes before coming back in, calmly, and saying something like: Hello, Im back now, how lovely to see you.
- Try not to correct the person if they get your name wrong or say something that isnt true this can lead to distress and frustration on all sides. Try to imagine how the person with dementia is feeling
Remember, not being recognised does not mean you are totally forgotten.
How Hospice Can Help With End
In addition to helping you in recognizing the signs of dying in the elderly with dementia, bringing in hospice care will help with the physical and emotional demands of caregiving. Nurses will be able to adjust medication and care plans as the individuals needs change. Aides can help with bathing, grooming, and other personal care. Social workers can help organize resources for the patient and family. Chaplains and bereavement specials can help the family with any emotional or spiritual needs. Additionally, family members can contact hospice at any time, and do not need to wait until it is recommended by the patient’s physician.
To learn more about the criteria for hospice eligibility or to schedule a consultation, please contact Crossroads using the blue Help Center bar on this page for more information on how we can help provide support to individuals with dementia and their families.
Can You Die From Dementia
Dementia is usually considered a disorder affecting memory and is associated with aging. In the initial stages, this could be true. Loss of memory is one of the earliest signs of the disease.
However, according to experts, dementia is a fatal brain failure that needs to be taken seriously like other terminal diseases that kill a patient slowly. It is not just an ailment that is associated with the elderly.
Even though the distinction is not really known in the medical field and to the general public, it is something that needs to be considered when one has to be treated at the very end stage of the condition.
It is believed that the fact that people are misinformed and misguided about dementia, the end stage treatment is usually made very aggressive.
The disease progresses quite slowly and the fact that it affects so many people means that it should be taken seriously. Dementia is a collection or a consequence of different diseases like Alzheimers disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinsons disease. In later stages, you can tell the type of dementia that is affecting a certain patient.
The patient can have eating problems, pneumonia, fever, pain, and difficulty breathing, which are all caused by the failure of the brain. In the end, dementia involves so many other parts of the body.
It is important to appreciate that the brain is the engine of our bodies. It controls everything, including metabolism, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs, and even the heart.
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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.
Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:
Losing The Ability To Understand Why Someone Is Frowning
When we are experiencing dementia, we dont suddenly arrive in a dementia anger stage. We simply get hurt and angry often because we cant use memory or reasoning to consider the reasons for why someone might do something or say something to us. When we can no longer understand why, we take everything personally. We cant help it. So if our companions dont understand what we cannot doand understand how to help uswe all end up dealing with a lot of meanness and anger.
The first reason for why people whore experiencing dementia often get angry and mean is that they have lost the ability to consider why other people say or do what they do.
The second reason is because they have become unable to change their own moods.
Think again about the cognitive skills we all have and use daily: we have memory skills that allow us to search for and retrieve memories. We have rational thinking skills that allow us to see cause and effect, follow a sequence, and prioritize actions and ideasessentially, the skills that let us perceive relationships between facts, such as what, where, how, when and especially why.
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Common Behaviour Changes That May Occur When A Person Has Dementia Why Do These Changes Occur
Answers to this and some general guidelines for coping with them.
Changes in the behaviour of a person with dementia are very common. This may place enormous stress on families and carers. It can be particularly upsetting when someone previously gentle and loving behaves in a strange or aggressive way.
What Are The Signs Of End
It is important for caregivers to know when an individual with dementia is close to the end of their life, because it helps ensure they receive the right amount of care at the right time. It can be difficult to know exactly when this time is due to the variable nature of dementias progression, but understanding common end-of-life symptoms of seniors with dementia can help. Below is a timeline of signs of dying in elderly people with dementia:
Final Six Months
- A diagnosis of another condition such as cancer, congestive heart failure or COPD
- An increase in hospital visits or admissions
Final Two-to-Three Months
- Speech limited to six words or less per day
- Difficulty in swallowing or choking on liquids or food
- Unable to walk or sit upright without assistance
- Hands, feet, arms and legs may be increasingly cold to the touch
- Inability to swallow
- Terminal agitation or restlessness
- An increasing amount of time asleep or drifting into unconsciousness
- Changes in breathing, including shallow breaths or periods without breathing for several seconds or up to a minute
Patients with dementia are eligible to receive hospice care if they have a diagnosis of six months or less to live if the disease progresses in a typical fashion. Once a patient begins experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is time to speak with a hospice professional about how they can help provide added care and support.
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Lack Of Engagement And Being Withdrawn
As dementia progresses, it becomes more likely that a person will become withdrawn, but this doesnt mean that this withdrawal is caused directly by the dementia. A person with dementia is much more likely to become withdrawn because they feel isolated or bored.
Many people with dementia spend much of their time alone or, even if they are with others, there may not be much conversation between them. A person with dementia may find it difficult to initiate a conversation or an activity themselves. When no one else does anything to engage their attention the person has no choice but to retreat into their own thoughts.
The person may spend much of their time asleep too. After being withdrawn for a period of time, people tend to find it hard to come back into contact with others. They may seem disinterested if somebody does then try to engage with them or offer them something to do.
Our Very Active Intuitive Thinking Skills
Focusing on the skills they wont lose can diminish mean dementia.
Intuitive Thinking Skill #1Using our five senses.
Dementia takes away our ability to analyze, label and interpret, but dementia does not take away our ability to see, hear, feel, taste and smell. Age might dull our senses, but to the degree theyre still available to us, our senses will provide us with raw data loud and cleardespite dementia. Mean dementia and anger result when caregivers and family members dont realize that their loved ones are still experiencing what they can no longer describe or interpret.
Your loved one is experiencing everything around them and perceiving your emotions as much as ever , but they can no longer remember what happened moments ago or process any reasons for why youre doing what youre doing.
Think about what this means: your loved one is experiencing everything around them and perceiving your emotions as much as ever , but they can no longer remember what happened moments ago or process any reasons for why youre doing what youre doing. Think of the mistaken assumptions they cant avoid. They need us to narrate and explain whats going on, without judgment. They need us to make sure that whatever sensory stimulation comes their way is pleasing and uplifting. They need us to do for them what they can no longer do for themselves: use memory and reasoning to avoid conflict.
Intuitive Thinking Skill #2Feeling our own feelings.
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What Happens In The Last Stage Of Dementia
A patient could spend between approximately one and three years in the last severe stage of Alzheimers. Approximately 1.8 million US adults are in the final stages of dementia at the time of writing.
As the disease progresses, a patient can do less. They become increasingly dependent on others for assistance.
Eating and swallowing become more difficult during this stage. Sometimes patients wont eat because they arent hungry or theyre simply confused.
Around the clock hospice care is usually administered to such patients.
Do People With Dementia Sleep A Lot
There is one question that comes up a lot when discussing dementia and that is do people with dementia sleep a lot?
It has been established that individuals with dementia tend to sleep too much especially those who are already in the later stages.
This happens at night and during the daytime as well.
Below we will tackle this topic focusing on the reasons that may cause persons with dementia to oversleep and what to do when it happens.
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Facial Expressionstry Not To Frown
They will see and respond to the briefest flash of irritation on our faces. They can sense that we are concerned or worried from the set of our shoulders or slight tension in our stride as we enter the room. They can tell if we are frustrated from the slightest of pauses before we answer them or the merest intonation in a word. They are always reading our emotions.
And so, we must become aware of what we are communicating nonverbally. All of us have a default facial expressionthe one we wear when were deep in thought or concentrating on a task or determined to solve a problem. For most of us thats a frown. But if our companions are experiencing dementia, they wont be able to remind themselves that were deep in thought, or concentratingthey will simply see the frown and take it personally.
If you spend time with someone whos experiencing dementia, ask your friends and family to tell you when they see you frowning. It takes awareness and practice, but you can teach yourself to look happy and at peace when your mind is wandering or occupied elsewhere. Learning just thisto simply put a true smile on your face the moment you enter your loved ones presencewill go far in changing the dementia anger stage back to peaceful, friendly interactions.
Your Role As A Caregiver
Establishing a good working relationship with the primary care physician helps ensure good care and ongoing support. A comprehensive medical workup that rules out treatable conditions and provides information on current status offers a foundation for care planning, now and in the future.
An accurate diagnosis begins a process of education for caregivers and families so that needs can be met and resources located and put to use. Irreversible dementia requires a level of care that increases as the disease progresses. Through education and the use of available resources, families can learn new skills to handle shifting care needs.
Many families provide care at home for a person with dementia. While this can be an enriching and very rewarding experience, it can also be stressful. Studies have shown that caring for someone with a brain-impairing disorder can be more stressful than caring for someone with a physical impairment. It is essential that caregivers take the time to care for themselves physically and emotionally.
Support and assistance are very important throughout the months or years you are a caregiver. You will need respite from time to timeâa break from caregiving demands. Help from friends, other family members, or community agencies is invaluable so that you can continue to provide your loved one with good care without becoming exhausted, frustrated, or simply burned out.
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Make Your Loved One Comfortable With Home Dementia Care In Phoenix Az
Do you have a family member or loved one suffering from dementia? Call and talk to one of our staff at Devoted Guardians. We are one of Arizonas largest home care providers with personnel trained in dementia care. We offer daily 24-hour living assistance, including nighttime watch, and personal care.
Devoted Guardians’ Response to COVID-19
Devoted Guardians is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.
While most cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a very small percentage of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Devoted Guardians serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.
We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control State Department of Health, local and county authorities, the Home Care Association of America and other agencies and resources. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Dementia
- Alzheimers disease. This is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is caused by specific changes in the brain. The trademark symptom is trouble remembering recent events, such as a conversation that occurred minutes or hours ago, while difficulty remembering more distant memories occurs later in the disease. Other concerns like difficulty with walking or talking or personality changes also come later. Family history is the most important risk factor. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimers disease increases the risk of developing it by 10 to 30 percent.
- Vascular dementia. About 10 percent of dementia cases are linked to strokes or other issues with blood flow to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors. Symptoms vary depending on the area and size of the brain impacted. The disease progresses in a step-wise fashion, meaning symptoms will suddenly get worse as the individual gets more strokes or mini-strokes.
- Lewy body dementia. In addition to more typical symptoms like memory loss, people with this form of dementia may have movement or balance problems like stiffness or trembling. Many people also experience changes in alertness including daytime sleepiness, confusion or staring spells. They may also have trouble sleeping at night or may experience visual hallucinations .
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Managing Sleeping Problems With Food And Drink
Some suggestions include:
- Cut down on caffeine during the day and cut them out altogether after 5 pm.
- Cut down on alcohol and discuss the effects of alcohol and medication with the doctor.
- If you think the person may be hungry at night, try a light snack just before bed or when they wake up during the night.
- Herbal teas and warm milk may be helpful.
Dementia Affects Brain Areas Associated With Swallowing
Inability to swallow food is termed as dysphagia. The prevalence of dysphagia among elderly can be as high as 40 percent. This percentage is even higher among people with dementia .
But why is that?
Different types of dementia eventually lead to the shrinkage of the parts of the brain that coordinate swallowing. Consequently, the patients find it extremely hard to swallow as their disease progresses.
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S For Prompting A Persons Memory
Some people with dementia appear to travel back in time, reliving memories from when they were younger. They might expect grown up children to be small again, or expect their parents to still be alive, or even revert back in their mind to previous marriages or relationships.
There are cues you can use to help the person with dementia make the connections between the past and the present. The following tips may help to do this:
- Put up photos around the house of important times you were together, such as weddings, birthdays, childrens parties
- Show the progression of time in these photos, so that they show a spouse or partner when young, but also throughout time and how they appear now
- Keep a photo album on display with the photos clearly marked with peoples names, the year and the event, following the progression from the past to the present day
- Wear clothes around the house that the person would associate with you these could include a favourite item of clothing or styles from when you were both younger
- Wear aftershave or perfume that the person associates with you. If they have a favourite perfume or aftershave, encourage its use often the sense of smell can evoke positive memories when words cannot