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Why Do Dementia Patients Put Things In Their Mouth

Is Coloring Good For Dementia Patients

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Coloring is a good activity for dementia patients since it shows positive outcomes, most notably a decrease in anxiety and agitation. The therapeutic value of activities like coloring partly comes from the persons need to concentrate and in participating so that they essentially stop thinking about their troubles while coloring.

Problems With Mental Abilities

Problems with thinking do not tend to occur in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia, but these often develop as the condition progresses.

These can include:

  • difficulty working things out and needing to be told what to do
  • poor planning, judgement and organisation
  • becoming easily distracted
  • thinking in a rigid and inflexible way
  • losing the ability to understand abstract ideas
  • difficulty recognising familiar people or objects
  • memory difficulties, although this is not common early on

Eating Nonfood Objects And Rancid Foods

One surprising early sign of dementia is eating nonfood objects or foods that are rancid or spoiled. This is partly because the person forgets what to do with the things in front of them. For example, dementia patients might try to eat the flower in a vase on a restaurant table because they know they are there to eat, but dont know what the flower is doing there, says Rankin. Unlike some other Alzheimers symptoms or dementia symptoms, this one has few other likely explanations.

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Tips To Reduce Nighttime Restlessness

Improve sleep hygiene. Provide a comfortable bed, reduce noise and light, and play soothing music to help your loved one get to sleep. If they prefer to sleep in a chair or on the couch, make sure they cant fall out while sleeping.

Keep a regular sleep schedule. Be consistent with the time for sleeping and keep the nighttime routine the same. For example, give the person a bath and some warm milk before bed.

How Can You Choose Activities For People With Dementia That Are Safe

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Activities are key to keeping a dementia patients hands busy to help with the fidgeting, but it isnt always easy to choose the right ones. Ideally, you should plan activities that the person with dementia enjoys in his/her daily routine.

To ensure that you only choose activities that are safe and help the person enjoy them:

  • Match the activities with the persons capabilities and cognitive function
  • Pick activities that are fun for all
  • Watch to see whether or not the person becomes frustrated
  • Determine whether the person can do the activity alone or needs help
  • Avoid overstimulating the person try a new activity for only a few minutes the first time
  • Focus on enjoyment as opposed to achievement
  • If its more enjoyable, let the person watch
  • Help the person get started
  • Be careful with small items that can easily be placed in the mouth.

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Stage : Moderate Dementia

Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.

While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.

Disregarding The Law And Other Social Norms

Some people with dementia lose their sense of social norms. Shoplifting breaking into someones house inappropriate interpersonal behaviors, such as sexual comments or actions and even criminal behavior, according to a study published in March 2015 in the journal JAMA Neurology, all make the list of surprising dementia symptoms. This could lead to trouble with the law, too: Early-onset dementia can hit people as early as their thirties and forties, well before anyone around them would consider their out-of-character behavior as a sign of dementia.

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What Is The Biggest Risk Factor For Dementia

Depression and obesity can increase your risk, but there are still ways to keep your brain healthy as you age. Age is the single biggest risk factor for dementia. Once you hit age 65, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Social And Emotional Activities

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Engaging people with dementia in regular physical, social, and emotional activities is a promising strategy for keeping the condition at bay. The activities you choose should result in lifestyle change and long-term activity participation.

Examples include:

  • Reading with or to them
  • Going on a short outing in nature
  • Baking something or cooking meals together
  • Watching a movie, TV show, or family videos together
  • Sing their favorites songs as a group
  • Go to museums and festivals as a group
  • Make a memory box with other members of the family
  • Have them tell stories or read books out loud

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Stage : Mild Cognitive Impairment

Clear cognitive problems begin to manifest in stage 3. A few signs of stage 3 dementia include:

  • Getting lost easily
  • Noticeably poor performance at work
  • Forgetting the names of family members and close friends
  • Difficulty retaining information read in a book or passage
  • Losing or misplacing important objects
  • Difficulty concentrating

Patients often start to experience mild to moderate anxiety as these symptoms increasingly interfere with day to day life. Patients who may be in this stage of dementia are encouraged to have a clinical interview with a clinician for proper diagnosis.

Singing And Listening To Music

Music can be very beneficial as well. Old songs can remind them of their past, and learning new songs can connect them to the wider world of today. Singing is an activity that can help older adults store memories, and it can also be a community activity when performed alongside friends and family members. As dementia progresses, people with dementia might eventually prefer to simply listen.

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Why Are There Swallowing Problems

As dementia progresses it affects the area of the brain that controls swallowing. In advanced dementia the person may have a weak swallow or lose the ability to swallow safely. For example, they may cough or choke after swallowing food or drinks. See the Chewing and swallowing problems feature in the Eating well section.

Swallowing problems can also be caused by general weakness and frailty of the person, that is, their swallowing muscles become very weak. In addition, changes in sensation and sensory awareness means that some people will find the experience of eating feels very different and may, at times, feel unpleasant to them.

Other problems such as having a sore mouth or sensitive teeth can cause a person to take in less food or develop swallowing problems. You should bring these difficulties to the attention of a doctor, nurse or dentist as soon as possible to review.

Planning For When Your Loved One Does Wander

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In case your loved one does wander, its a good idea to have a plan in place.

  • Notify neighbors and local police about your loved ones tendency to wander, and circulate your phone number.
  • Have your loved one wear an ID bracelet or labels in clothing. Digital devices using GPS technology can track your loved ones location.
  • In case a police search becomes necessary, have a recent photo of your loved one and some unwashed clothing to help search-and-rescue dogs.
  • In the U.S., sign up for the Alzheimers Associations Medic Alert and Safe Return Program, an identification system to help rescue lost Alzheimers patients.

How to find a missing Alzheimers patient

A person with dementia may not call out for help or answer your calls, even when trapped somewhere, leaving them at risk for dehydration and hypothermia.

Check dangerous areas near the home, such as bodies of water, dense foliage, tunnels, bus stops, and high balconies.

Look within a one-mile radius of where the patient was before wandering.

Look within one hundred feet of a road, as most wanderers start out on roads and remain close by. Especially look carefully into bushes and ditches, as your loved one may have fallen or become trapped.

Search in the direction of the wanderers dominant hand. People usually travel first in their dominant direction.

Investigate familiar places, such as former residences or favorite spots. Often, wandering has a particular destination.

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Why Do Dementia Sufferers Have Trouble Swallowing Their Food

Written and verified bythe psychologist.

15 November, 2021

Dementia sufferers have problems swallowing their food and also drinking. Anyone who has a family member or acquaintance with Alzheimers disease will have faced this reality at some time or another. Indeed, its a devastating fact that there comes a time when theyre not even able to chew or swallow.

Is it because their characters changed? Or is it perhaps because theyve lost the desire to eat? Absolutely. In fact, this phenomenon is called dysphagia and has its origins in the brain. It happens because the neurological mechanisms that regulate the movement of these basic areas are damaged. To this is added another fact: the act of eating requires cognitive effort.

As a matter of fact, cutting food, thinking about when to put a spoon or fork in the mouth, or even deciding when to start or stop chewing are highly complex cognitive processes. For us, theyre completely automatic. The study of neurodegenerative diseases can tell us a lot more in this particular area.

Problems In The Mouth

A person with dementia may have a sore mouth or gums. Their teeth may be sensitive or painful. Dentures or dental plates may no longer fit correctly, making it difficult and painful to chew, in which case support the person to see a dentist as soon as possible. Dental treatment may be necessary or dentures may need to be adjusted or remade if the fit is poor.

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Behaviour And Personality Changes

Many people with frontotemporal dementia develop a number of unusual behaviours they’re not aware of.

These can include:

  • losing interest in people and things
  • losing drive and motivation
  • inability to empathise with others, seeming cold and selfish
  • repetitive behaviours, such as humming, hand-rubbing and foot-tapping, or routines such as walking exactly the same route repetitively
  • a change in food preferences, such as suddenly liking sweet foods, and poor table manners
  • compulsive eating, alcohol drinking and/or smoking
  • neglecting personal hygiene

As the condition progresses, people with frontotemporal dementia may become socially isolated and withdrawn.

Paranoia In Alzheimer’s Patients


“Paranoia is a misperception in their mind of an actual event occurring,” Rubinstein explains. Alzheimer’s caregivers shouldn’t argue, she suggests. Instead, look for a seed of truth. For example, if today’s accusation is that you stole a favorite item, and you actually do have a history of borrowing things, consider that there is some validity to your loved one’s feelings. “They need reassurance that everything is okay,” Rubinstein says. Instead of getting defensive when facing this Alzheimer’s symptom, apologize for “losing” the item and promise to replace it soon.

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How You Can Help A Person With Dementia Who Is Hiding Hoarding Or Losing Things

  • Try to keep items in places where the person is used to them being for example, hanging keys on a specific hook or always keeping them in the same drawer.
  • Consider getting copies of items that are important or often misplaced, such as keys, glasses or important documents.
  • Keep rooms and drawers tidy so that things are less likely to get lost and easier to find if they are misplaced. Put items that are often used where they can be seen and are easily accessible.
  • Consider getting a tray marked letters or post to make sure that these do not get misplaced. This can also allow you to double-check important items such as GP appointment letters or test results, as long as the person consents to this.
  • Use visual clues to explain where items go, such as pictures or photos stuck to cupboard doors as reminders of what goes inside them.
  • Consider a locator device to help find items that often get lost, such as keys. For more information on these see Using technology to help with everyday life.
  • When looking for a lost item, use your knowledge of the person to help you think where they might have put things.
  • If the person puts items in unusual places but this doesnt pose a risk to anyone in the household, it may be best to leave things as they are.
Assistive technology to help with losing things

There are many devices that can help with everyday living, including hiding, hoarding or losing things.

Why Might A Person With Dementia Hide Hoard Or Lose Things

People with dementia often lose items as a result of their memory loss. They may misplace common items, such as glasses or keys, or put an item somewhere for safekeeping and then forget where it is. They may also leave items in unusual places for example, leaving the remote control in the bathroom, or tea bags in the fridge.

If the person thinks an item should be somewhere and its not, this may lead them to think that someone is hiding or stealing things from them. This is a type of delusion. It can be difficult both for the person and those around them. It can help to try see things from their point of view. The person with dementia is trying to make sense of their reality and what is happening.

It is also important to note that there may be truth in what the person is saying dont dismiss it because they have dementia.

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When Should I Ask For Support

Supporting people with dementia at the end of their life requires a team approach. Often, there will be many people involved in the persons care at the end of their life. Good communication and information sharing helps to ensure the person receives the care they need.

If youre unsure about anything or have any concerns seek advice from a colleague, manager or another health care professional.

There may be certain professionals who can advise on specific issues. These may include a GP, district nurses, social workers, other care staff and specialists.

Lewy Body Dementia Canada

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Learn to live best with LBD


Careful Eating Habits Limit Aspiration Risks with Dementias, and particularly with Lewy Body Other Dementia.

Summary points:

  • Swallowing Can Be A Killer. Be Vigilant.
  • Eat When Awake and Alert.
  • Concentrate on eating. Avoid distractions.
  • Start with Fluid and Keep Drinking During Meals.
  • Keep Chin Level, or Down.
  • Make Food Bite Sized or Pureed.
  • Be Careful with Bones.
  • Add Sauce to Keep Food Moist.
  • Ensure Empty Mouth Before Next Bite.
  • Finish with Yogurt or Apple Sauce.
  • Make Smoothies, or Thicken Liquids If Helpful.
  • Brush After EVERY Meal and Snack.
  • Stay Up After Eating To Get Food Down.
  • Read the full story below.

    Reduce Dementia-related Swallowing ProblemsSwallowing Can Be A Killer. Be Vigilant.

    Choking is always a risk, even when healthy. However, a slow, silent threat exists which needs to be actively avoided, aspiration: accidentally having food or fluids go into the lungs instead of the stomach.

    Aspiration frequently leads to pneumonia by having fluid buildup in the lungs, which is a leading cause of death in the frail.

    Dementia with Lewy Bodies affects the autonomic nervous system, which renders simple, otherwise automatic reflexes ineffective. This is why swallowing problems, blood pressure and heart rate fluctuations, incontinence, and sleep disturbances commonly become problems. The unconscious mind essentially becomes unable to tell the body what to do.

    Eat When Awake and Alert.
    Concentrate on Eating. Avoid Distractions.
    Our Story

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    When Trouble Might Occur

    Visual hallucinations are one of the hallmark symptoms in Lewy body dementia and often occur early in the illness. In other dementias, delusions are more common than hallucinations, which occur well into the disease cycle, if at all, and are less often visual.

    Fluctuating good days and bad days are another hallmark of LBD. On a good day, thinking is clear, and these illusions, hallucinations and delusions may not occur on a bad day, they may be intense.

    As LBD progresses, these types of symptoms may first intensify, then later burn out.

    In dementia, symptoms always change, so what a person experiences this month may not be happening the next month, though such distressing symptoms seem to last an eternity for the caregiver.

    Issues To Be Aware Of If Blending Food Is Recommended

    If you are advised and given guidelines to provide a modified texture diet for example, blending food to produce a soft puree consistency each item of food should be prepared separately before placing on a plate .

    Pureed textured food can be bland so ensure seasoning is added to enhance the flavour. This will vary according to the preference of the person. Adding butter or cream to some blended foods can add calories and flavour. Blending meat with gravy adds flavour. Describe the food so the person has the opportunity to recognise it.

    Pre-prepared modified textured meals may also be bought in by care providers. These meals may be soft or pureed textured food that is remoulded back into the shape of the food it was before being blended. The aim of pre-made modified texture diets is to ensure that the food looks good, tastes good and is nutritionally balanced.

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    Amazing Why Do Dementia Patients Put Things In Their Mouth

    As a Certified Dementia Practitioner I have seen many people chewing nothing but I checked out their mouths in a panic thinking they got hold of something that they shouldnt. See What Others Do to Engage Their Loved One with Dementia and Making Them Feel Useful.

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