Dementia is an overarching term for disorders that affects ones’ cognitive abilities and memory. It is caused by the death of nerve cells or the failure of their function in the brain. Such disorders are most commonly found in older adults. Some estimates suggest as many as 7% of those 60 years old and above have dementia. Those afflicted with dementia tend to exhibit symptoms such as memory loss, increased irritability, shift in personality, and depression. It might be scary or difficult to care for someone with dementia. Fret not, this guide will help you in understanding dementia behaviors and provide tips to manage and deal with them.
Dementia often affects and deteriorates a person’s communication skills. Depending on the progression of the disease, those with dementia may be able to voice their opinions preferences. Be patient and hear out what your loved one is saying. For others who are in later stages of dementia, they may have great difficulty in communicating. This includes struggling to remember certain words, being unable to organize their thoughts, or using more nonverbal communication. Try to be comforting, respectful, and optimistic while talking to them. Use simpler words, phrasings, and sentences. When getting clarifications, ask one question and wait for any reply or feedback before asking another. If they take a long time to reply, patiently wait or try to rephrase your words.
People with dementia may become aggressive or irritable when they are afraid, frustrated, or unable to say what they are thinking. A variety of situations might trigger such a reaction. This may include loud noises, being asked “why” questions, sensing irritability in their caregiver, being scolded, or argued with, or doing difficult tasks. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand their feelings. Soothe your loved one by patting them on their back or holding their hands. For those who don’t like being touched in this state, reassure them with comforting words or quietly move away to a safe distance.
Dementia can cause people to wander away and walk aimlessly. They may do it indoors or outdoors, and it has several triggers. One is that it is the result of disorientation and memory loss. Another is that it is an indication that they are curious, bored, or restless. It could also be an expression of their feelings, like loneliness or fear, or basic need, like hunger or thirst. Show support through a hug and a remind your loved one that they are in the right place and safe. You could also supervise and let them wander in secured areas, such as along the hallways or in a fenced yard. This is a natural and safe way for them to explore be familiar with their surroundings.
Residential Care at Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso
We understand that everyone has different needs and have centered our values on that. Our SHINE® Memory Care curriculum strives to help our residents rediscover independence, confidence and pleasure in their retirement lives through varied programs and activities. In addition, our residents will have access to a selection of services which includes 24-hour nursing care, personal grooming assistance, continence management, and therapy. Rittenhouse Village At Valparaiso will provide you and your loved ones a peace of mind knowing that any and all needs will be taken care of.