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Caring For Those With Dementia
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Caring For Someone With Alzheimers / Dementia
Dementia is a term used for symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, mood changes, and personality changes. Okske Mark/Shutterstock
Population aging is progressing in many countries, and diseases that cause dementia are on the rise. According to the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms caused by a number of diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease, which is expected to affect 152 million people by 2050.
Diane Darby Beach, a physician with Right at Home’s cognitive support program, told Business Insider that most people with dementia spend their illness time at home with family and friends.
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“The burden of care lies with the informal caregivers we call,” she said. “Family and friends who are untrained and put in this situation. It’s almost unmanageable for some people. It’s very, very difficult.”
People with dementia need help with daily tasks. In the early stages of dementia, most people can enjoy life as before they were diagnosed. However, more treatment is required as symptoms worsen over time and increase forgetfulness, worry, and confusion.
According to the National Health Insurance website, things that people with recent dementia are grateful for are shopping, setting the table, gardening, and walking their dogs.
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Memory aids, such as cupboard and door signs, can help you remember where certain rooms are or where to find plates and cups.
Over time, however, dementia can affect a person’s personality, ability to get things done for themselves, and the way they communicate. This means caregivers need to adjust the way they talk to caregivers.
“The best way to keep people with dementia from suffering more is to accept their reality,” Darby Beach said. For example, if someone is trying to pack for work or school, don’t focus too much on saying they retired 10 years ago.
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“We won’t talk about their reality because it will depress them,” she said. “We meet them where they are.” “Now, if Sally is a schoolteacher, she is a schoolteacher. We will never argue or try to reason with a person with dementia because abstract thinking, the reasoning center of the brain, has been abandoned.”
Instead of confusing and frightening Sally by convincing her that she is in her assisted living community, her caregiver can tell her that today is Saturday and there is no school today.
Darby Beach said, “That’s the hardest thing for a family because when you take your adult children with their parents, you always reason with them, but that doesn’t work anymore.” “Don’t expect who they were, find out where they are and what they can still do, and organize activities and conversations around them.”
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Caregivers need to restructure the world for the person they care for and simplify it into a manageable environment.
“I’m talking about one of two phases at a time,” Davi Beach said. “It’s about being in that person’s moment and not thinking too much about the future,” she says.
“What’s amazing about caregivers is that it’s a 24/7 job and every day is different,” Darby Beach said. You have to be really flexible and patient because what worked today may not work tomorrow.
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“Illness is everywhere,” she said. “One day a sick person has a good day they can manage and the next day they don’t.”
Sometimes dementia doesn’t affect memory and function until it’s too advanced, but it does affect vision. Laura Phipps, director of communications and engagement at Alzheimer’s Research UK, told Business Insider that some forms of dementia only affect vision and perception.
“One of the things people often say is that puddles on the floor look like holes because they have problems with depth perception and color perception,” said Phipps. “You walk into the store and there’s a big black mat in front of the door. It looks like a big gap to people with dementia.”
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Recreating the environment in this case could be as simple as going to a store that doesn’t have such mats. Phipps says people with dementia are unable to make judgments because their brains are not 100 percent functional.
“It has a huge impact on how people live, but people don’t realize it,” she said. “It can be a small thing that makes someone uneasy, but if they can’t articulate it, you can’t change it.”
That’s why there’s a huge movement to understand why people with dementia behave or behave aggressively. Something related to the environment, such as the lighting, the way shadows are cast, or the floor, is most likely triggering your anxiety.
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Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult. If your caregiver is intimate, you may feel that your loved one has been washed away and replaced by someone you don’t know. The world gets smaller as you realize you don’t have time to do everything until you become a caregiver.
It’s like they’re grieving the loss of someone they care about. As loved ones begin to fail and lose their abilities, caregivers simultaneously care for them while grappling with the grief that they are not completely there.
Davi Beach said, “A person eventually becomes a shell of himself.” “They’re in the body, but they’re disconnected and they lose their memories, which is tough on caregivers.”
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She said it is very important for caregivers to take care of themselves first. From her work and her personal experience, she knows how hard it can be to care for someone full time. When you’re completely exhausted, there’s no way to do it right.
She said it was as if her flight attendant read her safety instructions on her plane and told her to put on her own oxygen mask before helping others. A caregiver is likely to feel her guilt if she takes time for herself and leaves her loved one to someone else for a few hours. But ultimately, it’s just another roller coaster of emotions they’re going through, and it’s best to minimize it as much as possible.
“It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay to not be able to handle a situation perfectly,” she said. “They have to forgive themselves and not be harsh with themselves because the family caregiver is harsh with them.”
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Darby Beach said there are many good things about being a caregiver. There will be a lot of stress related to the area, but there will also be moments of being grateful to the people around you.
For example, caregivers can stimulate old memories and conversations with loved ones by bringing props that remind people of the past. A person who used to love to cook can no longer eat solid food, but since they still have a sense of smell, they can bake bread. Or, someone who likes to ride horses might like to look at the saddle and talk about what it was like.
“Something like that will remind them of interest and enhance those memories and connections,” Darby Beach said.
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“It’s called person-centered care, and it’s about getting to know the person. The more we know about someone, the more information we need to identify and redirect that person’s [feelings and memories]… so those These aren’t all bad moments.
It’s hard, but it pays off a lot,” she said. “They have the satisfaction of coming closer and being there all the way and helping loved ones. So not everything is a bad moment.” To inquire about any of the above services, please call 0191. Call us on 519 4825 or fill out the form below and we will be in touch.
Caring for someone with dementia can be a stressful job.
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