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Caring For Someone With Dementia
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Caring For Someone Suffering From Dementia
Dementia is a term used to refer to symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, mood changes, and personality changes. Oksky Mark / Shutterstock
Many countries are experiencing an aging population and the number of diseases that cause dementia is increasing. According to the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, by 2050 dementia will be the term for symptoms caused by various diseases, most notably Alzheimer’s disease.
Diane Darby Beach, a doctor at the Home Cognitive Support Program, told Business Insider that most people with dementia are treated at home with family or friends.
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“The burden of care rests with what we call informal caregivers,” she said. “Family and friends don’t need any training here and just walk in. In this situation. And for some, it’s almost unmanageable – it’s so hard.”
People with dementia need help with everyday tasks. In the early stages of dementia, most people can enjoy life just as they did before the diagnosis. But over time, the symptoms worsen and they tend to be forgetful, frustrated and confused, which means they need more care.
According to the National Health Service website, some jobs recently diagnosed with dementia include shopping, scheduling, gardening, and dog walking.
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Memory aids, such as cabinet signs and door markers, can help people remember which rooms are where or where to find dishes and cups.
But over time, depression can affect a person’s personality, ability to do things on their own, and the way they communicate. This means that caregivers must change the way they talk to the people they care for.
According to Darby Beach, the best way not to cause further difficulties for people with dementia is to adapt to their reality. For example, if someone is trying to go to work or school, don’t be too shy to tell them that they retired more than ten years ago.
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“We won’t talk them out of their reality because it just frustrates them, so we meet them where they are,” she said. “If Sally is a school teacher right now, she’s a school teacher. We never argue or try to reason with people with dementia because the brain’s reasoning center, abstract thinking, is shut down.”
Instead of trying to convince Sally that she is in a nursing home, which can be confusing and alarming for her, her caregiver can tell her that today is Saturday and there is no school today.
“This is extremely difficult for families because if you take an adult child with their parents, they are always arguing with them … but it doesn’t work anymore,” said Darby Beach. “Don’t expect who they are, but find out where they are and what they can do, and organize activities and conversations about that.”
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Caregivers must reimagine and make the world easier for the people they care for in an environment they can manage.
“I’m talking about one of two steps at the time,” Darby Beach said. “It’s about being with this person in the moment, not trying to think too far into the future.”
The surprise for supervisors, Darby Beach said, is that it’s a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week job, and every day is different. They have to be very flexible and patient because what works today may not work tomorrow.
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“Diseases are everywhere,” she said. “One day a person with a disease can have a good day that they can cope with, and the next day they can’t.”
Sometimes dementia does not destroy someone’s memory and function until it is very severe, but it affects the eyesight. Laura Phipps, head of communication and engagement at the Alzheimer’s Research Center in the UK, told Business Insider that some types of dementia only affect vision and perception, as British writer Terry Pratchett did.
“One of the things we’re often told is that mud on the ground can look hollow because of problems with … depth perception and color perception,” Phipps said. “You know, when you walk into a store and they have … a big black cloth in front of the door … for someone with dementia, it looks like a big abyss.”
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In such a situation, rethinking their surroundings can be as easy as going to a store without these rugs. Phipps often says that people with dementia cannot make decisions because their brains are not functioning 100%.
“It has a huge impact on how people can live, but people don’t know it,” she said. “It can be a very small thing that worries someone, but if they can’t say it, you can’t change it.”
This is why there is a huge movement to understand why people with dementia behave so aggressively or aggressively. There is a good chance that it has something to do with their environment – the lighting, the way shadows are cast or the floor – which may be causing them anxiety.
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Caring for people with dementia is not easy. If the guardian is close, they may feel that their loved ones have been washed away and replaced by someone they do not know. Their world is getting smaller and smaller as they realize they don’t have time for everything they did before they were caregivers.
It is also similar to grief when someone they care about runs away. As the loved one’s condition worsens and they begin to lose their abilities, caregivers both care and struggle with their own grief that they have not fully developed.
“Someone ends up being a shell of who they are,” Darby Beach said. “They’re in the body, but the relationships are gone, the memories are gone, and it’s hard for caregivers.”
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She says it’s very important for caregivers to take care of themselves first. She knows from her work and personal experience how exhausting it is to care for others full-time. And there’s no way you can do it right if you’re completely burned out.
She said it’s like when the flight attendants read the safety instructions on the plane and tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Caregivers often feel guilty if they take time for themselves and leave their loved ones with others for a few hours. But in the end, this is just one of the rollercoasters of emotions that they will experience, and it is best to keep them to a minimum as possible.
“It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay to deal with a particular situation,” she said. “They should forgive themselves and not be hard on themselves because the caregivers are hard on themselves.”
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Darby Beach said that working as a nurse brings many good things. The territory causes a lot of stress, but there are times when they are grateful to be around.
For example, caregivers can also stimulate old memories and conversations with loved ones by bringing devices that remind people with dementia of their past. Some people who like to cook may not be able to eat solid food anymore, but they still smell so you can bake bread. Or someone who has enjoyed riding a horse may want to see a saddle and talk about what it looks like.
“Something like that can remind them of that interest … and trigger that memory and connection,” Darby Beach said.
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“This is called person-centered care, and it means really getting to know that person. The more we know about someone, the more information we have to validate that person’s [feelings and memories] and change their path … so they’re not all bad moments.”
“It was hard, but a lot of good came out of it,” she said. “They’re really satisfied that they’ve been there to the end and helped their loved ones, and they’ve become closer. So it’s not all bad times.” Dementia is a term used to describe the progressive decline of brain function. . It can seriously affect memory, language, and problem-solving abilities. It interferes and disrupts daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is
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