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About dementia definition

Imge dementia 300x258 Are There Ways To Help A Loved One With Dementia?Dementia is a progressive disorder that is frequently associated with the aging process and medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Although the causes of dementia are not always clear, the symptoms created by this condition can often leave patients and their caregivers struggling to cope. Caring for an aging loved one can be challenging on even the best days; however, those who care for a loved one with dementia also know the heartache that is caused by watching their loved one struggle with symptoms such as confusion, mood swings and memory loss. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to help a person cope with the symptoms of dementia while easing the burden of stress on caregivers.

Here, are the most effective methods for helping a loved one through each stage of dementia.

Get Informed
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to dementia, there is a vast amount of information available to help patients and their caregivers. One of the most important things to understand is the different stages of this progressive illness. Dementia occurs in three stages that can span over a decade. In the first stage, a person may exhibit signs of a wavering memory or brief instances of confusion. Often, these symptoms may be mistaken for other disorders. After diagnosis, a person moves into the second stage of dementia which is marked by a higher level of difficulty functioning during normal daily activities. Over time, a person will eventually progress to the third stage where a person may require constant care to keep them safe. Knowing which stage represents a person’s loved one’s current state of dementia will help them to create a plan of action tailored to their needs.

Limit Distractions
Often, a person with dementia will struggle with staying focused during routine conversations and tasks. By limiting distractions, a caregiver can help to attract their loved one’s attention. Therefore, it can be ideal to turn off televisions, radios and other electronic devices before engaging a person’s loved one in conversation. This can also be helpful for keeping a loved one on task when moving throughout their daily routine. If a person’s loved one’s attention wavers, then simply stating their name, touching their shoulder or moving closer can help redirect their attention to the task at hand.

Simplify Activities
The memory loss that occurs as a result of dementia can make it difficult for a person to remember the steps for basic procedures such as brushing their teeth or cooking a meal. Additionally, being faced with too many options can make it challenging for them to make a decision. Therefore, it can be helpful for caregivers to break simple activities down into steps that can easily be followed by their loved one. For example, ask them to perform one step at a time when getting dressed, or a person can simply offer them a choice of two different shirts instead of asking them what they want to wear.

Stick to a Routine
During the initial stages of dementia, a person may still be able to handle many of their daily tasks with a few gentle reminders and assistance. To help with this, a caregiver can sit down with their loved one and discuss the details of a typical day. Then, a checklist can be made that can help a senior remember which tasks they have already completed. This can also serve as a reminder for taking medications, turning off appliances and remembering basic personal hygiene procedures such as bathing. When a loved one with dementia has a routine that is followed every day, it can help them to feel a sense of control over what is happening around them each day.

Automate Basic Tasks
Remembering to pay bills or take medication are two major areas where a person with dementia will need assistance with as their condition progresses. Concerned loved ones may help with medications by placing pills into organizers that designate the day and time a medication should be taken. Additionally, medication management services can be used to help monitor a person’s medications and any related side effects. Bills can also be automated to help relieve a person of the burden of paying bills on time each month.

Provide Affectionate Responses
When caring for a loved one with dementia, it is important to spend some time bonding and enjoying the moments that are shared together. Although it can be frustrating when a loved one responds in anger, it is important not to take it personal. Instead, respond to the emotion that the loved one is feeling and help to soothe their frustration. Additionally, spending some time reminiscing is often a favorite pastime of people with dementia as they often remember things from the distant past. Playing a favorite song or looking at photographs can often generate positive responses from people with dementia.

Helping a loved one with dementia can be challenging, yet it also has many rewards. As a person cares for someone with dementia, they often create closer bonds as they spend more time with their loved one. Although helping someone with dementia can be challenging, it is important for a person to know that there are many things they can do to ease the symptoms of this common condition. By establishing a routine and responding with warmth and affection, a person can help their loved one through each stage of this progressive disease.

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Author: Nisha has been writing about elderly and dementia care for the last few years now. She enjoys reading health articles from and other dementia and care home resources.


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