Coping with each stage of dementia

Alzheimer’s syndrome can be seen in many dementias where it can be found at home for many years, especially when family or caregivers take care of their safety, meal preparation, and maintenance. General of their domicile. Yet, the behaviors of a person with dementia can frighten or offend people who are unfamiliar with dementia or who have not been well prepared for it.

HE EARLY STAGE:

In the early stages of the disease, the behavior of the affected person is usually not frightening. But since the patient is active outside of their home regularly, it can be difficult to cope with their limits. A dementia diagnosis should be communicated to family members and caregivers as soon as possible. This will help them establish an effective routine that takes into account the progression of the disease. Symptoms to watch out for are:

THE REPETITIONS

A patient with dementia will tell you the same stories over and over again or ask you the same questions over again.

HOW TO ADAPT: Be patient! Dementia prevents new memories from being created, so telling the person they just asked the same question will only make them feel helpless, angry, or afraid.

FORGETFULNESS

People with dementia may miss an appointment or not be ready on time.

HOW TO FIT: Use sticky notes, a shared calendar with a reminder of the patient is using a smartphone, or a large, prominent paper calendar to let the person know where they should be at all times. Assign the task of managing the calendar to a specific person. She is the one that family members will need to contact to add a commitment to the patient’s calendar.

THE TWILIGHT STATE

Symptoms of dementia often worsen in the late afternoon or early evening, especially in the early stages.

HOW TO ADAPT: Establish a regular schedule and stick to it. This will limit the causes of confusion. Also, make sure the affected person exercises daily, preferably outdoors, and avoids naps. This will ensure that she is tired enough to go to bed easily in the evening.

BAD DECISIONS

Dementia often affects judgment. This is also a delicate question because the affected person is often the head of the family and gives the nursing staff instructions.

HOW TO ADAPT: Inform staff of the situation. Encourage them to contact you or another family member if they receive a strange or inappropriate direction. It is okay to tell the dementia patient, “I’ll take care of it,” and discuss the request with the family before doing anything. Know that it is often in the area of ​​finances that the first errors of judgment appear. It is therefore recommended that the whole family be encouraged to double-check all important financial decisions.

THE INTERMEDIATE STAGE:

It is not always easy to determine the stage of development of a person’s dementia. However, as the disease progresses to the middle stage, behaviors become less and less rational. Often the easiest solution is to keep the patient at home as much as possible. This avoids embarrassing the patient and their family and minimizes the situational triggers that are difficult for caregivers to manage.

THE INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE HIS RELATIVES

It is very disturbing that a person with dementia can no longer recognize family members or caregivers. It can become very embarrassing for a patient to mistake the housekeeper or caregiver for their daughter. It is even worse if the patient mistakes her for an intruder and accuses her of trying to steal jewelry.

HOW TO ADAPT: Encourage the different stakeholders to name each other gently; the patient may remember the person. If not, mention the name of a family member (“your wife asked me to bring you supper”) or explain what you are doing (“I’m here to do the housework”). Remind everyone that the patient is no less intelligent or less alert than he was and is probably trying to make sense of the situation as best he can. Relatives should therefore give him points of reference that will allow him to make the necessary connections.

THE ERRANCE

Wandering does not affect all patients with dementia. But for those affected by it, wandering can be extremely dangerous.

HOW TO ADAPT: First, make sure you eliminate as many dangers as possible inside the house. The patient could trip over area rugs and electrical cords. Cleaners or chemicals, sharp tools like kitchen knives and scissors should be out of reach, ideally locked up, as should medication. Second, get into the habit of closing and locking all exterior doors. Make sure all security personnel are aware of the situation. Third, install visual cues, such as night lights in the bathroom, to help the person move around the house. If wandering continues and the patient cannot stay in a safe space (e.g., only one part of the house), the latter may need full-time supervision. A home support agency can offer an overnight “babysitting” service if required.

HALLUCINATIONS OR DELICACIES

Although they are two different things, in theory, hallucinations and delusions are among the behaviors that seem crazy or scary. The patient may have conversations with people who are not there, convince himself that government agents are “after him” or that his body is covered with insects.

HOW TO ADAPT: If a diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia has been made, it is especially important to be on the lookout for delirium episodes, which are very common with this disease type. It’s okay to play along if it’s to distract the patient or redirect their thoughts. If he says, FBI agents installed microphones in the lights, suggest a walk in the garden. If he insists that children are playing loudly under the table, open the door and “take them out”, then invite the patient to do a relaxing activity such as watching TV or having a snack. You can also respond to emotion rather than words (“I feel you are troubled, let me help you”).

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR

Physical assaults, such as hitting and pushing each other, or verbal assaults like swearing, yelling, and tantrums are usually caused by emotional discomfort or physical discomfort.

HOW TO ADAPT: It’s best to do your best to avoid the situations that trigger these seizures by establishing a routine that includes regular eating and bedtimes. Allow plenty of time for activities so that the patient does not feel rushed or stressed. Hygiene is very important because UTIs can cause discomfort and frustration and become a trigger for aggressive behavior. If the patient becomes aggressive, stay calm and do your best to redirect their attention, such as relocating to a new venue, beginning a new operation, or, if possible, hugging or hugging them. Reasoning with dementia rarely helps because the disease prevents them from processing information rationally, so arguing with her makes things even tenser for everyone. When the person is calm and safe, log the incident to help you find out the triggers (time of day, taking medication, fatigue, etc.).

DISINHIBITION

When the brain loses judgment, patients sometimes behave impulsively or inappropriately. We think here more particularly of the lack of sexual continence. Patients may undress, touch or grip others inappropriately, including caregivers, or use vulgar language without any notion of what is appropriate or what is not.

HOW TO ADAPT: If this kind of behavior becomes common, be sure to hire a trained professional, such as a nurse, rather than putting family members in difficult confrontations.

THE ADVANCED STAGE:

In the advanced stages of dementia, patients experience the world primarily through smell and touch. When a patient loses the ability to eat and control their bodily functions, it becomes necessary to supervise them day and night. The family would most probably need to recruit professionals or plan to stay with the patient. If so, you might want to employ a senior health instructor who knows about the opportunities for dementia patients in your group.

PERSONALIZED CARE

People with advanced dementia can no longer control their bodies, so they can often wash, brush their teeth, or use the toilet. Yet, they are still self-aware and have not lost their dignity.

FOOD AID

A patient with advanced dementia sometimes loses interest in eating or even forgets to eat. Even if the level of physical activity decreases and the patient no longer needs to eat as much, they still need to eat enough.

THE LINKS

Research shows that despite severe memory loss, the essence of the dementia patient is still there, even at the advanced stage. Playing your favorite songs, cooking your favorite meals, or flipping through a photo album are all activities that can trigger memories.

FAMILY SUPPORT

Do not hesitate to turn to professional resources for support for you and your family during these difficult times. A knowledgeable geriatric care manager can advise you on the resources available in your community, while staff at home support agencies like Homecare can reduce the burden on your family.

Kentucky Mental Health Care experienced psychiatrists understand that the effectiveness of medications varies from patient to patient. To overcome this problem, Medication Therapy Management is a significant aspect of successful outpatient treatment programs.

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