The Alzhiemer’s associations states “Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain.” Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a descriptive word used for a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills. The most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer’s, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all Dementia cases. Other forms include, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Mixed Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, and Huntington’s Disease.
While there is no cure to this condition is any form, there are many ways to help those effected by the disease, which is our specialty.
Here is some information and a few tips that we have found to be useful for Dementia patients and their families.
Connecting with Family
Holding regular care planning meetings – understand the clients changing needs and implications of those changes
Family can understand the symptoms and understand the progression of the disease
Checklist for behavioral changes – determine if from disease, medication, environment, health.
Changes in ability to focus
Changes in level of alertness
Emotional or physical agitation
Changes in mood
Suspicion of others
Withdrawal from others
Groaning or calling out
Making faces (struggling, grimacing)
Striking out or other signs of distress
Care goal – help the person with dementia to have and sustain meaningful social relationships.
Develop trust by showing interest in social relationship and activities
Activities – what will work for who
Ability to move
Daily routine and schedule
Capacity for mental stimulation
Ability to communicate (status of speech and hearing)
Interest in social relationships
Desire for spiritual participation
Opportunities for transportation to community activities
People with dementia have difficulty expressing pain
Dementia often brings weakened vision
May look pointless but often has a purpose. Sometimes can be because of an unmet need for social interaction, or friendship, a noisy environment, pain or distress boredom or other causes.
Tools to help
Satellite Navigation System/Locator Device for items