Dementia affects people differently. Patients can have many different symptoms, or just a few. Symptoms like confusion, memory loss, and disorientation are common, although they’re experienced to varying degrees. It’s important that loved ones and doctors help the person with dementia feel as comfortable and safe as possible.
The Challenges of Living with Dementia
Living with dementia is a life full of uncertainty. The challenges someone with dementia faces change from day to day. It’s important that you meet these challenges with compassion and diligence. Fostering familiarity in the home and sticking to routines will help a person with dementia feel secure.
The home environment should help facilitate easy and safe movement. Changes in the environment may lead to disorientation or injury. Something as innocent as rearranging furniture can cause confusion. If you’re unable to care for your loved one in-home, consider a memory care facility that can provide a safe environment.
Finding their way
Installing nightlights in the hallways, kitchen and bathroom can help your loved one find their way around. Labelling frequently used items can also aide them in finding what they need. Ensure that there’s plenty of clearance around furniture, and practice routines so they feel confident in where they’re going.
We all forget things from time to time, including paying a bill or writing a check. In people with dementia, finances can become very mismanaged, or neglected altogether. It may become necessary to limit access to credit cards or checks, and add yourself to account in order to maintain them.
Speech difficulties are often the first symptoms in people with dementia. It could start with something as small as forgetting a word, then progress to an inability to articulate their thoughts. As the disease progresses, communication can diminish to grunts or incoherent noises.
Loneliness and depression
Loneliness and depression are common in people with dementia. Much of that is rooted in the fact that they are aware of their inability to communicate, remember, and function as they did before. People with dementia may have violent outbursts, a product of frustration and fear. Despite that, it’s important for those with dementia not to be isolated, as that can exacerbate the problem.
Dementia patients often hoard items, or secretly collect things. These actions often signal a desire for comfort in the face of uncertainty, but may also be a result of confusion about how to handle stressful situations. A good solution is creating a memory box, wherein your loved one can place items of sentimental value.
Wandering is a risk that stems from memory loss caused by dementia. People with dementia forget where they are, where they’re going, and how to get home. Think about installing an alarm on all exits to eliminate the risk of wandering off. Ensure that your loved one wear an ID bracelet, so if they do wonder they can be easily identified and assisted home.
A Loving Alternative
Caring for a loved with dementia is more than a full-time job. Memory care homes offer additional assistance with daily living, in a secure and comfortable environment. The goal of such homes is not to restrict or isolate individuals with dementia, but to allow them to live their lives as normally as possible.
Giving Them Dignity
Maintaining dignity is essential for seniors with dementia. They are still the sensitive, caring beings they always were. Treating them with respect and empathy is crucial. There are many resources available for those suffering from dementia. Talk to your doctor about what options exist for their care.
Contact Us to learn more about memory care for your loved one.