Dementia care can be challenging to deal with, even in the early stages of the disease. As it moves into the middle and late stages, it can be very hard for family and friends to cope with at times. Your loved one who suffers from dementia is going through many things at once, and it may cause them to behave in ways they never have before. Below, you'll learn the tips that can make dementia care easier.
Dementia Care to Help Your Loved Ones
In this Article:
Dealing with Aggression
Family members may find aggression especially hard to deal with. Sometimes, your loved one might be stubborn about something like taking their medication or taking a bath. This can quickly turn from stubbornness into actual aggression. But it does not have to if you deal with the situation the right way.
When patients with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia act this way, family members should know that they are not doing it to be difficult. Usually, stubbornness and aggression begin with something very simple. This means your loved one might be physically uncomfortable when doing the suggested activity. Maybe they are scared because the activity is unfamiliar to them. Case managers sometimes note that people with dementia may even hit or try to bite someone because they just do not know a better way to express themselves right then.
What You Can Do?
When stubbornness or aggression happens, try to figure out why it started. Memory loss can be very scary so it might be something like not remembering the bathroom where they are going to take a bath. Do not force a person with Alzheimer's or other dementia to do the activity causing the aggression. It will only make it worse. With a bit of time, they may even become agreeable to doing it. Be sure to explain any activity completely before it happens, as this can reduce fear and may prevent aggression.
Dealing with Confusion
Confusion can be scary for both the dementia sufferer and their loved ones. Some people with dementia grow confused when they are in long-term care facilities, even if they have been there a long time. Dementia sufferers may sometimes feel like they are living decades ago. For them, it is actually many years ago -- even though that may make no sense to you. For example, your loved one's grandchildren are visiting, and yet they think they are still newlywed -- and they want to go home to their apartment to be with their husband. Being in the dementia care facility may be incredibly confusing to them at this exact moment.
What You Can Do?
If your loved one says they want to go home while living in a residential care facility, calm and simple reminders that they live here now can help. You can use photos of your loved one, taken in the facility, to help. However, if that does not solve the problem redirection might work well. Tell them it is too late at night to go home, that the traffic is too heavy, or there is a major thunderstorm and you should not drive in it. You can also suggest a fun activity your loved one enjoys. For example, you can suggest joining the facility's bingo game or watch a movie with them. No need for long explanations. They can make it more confusing, so simple redirection is always best.
Dealing with New Problem Behaviors
It is not unusual for dementia patients to develop some new behaviors. For example, your loved one may suddenly accuse you or other family members of stealing their money or their possessions. They may start behaving in odd new ways, such as cleaning obsessively or buying and hoarding new things. The brain changes caused by dementia mean your loved one does not realize this is a different or unusual behavior. They may also grow quite angry if you try to suggest that they are doing something wrong. When your loved one starts having new behaviors, especially ones that may be dangerous to them or to others, take a calm but firm approach.
What You Can Do?
The first thing to do is to observe your loved one on multiple occasions to figure out just how serious the behavior problem is. Your loved one may behave this way in front of you. When that happens, just offer support without judgment. If you reveal that you think the behavior is dangerous or even wrong in any way, your loved one may respond badly. If they are doing something like hoarding things in the home, do not respond negatively. Simply say something like "wow, you've got a lot of new things since I was here last. This would be a lot for any one person to keep up with. I'd be glad to help with organizing if you'd like." A calm and non-judgmental approach is always more successful than allowing your loved ones to think that you might not approve of them in some way.
Dealing with a loved one who suffers from dementia can be tough, but you do not have to do it by yourself. Use the dementia care tips above to help your loved one in a natural and completely holistic way. Keep an open mind for products of new and progressive research. Integrative Therapeutics Theracurmin HP is bioavailable curcumin and a novel preparation of turmeric. The Vielight Neuro Gamma is engineered for increased efficacy and easy domestic use for comprehensive brain photobiomodulation. Your loved one is lucky to have someone who cares so much!
Are there other aspects of dementia care you want to know more about? Share your questions in the comments below!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.