When a senior is diagnosed with dementia, lots of changes crop up. Some of those changes involve situations that are difficult for you and her to adjust to. Over time and with experience, though, you can come to understand what’s happening.
Behaviors Have Meaning in Dementia
Some of the behaviors that you witness in your senior are scary or upsetting. These are called challenging behaviors and they’re things like repeating questions or stories, wandering, and even vocalizing random sounds. These behaviors have meaning, though. They may be a way to express that your senior is anxious, upset, or even that she’s got a need that she can’t communicate to you.
Your Senior Might Be More Correct than She Seems
One mistake that is easy for caregivers to fall into is believing that their senior’s version of reality is completely wrong. Your senior may be living in the past and associating current events with events from her past, but many of her observations may be more correct than they seem at first. You may need to dig a little bit deeper to understand how those observations are accurate.
Fear Is Really Common
There is a lot of fear for people who have dementia. On a deeper level, your senior may understand that she’s experiencing trouble with her memory and how it functions. She can’t do anything about that, though, because this is a fundamental change in how her brain functions. What you can do is to help anticipate your senior’s needs and to do what you can to make sure she’s as comfortable as possible. Don’t worry about whether she’s right or wrong, just love her where she is right now.
So Is Boredom
Lots of people believe that because of the changes to someone’s brain when they have dementia they no longer are interested in activities and they don’t get bored. But that’s not necessarily the case. Just because your elderly family member doesn’t do the same activities that she did in the past, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t experience boredom when she’s not getting mental stimulation. It’s very important for your elderly family member to engage in her environment in active ways.
Your Senior May not Have Forgotten You
It’s common for people with dementia to forget names and to associate different names to different people. When she does that with you, it’s tempting to believe that she’s forgotten you entirely. That’s not really the situation. What’s happening is that her memory isn’t working properly. She still remembers more than you or she may realize.
Coping with dementia is not easy for you or for your elderly family member. Help from experienced senior care providers can ensure that you’re not missing any key elements of her care. They can also help you to narrow down triggers for your senior’s behavior and solutions that work.
Excerpt: Dementia takes both you and your senior out of what are her normal daily reactions and responses.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Chester, PA, please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise.
"Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.
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