Caring for someone with dementia

No one knows what it is like to care for someone with dementia. If you have never done this before you do not know the feelings. You question yourself as to what you could have done to prevent this from happening to your elderly parents. How can I make things better for them as the disease progresses? How long can I care for them before I have to place them somewhere like a nursing home.

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We will discuss what is dementia? How does it effect the elderly person? How does it effect the caregiver? Is there anything I can do to stop this progress of this aweful disease?

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a description of a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. People with dementia have significantly impaired intellectual functioning that interfers with activities of daily living. It also affects the relationships in families. People with dementia lose their ability to reason out things, they lose the ability to problem solve, they can also lose their emotional control, and they may lose their ability to control their behavior like, hitting out at people they love, they may have hallucinations, delusions, and many other behavior changes. Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, but that also does not mean the person has dementia. Only a doctor can diagnosis if the person has dementia or not. Doctors only diagnose dementia if 2 or more brain functions exsist like, language skills lacking , perception, cognition skills, or memory loss including judgement skills, and reasoning are significantly impaired without loss of conscious this is per MedicineNet.com.

What are the different kinds of dementia?

There are several different catagories of dementia. Some of these can fit into one or more catagories.

  • Cortical dementia: This is where the brain damage is primarily in the brain's cortex, or the outer layer. This type of dementia tends to cause problems with memory, language, thinking and social behavior.
  • Subcortical dementia: This type of dementia affects parts of the brain below the cortex. This type of dementia tends to affect the emotional aspect, changes in movement, and memory impairment.
  • Progressive dementia: This type of dementia gets worse over time, gradually interfering with more and more cognitive abilities.
  • Primary dementia: This is mainly like the Alzheimer's disease that does not result in any other disease.
  • Secondary dementia: This type of dementia comes from injury or a physical disease.

Understanding how to care for the elderly with dementia.

  1. Learn from your doctor what type of dementia your loved one has. This will help determine how to care for them appropriately. When you learn more about the type of dementia your loved one has you can learn how to understand his or her likes, dislikes, and be able to take what triggers a reaction to them more effectively.
  2. Stay away from situations that may cause him or her to become agitated or frustrated. Agitation is a major symptom in dementia. If you know what triggers that agitation you will be more able to keep them from that type of stimulation.
  3. Give your loved one step-by-step instructions. Very simple questions. Do not ask your loved one are they ready to go take a shower, simple take them to the shower and show them what you want them to do. Do not overwhelm them with too much information at one time this can cause frustration and anger.
  4. Surround your loved one with familiar things they know, things that make them comfortable. Your loved one may not remember people but they do remember things, objects. Movies, books, or personal objects can be familiar things to show them. If they have books they love read to them this may help them have a calm demeanor.
  5. Do not force anything on someone who has dementia. This person is not a child even though they may act like a child. They are adults and should be treated as one and with the upmost respect. Many elderly people with dementia may feel like they have lost everything. Being difficult may be the one thing they think they still have control over. Offer options instead of demands. Let them make a choice if it is safe for them.

Medications to treat the progression of dementia:

Please talk with your doctor about medications to treat your elderly loved one with dementia. There is no cure for this disease but there are treatments to help the progresssion on this disease.

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Caffine Can Make You More Alert

There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize and help you focus and concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz though the effects are short term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain's preferred fuel source not table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That's why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability. Consume too much, however, and memory can be impaired along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory, without packing on pounds.

Eat Breakfast To Fuel Your Brain:

Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who don't. Foods at the top of researchers' brain fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don't overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

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Posted in Senior Health Post Date 06/12/2018


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