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Essential Things Caregivers of a Patient with Dementia Needs to Understand

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Dementia is a mental illness in which the sufferer experiences a loss of mental function. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Other kinds of dementia are lewy body dementia and vascular dementia. In each kind, the end result is usually similar such as loss of memory, reasoning, and judgment. Also, it causes anger, sadness, behavioral changes, anxiety, and loss of weight and muscle. Because loss of memory and aggression are common symptoms, it is usually tough to take care of people who have dementia.

Understanding Dementia

To offer better care for patients with dementia, it is necessary to have an understanding of the disease to counter gradual changes in the patient’s behavior. Even if dementia conditions such as Alzheimer’s have no cure, there are cases in which good care from families and additional help can delay the disease’s more serious conditions. There are three stages of dementia.

  • Mild Dementia. In this early stage, the sufferer starts to show challenges in remembering names and learning new things, as well as failing to do more complex tasks such as driving or using a smart phone. Also, he starts to experience anxiety, stress, sadness, and a loss of interest in entertainment and healthy activities.
  • Moderate Dementia. In this stage, the senses of the sufferer are affected. He experiences loss of judgment, physical function, and memory. Also, he loses interest in maintaining a proper diet, starts to wander, and usually makes use of inappropriate language which doesn’t make sense. Professional providers of home health services in Great Plains Way, Bolingbrook, IL expect to face more challenges and have to invest more energy and time in caring for the patient.
  • Severe Dementia. In this stage, the sufferer experiences total loss of memory and has limited mobility. He needs 24-hour care so caregivers are needed to help the sufferer cope with his growing needs. At this time, the majority of patients don’t recognize family members anymore, which makes it easier to introduce professional caregivers.

Things to Know when Caring for Dementia Patients

  • Never react with anger. It is imperative for caregivers to understand that regardless of what a person with dementia does, he is not doing it on purpose. If a caregiver reacts with anger or aggression, he only influences the patient to make more violent behaviors in the future.
  • Do not argue. Caregivers don’t have to explain things to a patient with dementia, especially in the last stage. They cannot make him understand because he has lost his ability to learn and judge. Indeed, attempting to reason with him can lead to more confusion and trigger aggression.
  • Deal with aggression appropriately. Usually, a mere refusal of performing a routine task can become violent actions or speech. As the patient’s aggression is caused by fear, caregivers must not respond in harsh ways to avoid worsening his condition. Avoid forcing the issue which is making the patient feel uncomfortable or engaging into an argument. Rather, UC-Cares Home Health Services LLC suggests determining the fear’s cause and offering the patient the comfort zone which often keeps him calm.

Some Helpful Caregiving Tips

Small daily life adjustments and simple tasks can make a caregiver’s life much easier. Here are some tips that can help you.

  • Have a smooth everyday routine. Try to make things simpler for the patient with dementia by maintaining a routine that he can easily follow in the house. Simple routines can help him in adjusting quickly, offering him independence to work on his own.
  • Ensured direct and simple communication. Using simple sentences, loving gestures, and reassuring tones can make things simpler for the patient suffering from dementia.
  • Make sure there are family activities to be done. Focus on planning comfortable routine activities which attract the patient’s interest. Engaging him in healthy activities can delay downward behavior trends. Just ensure you don’t push any activity he isn’t interested in.
  • Limit distractions. Ensure the dementia patient isn’t distracted while doing a routine work or eating. Offer a quiet and calm environment to help him focus on what he is doing.
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