Dementia Care


assisted living

When a senior in your care is diagnosed with or is showing symptoms of dementia, it can be a very devastating and frustrating time for everyone in the home, and it is time to look for dementia care.

If you feel called to assume the duties of caregiving for a senior loved one with dementia, we have some helpful guidelines for handling some of the most common areas of difficulty. Here are some suggested solutions for the best types of caregiving for dementia.




Dementia is a disease that changes the brain in many ways, altering emotional responses and perception of events. This can lead to communication difficulties and behavioral problems for a senior with dementia. Symptoms of emotional instability include amplified anger, sadness, confusion, and paranoia. Mood swings and aggressive outbursts may suddenly occur in response to physical or emotional discomfort. A senior with dementia showing violence or hostility may be acting out of fear and desperation in response to a feeling of helplessness.


To handle increased aggression from a senior with dementia in your care, try to calmly identify the cause of their aggression, attempt to understand their reasoning for feeling so suddenly angry (even if it does not make sense to you or seem reasonable). Peacefully restoring order to an aggressive situation will require a lot of patience and control on the part of the caregiver. If possible, try to reassuringly shift their attention onto something else besides what has made them upset. Make certain that a confused senior loved one is not threatening or presenting a danger to anyone else.

Whatever you do, don’t respond to aggression with more aggression or aggravation. Don’t attempt to forcibly restrain someone unless there is no choice.  Mitigate the situation with as much respect as possible; avoid acting dominant, barking at them with sharp words like “No!”




A senior with dementia may abruptly lose his or her sense of place, asking a question like “where am I?” or declaring “I don’t live here!” In their minds, they want to return to a place they feel they have control. A senior with dementia may express a desire to go home, even though he or she is already safe at home.


Home for them might be some place long ago and far away. But you must do your best to tenderly remind them that home is “here” now. Proving simple explanations or keeping photos on hand can help to explain. Speak clearly, and repeat yourself. Don’t assume you have been understood. Sometimes your explanations for sudden questions like “When can we leave?” can be answered with what is called a therapeutic fib. Sometimes just receiving any answer or reassurance is enough to keep questions of dementia content.


It is unwise to always respond to confused questioning with lengthy explanations or reasons to these questions. Your explanations may add more confusion and more questions, further detracting everyone from the current activity. Do your best to not give frustrated responses either. Showing hostility can breed more hostility.


Impaired Judgment


A senior with dementia may be suddenly prone to unfounded accusations. A senior might go into hysterics claiming someone has stolen some possession that has been gone to him or her for decades. Deductive reasoning and basic math skills may suffer as well. Symptoms like these are part of the unfortunate deterioration of brain cells, affecting their judgment capabilities.


A way to assist seniors suffering from poor judgment is to help them become more organized, so that they posses a sense of place and where things belong. If a senior with mild dementia attempts to balance their checkbook or calculate a tip at dinner, it may be helpful for you to check their math when you can. Passively monitoring their behavior can be more effective than accusing them of being incompetent and revoking their privileges to manage their own affairs all together. This may result in an atmosphere of resentment and contention in the home.


Assisted Living Options


During later stages of dementia, sometimes it is not possible for a family member to offer the degree of caregiving for dementia that a senior loved one needs. Then a senior may require the more specialized care of trained professionals. Assisted living facilities and memory care communities provide a safe environment that cares for a senior’s health and monitoring needs. Research your options for senior care and memory care facilities near you to ensure that your senior gets the care and attention they need.




arcylic tub

New Saliva Test Will Detect Alzheimer’s Early

Home Nurse Takes Temperature


To this day, Alzheimer’s remains an incurable disease that medical scientists do not fully understand. Doctors can determine the difference between healthy and unhealthy brains, but there is at this time no testing method to determine if a person will get Alzheimer’s. But new research may have changed all that.


During the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in D.C., a new intuitive testing method for detecting Alzheimer’s disease early was presented.


A simple analysis of a saliva sample may be all it takes to detect development of the mental disease. At this point the research is just beginning to find its footing, but it may provide a way to eventually better track the progress of the deteriorating of healthy brains, that we may better understand the disease.

Simply put, this innovative new testing system exams saliva samples, looking for changes in saliva as a way to diagnose the progression of Alzheimer’s.


Studies have been conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada, working with saliva samples from 100 people divided into 3 groups based upon their cognitive ability—those with normal aging cognition, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with cognition severely impaired with Alzheimer’s disease.


Research scientists looked to analyze small molecules called metabolites, found in saliva, which are bi-products of chemical reactions in the brain. There were found to be patterns of metabolite molecules in saliva for the groups of test subjects who had more cognitive impairment.


Shraddha Sapkota, the neuroscience researcher presenting the study, stated that, “Salivary metabolomics analyses will advance the cause of early detection of Alzheimer’s disease […] and promote our understanding of the mechanisms from normal aging to Alzheimer’s.”


The potential for such an easy testing method is great news, as swabbing for saliva is a minimally invasive and cost-effective way to test patients, over expensive brain scanning machinery. Hopefully someday soon this mouth swab will be a standard part of routine health check-ups for seniors and older adults.


Fighting this tragic condition has become an ever-increasing priority as cases of Alzheimer’s have been steadily increasing, become the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.


However, this conference announcement was more of a way to pitch the possibility of saliva testing, rather than a guarantee of its effectiveness. Only sampling 100 people is not nearly enough to draw any definitive conclusions about the reliability of analyzing these metabolites in saliva. Larger populations must be tested and more research must be done from here before we can be sure about the saliva test for Alzheimer’s. Though this does seem to be a promising step in the right direction toward understanding and hopefully one day effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease.



Detecting And Preventing Elder Abuse / Neglect

Respite Care


Elder abuse or mistreatment includes intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver with harmful effect on a person 60 years of age or older. Although there have been vast improvements to assisted living and senior care facilities over the past decades to ensure senior residents are cared for and accommodated properly, senior abuse is still a problem that some seniors face on a daily basis. All 50 states have laws in place to protect seniors from abuse, and the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force is working to improve the methods in place for screening and inquiring to detect abuse and neglect among seniors.


Laws and policies are in place to enforce the rights of seniors and protect them from all the various forms of abuse, including but not limited to:

Physical abuse: Causing pain or injury to a senior.

Emotional abuse: Causing mental pain/distress to a senior by verbal or nonverbal acts.

Sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual acts of any sort.

Neglect: Failure to provide food, shelter, or medical attention to a senior.

Abandonment: A caregiver deserting the senior for whom they are responsible.

Self-Neglect: Failure to provide self-care tasks that endangers senior health.


Signs of Elder Abuse


In circumstances where abuse has occurred, a senior may attempt to keep the abuse a secret due to fear, shame, embarrassment, dependency on their caregiver, or other psychological reasons. The senior may also be incapable of expressing or realizing their abusive situation due to a mental condition that is being taken advantage of. There are however, some basic signs to look out for in order to discover some possible abuse that is taking place. The warning signs of elder abuse can be physical or behavioral.

Physical indications of abuse may include: bruising, burns, dehydration, malnutrition, missing medications, scalp swelling, unexplainable fractures, poor medical condition in spite of proper medical access to medicine, patterned injuries (like slap or bite marks), as well as evidence of sexual abuse.

Emotional indications of abuse may include: frequent arguing or tension between an elder and their caregiver, unaccountable changes to the elder’s mood or personality, depression, or a general state of unease.


Preventing/Detecting Abuse


In order to prevent elder abuse, it is helpful to review the testimonies and reviews of any prospective assisted living facilities when doing your initial research. Meet with the staff and get a feel for the quality, atmosphere, and community of the facility, as well as what resources are available to senior residents who are experiencing problems.


To detect abuse that is already taking place, be sure to listen to your loved one and monitor their behavior when in their presence. Also listen to the caregiver and gauge the vibe you notice from the interaction between the two. Intervene if you suspect that any abuse is taking place. And educate your senior loved one about what they can do if they are experiencing abuse.

Professional resources for handling elder abuse include:

  • The Administration of Aging
  • American Medical Association
  • National Clearing House On Abuse In Elder Life


Researching the websites and phone numbers for these facilities will equip you with your options for how to handle any dangerous situations.



Memory Loss

Improve Your MemoryMemory loss is a condition that affects millions of Americans and it can be a frustrating and emotionally stressful hardship to endure when attempting daily activities.  While some of the more serious memory loss disorders like Alzheimer’s remain without a cure, medical research has shown that there are numerous precautions and lifestyle habits that can be applied to prevent memory loss down the road.  Protecting a brain that is still healthy is certainly easier and favored option to fixing a damaged brain.  Fortunately, methods to prevent cognitive deterioration are relatively simple, inexpensive, and bordering on common sense, giving you more control than you may realize!

Plenty of medical literature is available with tips and strategies for keeping the brain healthy and averting cognitive decline.  The works of authors Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, including, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, The Memory Prescription, and Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, provide excellent information grounded in extensive research aimed to arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to fight for your extended mental fitness.

Research emphasizes the following as being the most helpful approaches to preserving a healthy brain as long as possible:

• Nutrition – maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding excess refined sugar and processed foods, while nourishing the body with water, fruits, vegetables, and vitamins are a great way to refresh the brain. Green Tea, rich in polyphenols (antioxidants that protect brain cells), and even wine in moderation (1 glass per day for women, 2 for men) has proven to improve memory and cognition.

• Physical Exercise – incorporating some aerobic exercises into the daily routine works to stimulate brain cells. The exercised body produces endorphins that improve mental focus.

• Mental Exercise – Engaging in fun, mentally stimulating activities, like puzzles, manual work, or video games, (activities not too challenging or easy) can improve mental retention and performance by keeping the mind on its toes, so to speak.

• Social Relationships – People are social beings, and developing relationships with others and engaging in communal activities (clubs, volunteering, church) can serve to keep the mind stimulated and engaged. Even the companionship of a pet can provide some relational help.

• Controlling Stress – Enriching the body with routine rest and proper sleep is one of the healthiest precautions that can be taken for the brain. Find time in your schedule to do some meditation and reflection.  And don’t forget that laughter is still the best medicine, as it is a mental activity that rouses most of the brain.

Read: How Lost Memories Due To Alzheimer’s Can Be Restored

These are some of the primary preliminary measures to be taken for preserving a healthy brain.  If you are currently affected by memory loss to the point that it begins to noticeably interfere with performance of usual daily activities, it may be time to seek out medical attention or review your options for assisted living.  The red flags for memory loss becoming more serious lie in increased frequency of unusual incidents like leaving the stove on or forgetting to lock the doors at night.


How Lost Memories Due to Alzheimer’s Could Be Restored

Alzheimer'sAccording to recent information offered from a new UCLA study, those with early Alzheimer’s may not have to say goodbye to their memories forever. In fact, this study stated that lost memories can, in fact, be restored. While decades of information told the public that once the memories were gone, they could not be brought back, this new information announced by researchers offers hope to many.

The study

According to previous information, once a person developed Alzheimer’s disease, they lost their memories due to the loss of connections within the brain cells, which were completely destroyed by the disease. However, this new information offered from researcher involved in the study has said this simply isn’t the case.

While it was previously thought that long-term memories were erased from Alzheimer’s, researchers say that long-term memory isn’t stored in the synapse, which means it cannot be destroyed through the brain changes that occur with Alzheimer’s. This information isn’t only released from an educated guess, but because several research studies were done, and all of the evidence that was examined shows it to be true. It’s believed that the lost synaptic connections can regenerate after they’ve been damaged from the disease, and eventually the memory will come back. Although the researchers did say it won’t be an easy process, it seems to be one that is possible.

The study was done by examining a snail specifically its learning and memory process. They used a series of electric shocks on the snail’s tail area, with a device that could last for several days. This type of shock was used to examine the snail’s long-term memory. If the snail could remember the shocks, its long-term memory was intact. The snail had a brain pattern similar to those with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.

Additionally, information on long-term memory was provided by the study. According to the information, the growth of new synaptic connections is cause by serotonin in the brain, which leads to long-term memory. As you go throughout life and form long-term memories, your brain actually creates proteins, which work to make new synapses in the brain. When the brain is subjected to injury, this natural process is altered, causing the long-term memory process to also be disrupted, preventing them from forming.

Read: Will We Have A Cure For Alzheimer’s By 2025?

Memory and Alzheimer’s

One researcher, named Glanzman, said that this research could result in big things for those with Alzheimer’s. He stated that while the disease is known for destroying the synapses in the brain, this doesn’t mean that the long-term memory is destroyed, and with the new information offered from the study, it may mean the exact opposite. While several areas of the brain are needed for different functions, when it comes to long-term memories, as long as there are live neurons within the brain, your brain is able to recover some of your lost memories if not all of them. However, this is only during the early stages of Alzheimer’s, as the neurons do begin to die off as the disease progresses and begins to extend to other areas of the brain. Once the neurons die during the later stages of the disease, the memories are no longer able to be recovered. By promoting memory recollection during the early states, the memories found at this time may be extended in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.

What is Vascular Dementia

Most people are familiar with dementia, but what they’re not familiar with is the fact that there’s several different types of dementia. The second most common form of dementia is called Vascular Dementia, and it’s caused when problems occur with the blood supply to the brain. Understanding the facts is the best way to create a universal understanding regarding this mind altering condition.

What are the symptoms of vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is unique in that it affects everyone differently. The speed in which it progresses differs between each person. While other forms of dementia can come on slowly, vascular dementia sets on rapidly, and generally comes about after a certain incident such as a stroke. While in the early stages there may not be many symptoms, but much like its onset, many more deteriorating symptoms can arise out of nowhere. While most forms of dementia have symptoms that mirror those seen in Alzheimer’s, those seen with vascular dementia have their own characterizes that are unique to every other form. Some of the symptoms of vascular dementia include; slowed thinking, issues with concentration, reduction in communication skills, mental symptoms of anxiety and depression, decreased memory, seizures, bouts of confusion, visual disturbances, changes in behavior, hallucinations, and other physiological problems.

How does it develop?

When the blood systems within the brain become damaged, vascular dementia occurs. The brain needs proper blood flow in order to stay healthy and for the brain cells to flourish. When this flow is disrupted, damage occurs either at a slow or rapid rate, which is dependent upon the amount of damage present in the brain. The symptoms show when the brain cells begin to die, and as death progresses, the symptoms progress along with it.

When vascular dementia is present, additional underlying symptoms should be looked for. In almost all cases this form of dementia is present when additional health issues occur. The most common healthy problems liked to dementia include; high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

There are several forms of vascular dementia, and each is dependent upon the progression and underlying symptoms present in the individual.

Read: Denial is Dangerous: 4 Dangers of Dementia Denial

Stoke-related dementia

Vascular dementia is related to stoke-related dementia, each occurring due to disrupted blood flow to the brain. When the brains blood flow is cut off, a stoke will occur, and often the damage is permanent. The extent of damage depends on how long the cut-off occurred for, and the level of damage present within the blood cell that burst. While blood vessels generally bust due to a stroke, this isn’t always the case. When the burst does occur the stroke is referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke.

A stroke can cause damage to different areas of the brain, and the symptoms that occur due to a stroke are dependent upon the area effected. Each side of the brain is responsible for different thoughts and feelings, causing two completely different results when two people have the same type of stroke but it effects different sides of the brain.

Sub-cortical vascular dementia

This form of vascular dementia is also known as small vessel disease. When damage occurs within the tiny blood vessels located deep in the brain, it causes this form of dementia. The symptoms seen with this form of dementia include; problems walking, clumsiness, inability to make facial expressions, and problems with speech. While some forms of vascular dementia have symptoms that are always present, sub-cortical vascular dementia is unique in that the symptoms come and go, and patients can experience periods without any symptoms at all.

Mixed dementia

Mixed dementia is exactly what its name states. Mixed issues occurred, causing the vascular dementia to show face. Some patients can experience both of the above named problems, leading to a bout of mixed dementia. Additionally, it can be caused by damage to the brain.


While a diagnosis of vascular dementia can be difficult to deal with, there are certain factors you should watch for to either prevent vascular dementia or start early treatment. Serious health problems, lack of physical activity, genes, high consumptions of alcohol, an unhealthy diet, and smoking cigarettes can all lead to it. The best way to prevent this form of dementia is to live a healthy and active lifestyle.


7 YouTube Videos Every Caregiver Should Watch

As a caregiver, you have many responsibilities. You may have been positioned as a caregiver at the last minute, with no formal training on taking care of your senior loved one. Taking care of the elderly, you should have a visual demonstration of how to handle their needs, for their safety and yours. Here are seven YouTube videos that every caregiver should watch.

1. Understanding and Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

As a caregiver, you may have a limited support system. Family and friends may help out initially, but their support gradually fades away. They are busy supporting their family. Their finances are tied up in their household needs. They don’t understand that even one hour a day provides you with much-needed relief.

You’ll notice signs of caregiver burnout such as having anxiety, restless nights, or are easily frustrated. You may avoid social interactions as well. Second Opinion has a health care team addressing caregiver burnout and what can be done about it. It’s important to address your health and emotional needs before you can assist others.

2 . Feeding a Senior While in Bed

Feeding a senior is not as easy as you would think. There are a lot of concerns, such as if they can sit up properly to swallow food, if they can chew their food, and what foods they can eat. A senior can easily become malnourished due to special dietary concerns of dysphagia. So it’s important that you understand how and what foods to feed your senior loved one. Caregiver Minute presents this video that shows you step by step instructions on feeding a senior while they are in bed.

3. Simple Modifications for Senior Home Safety

85-90% of seniors want to stay at home, and it is recommended they stay home for their mental well-being. Were you aware that the majority of household accidents seniors are involved in occur in the bathroom? Certain accidents such as falling over objects, falling off ladders, or slipping in the bathroom occur often, but can be avoided. Home Instead reviews their Home Safety Checklist. In this video, you will learn simple and inexpensive tips to modify your senior loved ones home for safety.

4. How to Transfer Your Loved One

As your senior loved ones primary caregiver, you are going to need to transition them from a laying down position to a sitting up position. You may need to move them from the bed to a chair. Moving them around often helps prevents bed sores and their muscles from tightening. It also exposes them to other areas of the home so that isolation and loneliness does not set in.

Transferring your loved one around is not easy at all. It is far more difficult than moving a heavy object because you must be careful not to cause physical injuries to yourself or them. Watch this video by Family Caregiver Alliance to learn how to transfer seniors around safely.

5. Managing Medications

A very tough job for caregivers is managing medications. It’s a difficult enough task getting a senior to take just one prescription, but when you have a host of them, it’s confusing as well. Doctors do attempt to prescribe the least amount of medications for a patient. When they are on multiple pills, they then attempt to let the senior take as many as possible together. This is not always safe to do. So in those situations, you, as their caregiver take on the immense responsibility of ensuring they take their medications on time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has an outstanding video reviewing various tips on proper medication management.

6. How to Monitor Blood Sugar

Your loved one’s blood sugar should be carefully monitored. If it’s too high or too low, the senior could become very sick. Knowing where their blood sugar levels are at is important to treat them immediately if something should occur. It’s also important to track it so your senior loved one’s doctor will know if their diet should be adjusted or prescriptions changed.

Monitoring your blood sugar is not as simple as poking one’s finger. There are precautions and proper procedures that should be followed. Watch this video from the Mayo Clinic that shows you step-by-step instructions on how to monitor your loved one’s blood sugar levels. They also have this important video demonstrating how to administer insulin using an insulin pen.

7. How To Measure Blood Pressure

High and low blood pressure levels can alert you to a serious problem in your loved one. Too high or low blood pressure could be an indication of neurological or heart disorders. The symptoms include dizziness, thirst, confusion, and a host of other symptoms. However, it’s not always apparent, especially in seniors with diabetes. As a caregiver, you should monitor your loved one’s blood pressure levels to ensure they are safe. Cal Poly’s PolyFit students give an excellent overview and demonstration of how to measure blood pressure.

These videos will help ease your transition into the role of caregiver for your senior loved one. Best of all, they are always there for you to refer to if you get nervous or forget.

Activities of Daily Living

As our parents age, we often try not the think about the worst case scenarios. However, the truth is, your parents will age and come to a state where they depend on us to handle their financial, legal, and emotional matters. It’s important for you to know their wishes and how to obtain important documentation. Here are seven questions to ask your aging parents before it’s too late, and things become complicated.

1. Do You Have Someone to Make Health Care Decisions for You?

In most cases, aging parents are expected to make health care decisions for their spouse. However, decisions can be prolonged or go in the opposite direction of what a person wanted. This is because family and close friends are too emotionally attached, thinking of their own wants and needs. Your aging parents can select a health care proxy who will handle all their health care decisions. Before they designate one, they need to be sure this person can carry out their wishes.

2. Do You Have an Idea of the Type of Medical Care You Want?

Having a health care decision maker only works well if they know your medical care wishes. That’s why it’s important to discuss with the decision maker exactly what they want, especially when faced with the end of life decisions. Comfort levels, pain management, life support decisions, these are all important as your parent does have their own views.

3. Do You Have a Will or Living Trust?

The fact that both of your parents are alive and well does not mean they shouldn’t have a will or living trust established. Typically, when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse automatically receives the assets. However, what should happen if they become incapacitated or pass away soon thereafter? It’s important that both of your aging parents establish a will or living trust so their possessions can be passed on as they wish.

4. Do You Have Your Long-Term Care Plan in Place?

Some parents believe they will stay at home until they pass on. They don’t think about how they will be able to remain at home and be comfortable. There are costs involved, such as an actual caretaker, medications, and supportive equipment. They may, in fact, not be able to remain at home and need to go to a supportive facility such as an assisted living or nursing home.

The costs of these communities are rising so having a long-term care plan in place, especially insurance, is going to be helpful. If they do have long-term care insurance in place, set up an appointment for you, your parents, and the insurance agent to discuss the policy in full. You need to make sure you understand it and the coverage options.

5. Where Can I Find Your Important Documents and Are They Current?

If you are not familiar with where your parents keep their important documents, it’s time to find out. If something were to happen to them, you don’t want to waste time searching their home for insurance documents, medical paperwork, financial statements, or proxy designation forms. Any documents kept in a safe deposit box should have a designated family member assigned a key. Ensure these documents are up to date as well.

6. Do You Have All Your Doctor’s Listed in One Location?

Should an emergency happen, it could be critical for attending physicians to talk to your parent’s primary care physician (PCP). There could have been a recent appointment that uncovered important information about your parent’s medical condition. You should know who their physicians are and how to contact them.

7. What Are Your Current Medications?

As your parents age, you can expect that sooner or later there may be medication management problems. They may get confused regarding what prescriptions they take and why. They may mix up their dosage. Having a clear understanding of their prescriptions could save your parent’s life should they become confused.

If your parents are comfortable and open with you, go over these 35 questions that AARP has compiled together. Sometimes the best way to be there for your aging parents is to ask them the hard and uncomfortable questions.

Discover 10 things you should never say to your aging parents.

Denial is Dangerous: 4 Dangers of Dementia Denial

Dementia DenialDementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Once family members are told of this diagnosis, they often panic and go into a state of dementia denial. They don’t want to believe that their loved one is now going to be faced with memory and cognitive issues. They want the situation to go away or do not realize the severity of it. However, in this grief-stricken moment, you must realize you have to take action now. Dementia denial can lead to certain dangers to a dementia patient.

Thought Process of Those with Dementia Denial

More than likely, you aren’t going to accept the fact your loved one has dementia. So, you’ll validate reasons to be in denial. Your reasoning could at times even throw off other family members. Common excuses you give yourself to make the problem of dementia “go away” include:

• You won’t be able to accept the fact that the strongest person in your life is facing dementia. This means you now need to be the strong one, and it frightens you to need to step up to the plate.

• Ignoring the situation will eventually make it go away. You get a headache; you lay down. When you wake up, it’s gone.

• There could be instances where it’s a normal day. So whatever day they were diagnosed as having dementia was just a one-off day.

• It’s not that bad. You have plenty of time to prepare your family and organize your loved ones care.

• Once everyone realizes your loved one has dementia; they’ll force you to put them into a nursing home. You don’t want that for your parent.

• You believe they got so wrapped up in other activities that they simply forgot another important activity. It happens to all of us.

• You feel that the dementia can’t affect their normal routine.

Strife among Family Members

Dementia denial often causes strife among family members. Those that are in denial have their own valid excuses for not helping out. They feel the parent can feed themselves, clean up after themselves, take their medications, and get from location A to B, well on their own. However, those children not in dementia denial know that their parents are going to need a bit of hand-holding now, and a lot more in the near future.

Those children are then stuck with the burden of arranging legal and financial documentation while their parents can still provide useful and needed information. They must start researching medical and non-medical care needs. They may be the ones cooking, cleaning, and grooming their parents while everyone else leads their normal life with their families.

This is how many children become their parent’s sole caregiver. The stress of it all builds upon them. They may ask their siblings and other family members for help, but after receiving constant brush-offs, they hold in their anger and frustration. Eventually, disconnection grows between siblings and their other family members, and the constant arguments start from there.

Dangers in the Home

The number one danger of a dementia patient is them living at home alone. In the beginning stages of dementia, a few hours alone may be expected out of families as they prepare for their loved ones care. However, extended amounts of time where they are expected to groom themselves and cook is setting the stage for a terrible accident. Someone with dementia could easily slip and hurt themselves in the tub. They could even scald themselves running hot water.

If they are home trying to cook, they could leave the stove on, and a dry towel can catch fire. They could start a grease fire. They could get into foods they are allergic to or possibly overindulge in. For many seniors with diabetes, being left alone is exciting for them. However, lapsing into a diabetic coma is much easier to happen to someone with dementia when there is no one around monitoring them.

Medication Overdose or Forgetting to Take Medications

Another common danger if the family is in dementia denial is their parent overdosing on medication or forget to take their medications. A weekly pill dispenser is not going to be the answer to your problems. A person with dementia may think they don’t need the medication and will hide the pills or throw them away. They could be in a state where they believe the pills are candy. Dementia patients are forgetful, so they could innocently retake more medication, forgetting they’ve taken their daily dose. You just can’t be too careful as to what they would do with dangers prescriptions.

Dangers Outside the Home

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 people with dementia will wander off. They may have the urge to do things they’ve always done, such as drive. However, their judgment and reaction time is not always going to be on point. Also, their memory is not intact. This is how many seniors with dementia get lost. They leave home, often without identification, and have no idea of where home is. This leaves loved ones waiting back at home, unaware of their whereabouts.

Vulnerable to Fraud and Financial Abuse

A person with dementia does not always use the best judgments. They are often targeted for financial abuse. They may willingly give their money away to family or strangers. Many confused seniors often give their personal information to someone over the phone. Seniors have had their bank accounts wiped clean because of this. It’s little a bank could do, especially if you’re in denial they even need help.

Don’t wait until one of these unfortunate incidences happen to you and your family. Once you find out your loved one has dementia, it’s time to take action now. Start preparing for a comfortable outcome rather than letting any outcome occur.

11 Activities for Dementia Patients

Activities for Dementia PatientsDementia’s main symptom is memory loss, and those with this disease see ongoing progression in symptoms. According to research, certain activities can slow the progression of memory loss from dementia, and should be practiced on a regular basis.

There are many different brain enhancing activities that are appropriate for patients with dementia. While there are several activities to choose from, the following activities have proven to be effective for preventing progression by stimulating the brain, and can be easily completed at home or in a facility.

1. Sorting
Simple sorting activities offer an effective way to stimulate the brain. You can gather a various items to create matching games, from coins to household items. Gather these items in one location and allow the patient to sort them accordingly in different bins.

2. Molding Clay
Molding items from clay or play dough offers a great way to stimulate the mind and helps enhance coordination. Any type of activity that uses the hands to mold and create different shapes offers stimulation, eye and hand coordination, and exercises the muscles the in the hands.

3. Create a Collage
Aim to create a collage with a specific theme. You can offer magazines and books with photos for the collage creation. Pictures of birds, activities they enjoy, or even phrases make a great activity for dementia patients.

4. String Items
Offering yarn with various items to string such as Cheerios or similar cereal items. You can then take the patient outside to hang the items outside for the birds.

5. Meet with Animals
Animals have a lot of healing power. They are known for healing depression, and researching claim they can even increase your life span. Even if you don’t have a pet you can take the patient to the local animal shelter. At the shelter, they can interact with the animals by feeding them, playing with them, or even taking them for a walk.

6. Listen to Music
Music has a wide-range of healing powers, and can help sooth the soul. Putting music on can encourage residents to sing, dance, and enjoy listening to the music together. Music has a way of creating togetherness, offering social activity, and taking part in an activity that is enjoyed universally.

7. Toss a Ball
You can toss a ball back in forth, or even better gather a group of people together and have them pass the ball. This activity can be enhanced by creating a game of trivia. Create different questions based on one specific theme offers enhanced brain stimulation for dementia patients.

8. Create a Grab Bag
Gather a variety of items in a bag and have the patient feel inside of the bag and determine what the items are. Some great items for the grab bag include; cotton balls, golf balls, socks, and q-tips.

9. Enroll in a Cooking Class
You can hold your own cooking class or enroll in a local one. Taking part in a cooking class allows patients to learn about a variety of foods, enhancing their eye-hand coordination, stimulate the brain, and offers a fun activity that many will enjoy.

10. Exercise
Exercising is essential for a healthy life, and it’s even more important for those with dementia. When you exercise your increasing oxygen flow to the brain and blood, which reduces the risk of damage and further memory loss in dementia patients.

11. Meditate
Meditation isn’t as complex as many think. Simply taking the time to breathe in deeply and hold for five seconds at a time offers the body with high levels of relaxation, and increased oxygen flow to the brain. According to researchers, stress can cause dementia to progress quickly, and may even be the cause for certain types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s. You can encourage relaxation through meditation by playing relaxing music in a quiet room for at least ten minutes each day.

Any activity that involves creativity, use of the hands, learning, or movement is great for dementia patients. While the activities outlined about are all effective, you can use your imagination to offer new and exciting activities that enhance brain function and help slow the progression of dementia.