Dealing with your Loved One's dementia
Being a caregiver for someone who has dementia is incredibly difficult. You may feel confused, frustrated and, at times, even angry.
When you are a caregiver for someone with dementia, the situation can be confusing and overwhelming. You may feel helpless, frustrated or angry. It is important to take care of yourself while you are caring for your loved one.
You may find yourself taking on new roles and responsibilities that were not part of your life before becoming a caregiver. There will be many challenges that arise along the way; some of these challenges include: being patient with yourself or your loved one when they have episodes where they can't remember things; having fewer opportunities to spend time alone; feeling embarrassed about your loved one's behavior in public places such as restaurants and stores; having less money available due to the cost of caregiving.
It is okay if you feel confused, frustrated or even angry at times during this process! Remembering that it isn't easy for anyone involved will help everyone gain more understanding about what everyone else is going through during this difficult time period in their lives
You may have to take on the role of parent in dealing with your spouse or partner when their mental capabilities start to decline.
First, you have to define what the problem is. What are your loved one's capabilities? Are they able to remember their name and where they live? Can they manage their finances independently? If so, then perhaps it's best not to help them with this.
However, if this person is becoming more forgetful, it may be time for you or another family member to step in. If your spouse or partner has dementia, here are some things that might help:
- Set goals for yourself before starting on a solution. What do you want from helping this person? How much time do you have available each week? If there are any other family members who can support your efforts, how will those relationships change as a result of taking on this new role? It might seem overwhelming at first but setting these kinds of expectations early can help get everything back on track once the dust settles after making major decisions like moving someone into an assisted living facility or arranging respite care services when needed.
Accommodations might need to be made for your loved one's safety and comfort as they become less able to care for themselves.
Accommodations might need to be made for your loved one’s safety and comfort as they become less able to care for themselves.
- Keep them safe. You can take simple steps to help your loved one avoid falls or other common occurrences that could lead to an injury: Install nightlights, remind them about the location of emergency phones or call buttons, and keep the floor clear of clutter. It’s also important that your loved one have sufficient lighting throughout the home in order to prevent trips and falls during nighttime hours.
- Encourage them to be active. Your loved one should continue with regular physical activity as much as possible, even if this means getting up from their chair occasionally throughout the day (or night) instead of staying seated all day long. This can help keep muscles strong enough for daily tasks like walking around the house or doing laundry—two things that are vital for maintaining independence but often fall by the wayside when dementia takes hold due to lack of motivation or strength required for these tasks respectively due solely from physical changes brought on by aging alone rather than any cognitive impairment caused directly by dementia itself."
One helpful way to think of dementia is as if it were a series of losses of abilities and skills that you once had.
Dementia is a progressive brain disorder that causes people to lose their memory, reasoning skills and the ability to perform simple tasks. As dementia progresses, a person's personality may also change.
While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments available that can help with symptoms of depression or anxiety and improve quality of life for both the patient and caregivers.
One helpful way to think of dementia is as if it were a series of losses of abilities and skills that you once had. For example:
- You might lose your ability to drive because you can't remember how many miles are left on your tank before refueling (a loss in short-term memory).
Knowing what stage of dementia your loved one is in will help you tailor your caregiving approach.
Knowing the stage of dementia your loved one is in will help you tailor your caregiving approach. Here's a breakdown of what each stage means and how to help:
Stage 1: No impairment. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the ability to form new memories is lost. But this may not be noticeable until late into the disease.
Stage 2: Very mild decline (early stage). In this phase, people begin losing their ability to perform some routine tasks or recall important information such as names or dates without being reminded often. They may experience occasional confusion but still have enough awareness to recognize what they're forgetting and ask for help finding it again if necessary.* You may notice that he/she has begun relying on others more often when getting around town or doing other activities at home.* He/she also might notice changes in his/her personality (e.g., less spontaneity) and start noticing that his/her memory isn't as sharp as before.* It's also common for him/her to feel sad about these changes and become less social than he/she was before.* If you see any changes like these in your loved one's behavior over time—especially if they are getting worse—talk with your loved one's PCP as soon as possible!
There's no good time but there are better times to have difficult conversations about end-of-life wishes with an elderly parent or loved one.
End-of-life conversations can be difficult to have. You may worry about hurting your loved one's feelings, or that they'll become angry or sad. You might also fear that the conversation will bring up difficult memories from the past, and make them feel worse. There is no good time to have such a conversation, but there are better times than others to do so.
First, don't wait until your parent has advanced dementia or is near death before you begin discussing end-of-life wishes with them. Most people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease are still able to express their wishes during the early stages of the condition—when they can still make informed decisions about their future care options and medical treatment preferences.
Second, don't talk about these sensitive topics when they're having trouble communicating clearly because of confusion or major changes in mood caused by other issues that aren't related directly back toward how much longer life will last (such as pain due to arthritis). Even if your loved one seems stable on other fronts throughout each day’s activities, it could be possible for them suddenly develop severe depression after something unexpected occurs like getting bad news from doctors’ appointments.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia doesn't mean that your loved one is suffering from depression or has symptoms of depression.
Depression is a serious mental health problem, but it's not a symptom of dementia. Depression and the symptoms that come with it are treatable, and if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia, they can still be treated for depression.
There are many circumstances in which someone with Alzheimer's may also display signs of depression:
- Their illness affects their moods and emotions—this is normal because the disease changes how they think and feel
- They may be under increased stress due to changes in their life caused by the disease (e.g., being unable to complete daily tasks)
- They may not receive enough support from friends or family members who don't understand what's happening because they don't want to see them this way
It is important to understand the difference between normal aging and brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease, which cause memory loss and other cognitive problems.
It is important to understand the difference between normal aging and brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease, which cause memory loss and other cognitive problems. Normal aging does not cause dementia. Dementia is a brain disease that affects your ability to think, remember things or do the things you did before. It is not normal for older adults to forget things they have done or places they have been. Dementia can happen at any age; however, it's most common after age 65 - in fact half of all people with Alzheimer’s are 65 years old or older when diagnosed!
Dementia includes problems with thinking (cognitive skills), memory (ability to learn new information), language use and speaking, perception (sight), understanding spatial relationships (knowing where you are in relation to other people & objects) as well as changes in personality & mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. These symptoms get worse over time until eventually an affected person has severe problems with daily functioning including:
- Not knowing who they are anymore; not recognizing family members/friends; losing track of time; forgetting what happened yesterday…
- Not being able to take care of themselves without help from others – dressing appropriately for different weather conditions; cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients rather than frozen dinners purchased at grocery stores...
The most important thing you can do to help someone with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia is simply to be there for them.
As a caregiver, it can be difficult to know how best to help a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. As the person's health declines over time and symptoms worsen, they may become more withdrawn and less able to take care of themselves. This can put enormous stress on both caregivers and their loved ones as they try desperately to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their life together.
In these situations, it is important that both caregiver and patient remember that communication remains vital no matter what stage you're at in your relationship. No matter what your loved one says or does during this time period, remember: They are still capable of understanding what you are saying; they just do not have the capacity right now to respond normally in conversation! It helps if you begin each conversation by introducing yourself (even if this feels silly) before beginning any kind of exchange about anything else besides basic needs such as eating meals together or going outside for walks around town!
It can be very helpful to get regular respite care so that you can take a break from being a caregiver.
It can be very helpful to get regular respite care so that you can take a break from being a caregiver. Respite care is short-term, in-home assistance with the goal of helping kupuna maintain their independence and remain in their homes as long as possible.
Kupuna Care Hawaii offers relief for family members and caregivers who provide daily assistance with activities of daily living (i.e., bathing, dressing, toileting), providing companionship, assisting with meals and medication management, monitoring safety issues such as wandering or failing to recognize dangers around them (e.g., fire hazards), and coordinating transportation services for those who are no longer able to drive safely on their own.