“Start taking care of your loved ones, before it is too late”, – this is one common statement that all of us get to hear when our elders become old. One of the many common diseases affecting people as they grow old is dementia.
Taking care of people who have dementia is not only physically challenging but emotionally draining. You see the person who knew you yesterday, forgetting you today and you are unable to do anything. Brain disorders in older people are hard to deal and cope up with. Here, we’re going to help you make things better.
What is Dementia?
Diseases such as Alzheimer and Dementia are progressive biological brain disorders. As people grow old, the disease progresses, and they start losing their memory. It becomes tough for them to remember anything. They fail to communicate and take care of themselves. This chronic disease may also be a result of a brain injury resulting in personality changes, memory loss, and an impaired vision.
Symptoms of dementia
- Memory Loss
- Lack of capacity to focus
- Absence of attention
- Lack of reasoning and judgment
- Disturbance in visualizing things
- A constant struggle with language and communication
Causes of dementia
While dementia’s main reason happens to be growing age, the problem can worsen if it interferes with the other causes such as:
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Thyroid problem
- Deficiency of vitamin in the body
- Side effects of certain medicines
How to take care of dementia patients?
Dementia patients require specialized care compared to people with other brain disorder. Dementia can bring about mood swings and change in behaviors. As a result, one must be careful while taking care of such patients. Some of the tips that can help you to communicate and overcome the difficulties include the following:
Most patients do not recover fast due to the behavior of people around them. Often people tend to become sad which harms the patients.
When you are dealing with dementia patients, you should have a positive outlook – from your speech to the body language. You should be pleasant and respectful while talking to them.
You should focus on using your facial expressions and tone of voice to communicate with them. This will make it easy for both of you to understand and convey your feelings.
Accept support from others
While dealing with dementia patients, it becomes imperative to take some external help. Even if you are reaching out to help someone in your family, you should always look for support groups.
In the support groups of Skylark adult daycare, you can find other caregivers and their approach towards brain disorders. If you are a professional caregiver, you can ask for help from your colleagues when you face a hard time.
Taking care of dementia patients is not an easy take, and even professional caregivers need support. So, if you feel like you need help or support, do not shy away.
Communicate slowly and clearly
While communicating with dementia patients, you should be very slow and precise. Instead of complicated words, you should use simple words and be a little loud so that they can understand you correctly.
You should have the reassuring tone to assure them that everything is okay. Instead of speaking in a loud pitched voice – you should be soft-spoken instead. If the person does not understand you in the first attempt, make sure to repeat what you said. Apart from that, you should also give them the time if they do not understand you.
Know that it is not only memory loss
Often brain disorders are associated with memory loss. But that is not the case with dementia. Sometimes, dementia can be more than memory loss leading to other problems. It can also lead to a decline of neurological capacity for the person.
Such patients often suffer from delusions and hallucinations. Apart from that, they also become unable to live a healthy life. Their non-communicative behavior may help you identify the problem so that you can be careful about it.
Ask simple questions
Often patients with brain disorder have a tough time dealing with a lot of questions. It is better to ask simple questions rather than complicated ones.
You should ask them questions that only require simple answers such as yes or no. Do not immediately throw choice questions at them – you should refrain from those types.
If you want the patient to deal with such questions, you should give them a visual prompt. It will help them understand what you want. Moreover, this also helps in making them more responsive.
Dementia is more than what we can see, and it requires special attention. It is always better to deal with the patients softly and gently to ensure that the symptoms do not increase. You can completely treat the disease but can take steps to prevent it from escalating.