It is important to understand and educate yourself of certain diseases that affect so many people in the world. Understanding dementia and Alzheimers is really important for caring for seniors. This is a disease that affects so many adults over the age of 65 and can only get worse overtime so knowing signs to look out for and ways to care is critical.
Dementia is a general term not an overall disease. Dementia falls under the category of a disease that causes brain changes. These can be very severe changes such as a decline of thinking capabilities, as well as cognitive abilities that can affect your behavior and daily life to the point of impairing your independence. Conditions of dementia are progressive meaning it starts out slowly and gradually gets worse, there is no cure for conditions under the category of dementia.
Signs of Dementia:
- Problems with short term memory
- Trouble remembering dates, appointments, events
- Trouble planning and preparing meals
- Hard time keeping track of items
Alzheimers is a type of dementia that affects things like memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimers is the most common case of dementia being 60-80% of dementia cases. Majority of people who suffer from dementia are around the age of 65 or older. This is not a normal part of aging but does happen to people who are increasing in age. Alzheimer is a disease that worsens over time. It is a progressive disease and symptoms worsen over several years. When you first get dementia you only really have memory loss, but as time goes by patients lose abilities like having a conversation, responding to the environment around them, and more. Alzheimers has no cure, it is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. In some cases people with alzheimers can live on average 4 to 8 years after diagnosis while in other cases up to 20 years, all depending on certain factors.
Some symptoms of Alzheimers:
- Mood and behavior changes
- Found confusion on time, places, events
- Unfounded suspicion on family or friends
- Serious memory loss
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking
How to care for Alzheimers and Dementia patients
For Alzheimer and Dementia patients there are certain things to expect when caring for them. Patients need full time personal care, they can experience difficulty swallowing and eating, needed assistant walking, and more. As a caregiver your main role is to help preserve the patient’s dignity and quality of life and make it as comfortable as possible while also continuing to connect throughout the disease.
Use positive language
Caregivers caring for patients with dementia often try to focus on what the person can’t do, rather than what they are able to do. It is important to understand the person’s strengths and from those learn how to communicate and connect easier. Positive language and affirmations are also a great way to connect with a person with dementia. Studies show that positive language can help a patient’s overall quality of life. A huge component of dementia is that in fact people with it can have personality changes and feelings of frustration. Knowing that, caregivers will offer soothing and calming words of positivity when the patient is acting negatively to show that they understand their frustration. Offering compliments and words of encouragement can help not only calm the patient with dementia but also help connect the caregiver and give them a feeling of trust.
Spring Hills memory care
At Spring Hills our caregivers work diligently to give the best care possible. No matter the progression of your loved one’s dementia, our caring team can offer the assistance they need most, now and in the future. During this trying time, it is essential to keep a positive mindset whether treating patients, or just in your everyday life. The impact positive language can have on a person is extraordinary. Our goal at Spring Hills is for every resident to Live Happy. With our therapies, memory care approach, and more, we are prepared to achieve that goal everyday and continue our unwavering commitment to enhance the life of each resident.