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The Dos and Don’ts of Dementia Care


The Dos and Don'ts ofDementia Care.png

It can be difficult at times to interact with a loved one that has dementia. This disease affects the mind and memory, as well as personality. Someone you used to know as happy and bubbly can become quick to anger, paranoid, or not remember details about you.

Coming into a situation like this, it’s important to know that there will be times when you are upset and frustrated, but know that this is not them doing it on purpose or to hurt you (although at times it may feel like it). Know that they would be there for you in the same situation.

Common Behavior Associated with Dementia

Dementia has a few common traits and behaviors that can be exhibited by those who have the disease.

These can include:

  • Apathy
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Indecisiveness
  • Aggression
  • Agitation


How to Handle Dementia Behavior Changes

  1. Don’t: Argue
    Your loved one may yell and scream that they don’t want to do something, but don’t let the heat of the moment take over. You don’t want to argue back. Take a moment, cool down, leave the room, and try to identify why they are angry. Are they fearing something? Do they not want to take a shower because of a certain nursing assistant? Are they afraid of falling? Try to shift their focus elsewhere and calm them down.
  2. Do: Redirect Their Attention
    If they bring up something like wanting to immediately leave or go out somewhere, try to redirect their focus. Say something like “Ok, that’s fine, but first we should have a little lunch first, then we can go.”
  3. Do: Create a Narrative
    If your loved one asks something that isn’t possible to do, such as driving a car, try to create a story in which this is not possible due to another factor. “I’d love to go for a drive, but the car is broken and we have to wait for the store to bring the new part.”
  4. Don’t: Lose Your Cool
    Even if you need to go outside for a while, take your time to calm down. You don’t want to end up taking out your anger on your loved one. Keep a level head so you both can get through this tough time.

Additional Resources on Dementia

Types of Dementia

Caring for Someone With Dementia: 5 Fundamentals

Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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Alzheimer’s Disease: Do you know all the facts?

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and as many as 16 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $214 billion in 2014, increasing to $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer’s or another dementia.

Have you ever wondered about Alzheimer’s Disease? Does it run in your family? Do you know all the facts about this disease?

Here are some quick facts according alz.org:

  • More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease
  • Every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • There are approximately 500,000 people dying each year because they have Alzheimer’s
  • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
  • In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion

Alzheimer’s statistics for Florida 

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia which is a progressive brain disease. If you are over 65 years of age you should know all the facts of Alzheimer’s. This disease slowly attacks nerve cells in all parts of the cortex of the brain. There are three brain abnormalities that are indicators of the Alzheimer’s disease process. The first indicator is plaques which is a protein that accumulates and forms sticky clumps between nerve cells. This will impact your memory and learning process. The second indicator is tangles which are damaged remains of the support structure that allows the flow of nutrients through the neurons. The last indicator is the loss of nerve cell connections. This process is the combination effect of the tangles and plaques that causes nerves to die off which in turn causes your brain tissue to shrink.

Memory Loss Myths & Facts

Now that you have a little insight on what Alzheimer’s disease is, there are some early symptoms that can be warnings signs to pay attention to: forgetfulness, loss of concentration, language problems, confusion about time and place, impaired judgment, loss of insight, impaired movement and coordination, mood and behavior changes, and apathy and depression. If you or a loved one feels like you have one or more of these symptoms please contact your doctor.

Know the 10 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Those that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have a tough choice to make. They can either choose to receive care at home from a caregiver or receive care at a nursing home. This decision can effect many of your loved ones and you should know the facts about each one.

Receiving care from a home caregiver is the first choice for most patients with Alzheimer’s disease. About 80% of patients receive care at home by family members. There are also options for patients to receive care from a home health aide. Home care can cause a tremendous amount of stress and impact on the quality of life on family members. It is very important to make sure that family members receive the right support services.

Receiving care from a nursing home is normally the second choice for most patients with Alzheimer’s. Many of the patients who end up in a nursing home are at the point where the home caregiver is no longer able to care of them. It is very important to find the right nursing home that will offer the correct services for Alzheimer’s.

When faced with Alzheimer’s remember that you are never alone and that there are ways to help you cope with the disease.

For more information and resources, visit http://www.alz.org 

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Senior Malnutrition

Worried your elderly loved one might be malnourished?  This helpful and simple infographic we’ve dug up nicely overviews what to look out for, and what to do when you see it!  And, as always, remember that Just Like Family is here to help you: contact us at (239) 431-6661.