What Is Dementia?
There is a great deal of confusion about dementia and Alzheimer’s. Although both are emotionally devastating for patients and their families, they are not the same.
Dementia refers to a set of symptoms such as short-term memory loss, language difficulty or poor judgment which can be caused by any number of diseases or conditions. 50-70% of the time, dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
According to The Alzheimer’s Association, some of the more common symptoms of dementia include:
- Short-term memory loss: inability to recall what was said a few minutes ago, repeatedly asking the same question.
- Problems with speech & comprehension: forgetting common words like knife or comb or using words that make no sense in the context of a conversation.
- Disorientation: losing their way in familiar settings, problems keeping track of dates or time
- Impaired ability. to execute common tasks: (e.g., cooking a meal, doing mental arithmetic or driving a car).
- Behavioral Disorders: a person with dementia may become very aggressive or start to wander.
- Depression: moodiness and apathy or emotional and physical withdrawal, insomnia, weight loss, or suicidal thoughts.
- Delusions: this is often a symptom of later stage dementia. A person with dementia cannot be convinced that the delusion is untrue.
- Sundowning Syndrome: individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia often suffer from late-day confusion which is known as Sundowning Syndrome. Your loved one may exhibit signs of extreme agitation, anxiety or confusion as the sun sets and it gets dark outside. During these moments it is crucial that a qualified and well-trained aide is by their side to keep them calm and safe.
In some cases, medications and treatments can help manage the symptoms of dementia so it is important that your loved one gets a thorough medical check-up to determine whether he/she has dementia and what is causing it.
Who Needs Dementia Care?
Caring for a family member with dementia alone is extremely challenging. Hiring an agency that employs aides trained in dementia care is crucial if you wish for your loved one to remain at home.
While the early symptoms of dementia may be mild, as dementia progresses, forgetfulness and confusion increase and an individual may begin to have problems recognizing familiar faces. In the advanced stages, an individual with dementia will become unable to do even simple things like eating or walking and may become incontinent. They may also develop depression or become very aggressive. Eventually, they will become totally dependent on others for their care.
You should consider hiring an agency that employs aides trained in dementia care during the early stages of dementia. This will give your loved one time to get adjusted to a new person in their home and make it easier for them to accept increased help as their dementia progresses.
Services Provided by Our Dementia Care Aides
The best approach to dementia is engagement, communication and loving care – that’s exactly what your loved one will receive from a Neighbors Home Health Aide.
Our aides are experienced in identifying and managing behavioral changes such as increased aggression. They are skilled at providing gentle verbal cues and continuous assurances to alleviate feelings of confusion or bewilderment and will establish consistent routines to minimize anxiety in your family member and ensure that your loved one is safe, well-groomed, eating properly and staying active.
Our aides will:
- Act as reassuring companions
- Assist with bathing, showering, toileting, oral care, hair care and dressing
- Prepare meals
- Perform light housekeeping
- Assist with laundry
- Remind your loved one to take their medications
- Encourage your loved one to stay active and involved in recreational and stimulating activities such as walking, playing games, listening to music, etc.
We serve the White Plains, NY and Westchester County areas.