Caring for Patients with Dementia
As we age, our cognitive abilities can become impaired. Progressive and irreversible conditions like dementia can be frightening for both those suffering them and the people around them. Neurodegenerative diseases should be expected to complicate one’s care. They will require more assistance and unfortunately can become more difficult to work with in some cases. An individual’s temperament can change as a result of these conditions. Stresses caused from frustration can be expressed in forms of aggression and hostility. Unfortunately, carers sometimes receive verbal abuse or may be pushed and shoved by upset patients. It’s essential to develop an approach to dealing with people with dementia.
When caring for elderly affected by neurodegeneration, they might not understand what is happening all the time. Preparation becomes vital, understanding their needs allows you to identify potential triggers and hazards.
When caring for someone with dementia, it’s important to recognise how emotionally and physically challenging the condition can be. This is experienced by both carers and affected individuals. Remember to be thankful for and celebrate good days and work through the bad ones. It’s sad but inevitable that neurogenerative diseases will progress and more functionality will be lost. The aim of assisted care is to make that person as comfortable as possible.
Educate yourself on the person’s medical circumstances, as it’s common for those affected by dementia to have other conditions or illnesses. These will require consideration when making care plans. Many patients with dementia also have other conditions. They may have suffered a stroke, diabetes or have depression. Depending on severity, all of these may affect someone’s mobility, their receptiveness to medication or any other number of things.
These concerns elevate the level of care needed. People might require specialised equipment depending on their cognition and physical mobility. Patients who struggle with movement might need access to devices like slings, floor lifters or accessible baths for washing. These needs are common in patients with dementia.
The following can be useful in caring for affected people.
Frequent reminders: remind them of imminent care procedures often, depending on the person’s condition, as frequent as every five minutes is common.
Regular schedule: try to make a routine, conduct waking, eating and bathing at the same time each day, repetition is one of the strongest mechanisms for optimising memory.
Communication: Speak to the individual, they may prefer some modes of care more than others, understanding their preferences reduces uncertainty. As much clarity as possible is most productive to providing the best care.
It can be extremely daunting caring for individuals affected by neurodegenerative diseases. It’s quite confronting for everyone involved and is likely to affect all types of tasks from washing to eating to climbing into bed. Ensure you have access to necessary equipment and keep expectations realistic. For any questions about caring for patients affected by dementia and other similar conditions, reach out to our experienced team at CHS Healthcare.