How to Care For Someone With Dementia
Our Care Is as Limitless as Your Love.
When you’re looking at communities, it’s important to know not all memory care services are alike. At Stratford Commons Memory Care Community, we distinguish our service with Courtyard Memory Care featuring the THRIVE program. It’s custom designed with interactive techniques to engage those who have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. It features innovative programs guided by an on-staff medical director and clinical team members.
Our specialized THRIVE program customizes each person’s care. We incorporate an individual’s past experiences, physical skills, current interests, routines and hobbies into a plan to readily respond to their physical, mental and spiritual needs. It’s a one-of-a-kind program that can make a real difference when you are caring for someone with dementia.
What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease is just one type of dementia. The brain disorder affects memory and other mental functions. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation, “In the U.S. alone, a new case of AD [Alzheimer’s disease] is diagnosed every 66 seconds.”
Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss: Common Behavior Changes.
Before you can learn how to help someone with memory loss, it helps to identify common behaviors of dementia, including personality and behavior changes that can occur with seniors who suffer from it. Alzheimer’s disease causes brain cells to die over time, causing the brain to work less. Here are just a few things you may notice about your loved one:
- Acting depressed or not interested in the same things
- Imagining things
- Pacing and wandering
- Getting upset, angry or worried more easily
- Hiding or losing things
- Misunderstanding communications
- Lacking normal personal hygiene
- Feeling sad, fearful or confused
- Sleeping less
- Changes in appetite or thirst
- Forgetfulness and difficulty remembering words and names
CARING FOR SOMEONE WITH DEMENTIA: TIPS
Although you cannot stop memory-related behaviors and personality changes, you can learn to live with them better. Here are seven ways to manage memory loss that benefit you and your family.
- Learn as much as you can about the disease, including its various manifestations, like Lewy Body Dementia. Discovering what to expect and having access to resources and support groups will help you be better equipped to assist your loved one as challenges arise. Talk to other caregivers and consider a support group to learn about strategies other caregivers have used.
- Be genuine and sincere. Respect your loved one’s dignity, and do not speak down to them or react falsely with a friendly facade. As you gain facts, share them with everyone. Validate your loved one’s feelings. Let your loved ones know how you’re trying to help them and that they do not have to face their diagnosis alone.
- Establish routines. Try to maintain the same routines and daily activities that your loved one is familiar with. Keep consistent daily times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, bathing, dressing and bedtime. Predictability is calming, and it can help keep you both more relaxed to have a rhythm to each day. The regular routine should mimic their former habits.
- Maintain your physical closeness. You can expect changes as memory loss continues, but keep your focus on being close to your loved one. Hugs, hand-holding and eye contact can show how you feel and create a warm sense of comfort. Watch body language and look for visual cues to give you signs of appreciation or to know when more or less contact is needed.
- Listen first, then talk. You can’t know what is bothering your loved one unless you listen first. You may have to read between the lines or ask a lot of questions if you cannot get a response from them. Be careful not to come across as condescending, but instead show that you value their opinion.
- Be prepared for new behaviors. You’ll want to keep an eye on your relative’s safety. Dementia alters how a person responds to their environment. Moodiness or aggression, apathy and language difficulty can be part of the disease. It’s important to learn how to deal with dementia patients: who is aggressive or moody, and how are they showing their feelings? Ask yourself what is causing the behavior? They may be overwhelmed, confused or frightened.
- Adapt activities so you can both enjoy them. There are numerous things you can do with your loved one that can be adjusted to their current level of functioning. Take walks, garden, bake, listen to music, play games and do simple chores. Incorporate varying activities to stimulate senses (sight, smell, hearing and touch). For example, playing with pets and planting seeds is a tactile activity while singing songs and telling stories stimulates hearing. Be flexible and patient with your expectations. What’s important is that your loved one is engaged in an activity that makes them feel useful – not whether the seed is completely buried in the ground or the floor is swept thoroughly. A great way to get them to participate in something is to say, “I really need your help doing this.”
New Approaches for Dementia Care.
Experts think between 60% and 80% of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease. According to WebMD, “more than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”
Although your loved one’s sense of reality may be different than yours, that realm is real to him or her. That’s why it’s important to have an environment like our Courtyard Memory Care community to effectively accommodate and manage memory loss behaviors. A change in the atmosphere or environment can comfort your loved one and bring you peace of mind.
Trained professionals in our premier community are adept at reading cues from residents to make sure their needs are being met. In addition to 24-hour security and licensed nursing, comprehensive programs and activities are customized to provide the right balance of care and assistance as residents’ journeys progress. From three chef-prepared meals daily and social events to spiritual services, live entertainment and pet therapy, our Overland Park, Kansas community has more of what you want for your loved one.
Ask About Distinguishing Factors in Memory Care Communities.
The search for a memory care community can be accompanied by stress and urgency. It’s challenging to find the right place for your loved one while simultaneously processing the emotions and concerns that come along with it. To demystify and streamline your search, determine in advance what questions to ask, craft your plan to review area choices of memory care communities, and find distinguishing factors in communities.
The stratford commons difference.
Still not sure if it’s time to make the move to a memory care community? Check out our blog about the top 7 signs it might be the right move for your loved one. Or, reach out to our helpful staff at Stratford Commons Memory Care to learn more about our Courtyard Memory Care and specialized THRIVE program. We look forward to answering your questions! Contact us today or call 913-851-8660.