As loved ones age, they often develop new medical needs. One common condition among seniors is dementia, which can drastically affect individuals’ health and quality of life. While a dementia diagnosis can be emotionally and physically challenging for both patients and family members, it’s important to remember that there are many resources available to help dementia patients live full lives. One such option is home care, which is the assistance of a professional Caregiver in the patient’s own home.

Dementia Symptoms and Facts

Rather than describing a specific disease or disorder, dementia is an umbrella term for medical conditions that cause mental decline, including these illnesses:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia
  • Traumatic brain injury

Some of these, like Alzheimer’s disease, are progressive, meaning that patients gradually see an increase in severity of symptoms. None of the above conditions are curable, although there may be treatments that can slow the progression or alleviate some symptoms.

Though dementia has a variety of causes, the condition generally has consistent symptoms such as these:

  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Decreased motor functions and coordination
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Personality changes
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Depression

These symptoms can cause distress to patients, who may react with aggression. This is when empathetic care and patience becomes a critical part of meeting an individual’s needs.

Common Needs of Dementia Patients

Due to the cognitive effects of dementia, many patients require assistance with everyday activities. This assistance is one of the major responsibilities that falls to Caregivers.

Hygiene

Memory loss can result in patients forgetting to look after their personal hygiene. This may include brushing their teeth, bathing and using the toilet. Individuals in later stages of dementia may not have the coordination necessary to see to these tasks by themselves. Having a Caregiver around to assist with these tasks can greatly alleviate the stress of progressing symptoms.

Medication

Dementia patients may also forget to take their medication, which can have serious consequences if they have other health issues. Some individuals may not want to take their medication due to paranoia and have to be coaxed into doing so.

Eating

Memory loss also plays a role in patients’ eating habits. They may forget to eat or to buy food or even how to cook meals they once had memorized. For seniors with decreased mobility and coordination, cooking can also be dangerous, as their delayed reflexes may lead to accidents.

Wandering

Wandering is a behavior observed in many dementia patients and can arise from boredom or confusion. This behavior can pose a danger to individuals who wander away from home and then become lost. Protect your senior from this possibility of becoming lost and provide them with around-the-clock care.

Benefits of 24-Hour Live-In Care

As loved ones enter the later stages of dementia, they may require 24-hour home care. This can be stressful on family members and friends who are torn between their desire to look after their loved one and the need to fulfill other responsibilities. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Live-In Caregivers can provide around-the-clock assistance to patients right in their own homes. These professionals can help schedule meals, monitor prescriptions, manage household tasks and keep family updated on any personal or medical developments. Essentially, they can become an integral part of your care team, working together with you and other loved ones to keep your senior safe and healthy.

At Home Quality Care is dedicated to providing excellent homecare to seniors living with dementia. We believe that treating patients with dignity and empathy is an integral part of quality care. To find out more about our services, give us a call at (570) 587-4700!

 

Sources:

https://www.alzheimers.net/2-11-15-loving-someone-with-dementia/

https://www.caregiver.org/alzheimers-disease-caregiving

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