Visiting with Mom recently brought to light a number of concerning signs. While she’s always been up at the crack of dawn, now it’s hard to wake her before noon. Instead of preparing an elaborate home-cooked meal, she would rather simply warm up a can of soup; and can barely finish a small bowlful. Furthermore, she has lost interest in enjoying time with her best friends from church. Might she be experiencing clinical depression or dementia? Read more
Alzheimer’s is a complex condition that often presents overwhelming issues for those providing care. As the disease continues into later stages, those with Alzheimer’s become increasingly dependent on communication through behavior rather than speech, and oftentimes these behaviors are of an inappropriate nature. For instance, someone with more advanced Alzheimer’s disease may present the following: Read more
Picture how it would feel to awaken in an unfamiliar location, not able to remember how you arrived there or even what your name is. Progressing into complete disorientation, then quickly leading to anger and fear, you might find yourself lashing out at the unknown person positioned beside your bed, talking to you in a quiet voice. Read more
Dementia confusion, a typical occurrence in Alzheimer’s, can lead to recent memories being forgotten about or distorted, while memories from the more distant past usually stay unaffected. This can cause past events to make more sense to a senior with dementia than the present. A person’s alternate reality can be the senior’s way of making sense of the present through past experience.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often have problems expressing themselves, and at times their alternate reality has more to do with a physical requirement or a distinct feeling they want to express rather than the actual words they are saying.
- “I need to deliver all these casseroles to the neighbors before the end of the day.” Though these casseroles do not exist, the words could actually represent a need for meaning in everyday life or wanting to be involved in an activity. A suitable response to find out more could be, “Why did you make casseroles for our neighbors?”
- “When will my wife be coming home?” This question may be more about a need for affection or acceptance or a home-cooked meal than it could be about wishing to see his wife, who passed away many years ago. An appropriate reaction to uncover more might be, “Why would you like to see her?”
Keeping a diary of these kinds of events can help you notice a pattern in the older person’s dementia confusion. The more you listen in and pay close attention, the easier it will become to understand the thinking behind the alternate reality and the ideal way to react.
Is It Alright to Play Along?
As long as the scenario isn’t going to be unsafe or improper, it is perfectly fine to play along with the senior’s alternate reality. Doing so won’t make the dementia worse. Keep in mind, the senior’s reality is true to him/her and playing along can make your loved one feel more comfortable.
If the situation is inappropriate or may possibly cause harm to the older adult, try to respond to the perceived need while redirecting him/her to something safer or more appropriate.
Bear in mind these 3 actions:
- Reassure the older adult.
- React to his/her need.
- Redirect if required.
Also, call on the caregiving team at Endeavor In-Home Care, providing senior home care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas, including specialized dementia care. Our caregivers are on hand to provide compassionate, professional respite care services for family care providers who could use some time to rest and recharge. Contact us any time to learn more at 480-498-2324.
“How on earth could you think that I have dementia? There is not a single thing wrong with me!”
If a senior loved one with a dementia diagnosis communicates feelings like this, you may think to yourself that the senior is essentially in denial and reluctant to admit to such a concerning diagnosis. Yet there could be a different reason: anosognosia, or someone’s actual unawareness that he or she is affected by dementia. Read more
Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one is hard under the best of scenarios; add in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and intensive sanitation of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem insurmountable. Read more
There are a number of age-related concerns that can have an impact on senior nutrition, but new research is revealing that it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet for seniors: the potential impact on cognitive function. And it may surprise you to learn that malnutrition in seniors is actually quite common. Per the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, as many as of 35 to 50 percent of the senior residents in long-term care facilities are faced with malnutrition, along with as many as 65 percent of older hospitalized adults. Read more
Although an astounding number of older adults are dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with caring for them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs by themselves, with only 26% reaching out for professional care support. Read more
The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s statistics are worrying. The disease has become the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular illnesses, are declining, those from Alzheimer’s have jumped more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly staggering, with more than 16 million Americans supplying over 18 billion hours of caregiving for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s. Read more
A ‘Caregiver’ is someone who provides any type of physical or emotional care for a loved one or someone with health impairments. Alzheimer’s in the US is on the rise and there are currently over 5 million people diagnosed with the most feared disease for people over 65. Many people are overwhelmed when faced with the need to suddenly care for someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. But HOPE is on the horizon!
The Endeavor Cognitive Health Series is offering a lecture designed to enhance understanding of Alzheimer’s and will explain the various other types of Dementia. We will focus on:
- Treatment Options
All of these topics will be addressed in a language that can be understood by all and is designed to point people in the right direction for information, care options and treatments.
This Endeavor Cognitive Health Series is FREE to the public and is open for individuals interested in the topics, family caregivers and professionals. The lecture will be on Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Scottsdale Mustang Library (10101 N. 90th St., Scottsdale, AZ 85258). We will be pleased to hear from Brian Browne, MS, CSA who is currently serving as the Director of Education and Outreach at Banner Research and the President of Dementia Care Education. Mr. Browne has expertise in interpreting the cognitive science of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and offers education, training and research statistics in a way attendees will understand.
Join us to hear from an industry expert on Alzheimer’s and Dementia cognitive health. Seating is limited and there will be light refreshments served. Please RSVP by calling 480-498-2324 and contact us for any questions on topics in the lecture series.
Cities We Service
Our support Hotline is available 24 Hours a day: (480) 498-2324
Endeavor Senior In-Home Care
4858 E Baseline Rd Ste 101
Mesa, AZ 85206
Endeavor Senior In-Home Care
15333 N Pima Rd Ste. 305
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Endeavor Training Institute