Are you aware that over 35 million people are living with dementia across the globe? Dementia in itself is not an illness but a group of conditions that affect brain functions such as memory and judgment. As a result, a person’s social, cognitive, and physical abilities are greatly hampered.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimers disease. This is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that causes degeneration of brain cells. As a result, the individual’s cognitive abilities and memory slowly decline, ultimately rendering the person unable to handle simple tasks on their own.
Though Alzheimers can occur as early as age 30, symptoms usually start appearing in the mid-60s. While driving to work or remembering to switch off the stove may seem like simple tasks, a person with Alzheimers might find them difficult. If they are stressful enough, it might even cause them to panic. As such, assisted living and proper memory care is essential for people with the condition to continue living a quality life.
Although caring for a person with dementia may is challenging, here are some memory care tips.
Get an Accurate Diagnosis
With dementia comes cognitive decline and memory loss. However, not all cognitive issues and memory decline is caused by dementia. Some may be caused by conditions that are treatable.
Therefore, it is important to know the exact condition and how it can affect your loved one. This will let you know the symptoms and behavior to expect and allow doctors to identify the best treatment. Though screen tests may point you in the right direction, only a specialist with experience treating dementia will be able to give you a thorough evaluation.
Establish a Routine
All people are typically calmer in a place they know and with a schedule they’re used to. As such, routines are an essential part of memory care.
Though you may need to go off script at times, do not bring on the change to their routine suddenly. Let’s say you have a doctor’s appointment: most memory care specialists will tell you to let your loved one know in advance of the appointment. Leaving them notes is also helpful as people with dementia often understand writings even if they can’t understand spoken words. You can also use worded maps to help them navigate their surroundings.
Limit Movement and Sound
Noise and large groups of people can easily overwhelm a person with Alzheimers and cause them to panic. If you have to go out with them while shopping, try to visit small stores and avoid the busy hours.
At home, when everyone is engaging in other activities, it’s recommended that you switch off the television. This is because someone with Alzheimers may find it difficult to differentiate what is happening on TV and in the house. As such, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be an especially tricky time for those coping with dementia or Alzheimers. Try socializing with family members in small groups to prevent feelings of panic in your loved one.
Keep Them Active
An individual with Alzheimers may not be able to perform most of the things they love doing but remaining idle is not healthy. Try to find new tasks or hobbies they can do, like hiking or knitting. This will make them feel productive and give them joy.
A simple way to do this is by using tasks they are familiar with. Eliminate all the complicated aspects of what they love doing to make it easier for them. For instance, if the individual loved cooking, let them assist you with simple tasks such as preparing ingredients or stirring.
An essential part of memory care is forming a bond with the individual. As their memory continues to escape them, even close family members may become unfamiliar. As such, you should find new ways to bond and connect with them.
Caring for someone with Alzheimers disease can be stressful. To ensure you do not suffer burnout or chronic stress, you should set aside time for yourself for your body and mind to rejuvenate. If the condition progresses, rely on nursing homes in Escondido that offer memory care services. Contact Vista Del Lago for more information — and help — today.