Tag Archives: plan dementia care

Plan care for younger persons with dementia

Sometimes, younger persons get dementia. To care for them, you need to consider some additional things.

What caregivers can do: Explain the situation clearly to the family and friends. Get as much support as possible. Be very careful planning for finances. Be ready for higher physical work and more emotional adjustment. Support children as they find it difficult to see a parent with dementia. Get counselling. Look for alternate ways to get comfort.

Some younger persons (below 65 years) also get dementia. Terms used for this are early-onset dementia, young-onset dementia, and younger-onset dementia. To care for a young-onset patient, in addition to the normal planning, you have to pay special attention to some topics. These are discussed here.

  • Plan for reducing or stopping the patient’s work.
  • Take over investments and important matters in steps.
  • Explain the situation to parents, siblings, and other relatives.
  • Help the children of the family accept and adjust to the situation.
  • Make an extra effort to retain friends and social circles.
  • Plan the finances carefully.
  • Prepare for the tough physical work involved caring for a younger patient.
  • Prepare for much higher emotional impact.
  • When looking at available facilities and support services, check if they can handle younger patients.
  • See also….

Read the full post here : Plan care for younger persons with dementia

Dementia and Wandering: Suggestions for family caregivers

Most persons with dementia wander, and this can traumatize the patient and the family. Some patients are not located for days, and some get seriously injured, even die. The English and Hindi videos on this page discuss ways in which families can try to understand what needs or restlessness makes patients wander, how to reduce wandering, and also how to be prepared to get the patients home safe and fast in case they do wander.

The videos use pictures and sketches to explain the suggestions. Captions are available.

Read the full post here : Dementia and Wandering: Suggestions for family caregivers

General caregiving: Tips For Those New To Caregiving

When someone is thrust into a caregiving role, the newbie caregiver sometimes has no idea what to expect, and how to plan and adjust to this role. The detailed note available on this page is intended for someone new to caregiving. The tips shared here are useful for all long-duration caregiving situations, and not just for dementia caregiving.

Read the full post here : General caregiving: Tips For Those New To Caregiving

She would simply hold on to me for support: a husband cares for a wife with dementia

Introduction: Ramana Rajgopaul, a successful professional manager, gave up his lucrative career to become the caregiver for his wife after multiple cerebral and cardiac infarcts. His wife has since passed away. In this interview, he describes his experiences and emotions as his wife’s caregiver.

Could you describe the symptoms and state of your wife, which led you to give up your career?

ramana rajgopaul and family
(from left) Ramana’s father, Ramana’s wife, Ramana

My wife’s short term and long term memories were shot to pieces. Both would work some times, but most times, they would not. She could not recollect names, places or events and if some one explained, she would pretend to understand, but it was just that, a pretense. The only two people she recognized and was comfortable with were our son and me and here too, the past had no meaning or resonance for her. Simple things like taking medicines and prescribed food were a problem because she would not remember if she had taken or not. Anything or place out of the familiar would result in panic attacks for her and if either my son or I was not around, she would simply go into a shell and it would take hours to come out of that shell.

On a few occasions, she went out to walk on her own, when I was not around, and even within our own locality, she got lost. Luckily on all occasions, people who recognized her brought her safely home.

Read the full post here : She would simply hold on to me for support: a husband cares for a wife with dementia

Dementia Home Care: An Overview

Dementia goes on for years. Caregivers need to support the person with dementia all through. Caregivers also have other roles and responsibilities to handle.

What caregivers can do: Understand how dementia will impact the patient and other members of the family. Decide what they need to learn for the caregiving. Understand what the care work is and how it will change as dementia progresses. Look at their other responsibilities also. Think of adjustments they may have to make. Decide how to balance dementia care with other responsibilities. Try to enjoy what is possible. Get fulfillment from the caregiving. Keep stress low.

  • The aims of good dementia home care.
  • Essential understanding: Dementia’s impact on the patient’s abilities, emotions, and behavior.
  • Support the person with dementia.
    • Get ready for caregiving and set up the care environment.
    • Provide care and adjust it continually.
    • Ensure care includes patient well-being, safety, and comfort.
  • Keep stress low and also manage other responsibilities.
    • Get help from family, from people around you, from paid services, and from various systems.
    • Remain healthy, emotionally comfortable and reasonably stress-free.
  • Summing it up.
  • See also….

Read the full post here : Dementia Home Care: An Overview

Using Trained Attendants for Dementia Home Care

Patients start needing constant care. Families often need trained attendants to handle full-time care.

What caregivers can do: Understand various arrangements for using trained attendants. See what suits the patient and family situation. Explain the patient’s care to the attendant. Set up your home for the attendant’s presence. Take safety measures. Supervise attendants and use them effectively. Handle their absence and other problems.

Many families feel they need a good attendant once the patient needs more attention and the care work gets tiring. They look for ayahs, maids, servants who can be trained, attendants hired from agencies, etc.

But it is difficult to get good attendants. The few available attendants do not understand dementia, or are unreliable. Families also face problems trying to arrange their home to use attendants effectively.

  • See whether you need to consider trained attendants.
  • Locate sources for trained attendants.
  • Check if the attendant is suitable.
  • Explain patient care to the attendant.
  • Make adjustments for the attendant.
  • Ensure safety and security.
  • Supervise and support the attendant.
  • Handle the attendant’s absences.
  • Summing it up….
  • See also….

Read the full post here : Using Trained Attendants for Dementia Home Care

A family recognizes dementia and adjusts for it: a social worker narrates her family’s story

Bharathi, 57 years old, has a degree in psychology and is a social worker who volunteers some time with dementia patients. When her 83 year old aunt started behaving strangely, she realized that the symptoms could be dementia, and gave the family brochures and literature on dementia. This led to a proper diagnosis and the family was able to learn how to help the aunt, who is now much better and happier. In this interview, Bharathi shares her story.

Could you share the salient events prior to the diagnosis?

My aunt and her family used to live in Vizag before they moved to Bangalore. My aunt is 83 years old. Her husband (my uncle) is 90 and very active and articulate (he writes stories). They live with their eldest daughter (60 years old) and her husband, who is 75 years old. Another daughter is in the USA.

Around eight years ago, Aunty lost her son, and this was a very big shock to her. She also started becoming forgetful, for example she would forget to switch off the gas. She put on weight. All this was diagnosed as a thyroid problem, and doctors said that the problem had probably been there for a long time. However, her forgetfulness continued even after treatment.

After coming to Bangalore, Aunty seemed worse. She fell down twice on her way to the bathroom one day. She was unable to get up the second time and became bedridden after that. Doctors who checked her said it was “old age” and that she might have suffered from a stroke or something like that.

Aunty deteriorated rapidly after that. Though she talked about old times, she sounded confused and was often unable to express her needs. he ripped off her diapers and soiled herself often. When her husband tried to clean her, she would get agitated. She also developed bedsores.

Aunty often shouted in those days, for example, shouting at Uncle because he was watching TV. She could not sleep at night and remained in an agitated state. Her voice also sounded different and more commanding, which alarmed and worried the family.

Read the full post here : A family recognizes dementia and adjusts for it: a social worker narrates her family’s story

When you are in the rut of things you can’t think: a doctor-caregiver shares

Vidya (name changed) is a doctor whose grandmother (mother’s mother) suffered from dementia. Vidya’s mother and aunts took care of the grandmother, with some support from Vidya. The family finally reached a point when they could no longer handle the caregiving and had to move the patient to a long-term stay facility.

Could you give us background information about the case and the sequence of events?

Granny lived in my city for many years, staying with either my mother, or my aunt (my mother’s sister). The two houses were close by, and Granny would move from one house to the other whenever she felt like.

Granny suffered from a condition called Transient Ischaemic Attacks or TIAs. The first episode occurred when I was in medical school and I remember she was hospitalised. She recovered quickly and was back to normal. This was followed by one or two smaller episodes of shorter duration, during which she inadvertently passed water where she was sitting/lying. Apparently she seemed okay so it was not taken seriously.

Some time later, Granny took ill and started behaving bizarrely. For example, she once smeared her poo over the bed and the walls of the bedroom. We then called a psychiatrist friend who, after evaluating the patient, suggested that it could be a case of dementia.

As her other parameters were alright, we didn’t think it was necessary to take her to a hospital to assess her physical status and do investigations. Of course I did speak to a senior doctor at the time, who said that anyways nothing much can be done for such a patient.

But as time passed, the bizarre behavior worsened. At that time, Granny was living with my aunt, who was in her late sixties. My aunt found it very difficult to manage to take care of Granny on her own

Read the full post here : When you are in the rut of things you can’t think: a doctor-caregiver shares

Plan care for various stages of dementia

The patient’s abilities keep reducing as dementia gets worse. Care has to be continually adjusted accordingly.

What caregivers can do: Understand the stages of dementia and how they will impact the help the patient needs. Plan for the changes in the patient’s ability and the support required. Consider suitable home adjustments. Learn the required caregiving skills. The caregiving workload will increase over time, so consider available support systems. Make required adjustments in other responsibilities.

  • Care approaches as dementia progresses.
  • Care for early stage dementia.
  • Care for mid stage dementia.
  • Care for late stage dementia.
  • Special care aspects for young onset/ early onset dementia.
  • Care for the caregiver (self-care).
  • See also….

Read the full post here : Plan care for various stages of dementia