Dementia is an umbrella term for the general decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily activities.
Dementia impacts the aging process by deteriorating the brain and its functions to cause impairments in one or more functions. Normal aging does NOT include memory loss. Many people live long lives without cognitive changes or changes that affect their activities of daily living (ADL)
Dementia affects many parts of the brain, and each person is affected differently. Each part of the brain plays a critical piece of cognitive and functional ability. Changes can include:
- Language and speech
Noticing the signs of dementia in your loved one
We’ve all walked into a room wondering why we went in there. Incidents like this are most likely mild forgetfulness, something that seems to increase as we age. So how do you know if your loved one’s forgetfulness is the sign of a more serious problem? The signs of a possible serious memory problem like Alzheimer’s or dementia include:
- Not being able to follow directions
- Getting lost in places they know
- Becoming confused about people, place, and time
- Asking the same questions
- Failing to care for themselves.
If your loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, make an appointment with their doctor right away.
Caring for a loved one with dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be frustrating and exhausting. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of interacting with someone with dementia.
- Approach from the front
- Speak slowly and clearly waiting and allowing for responses
- Validate the way the person feels, hears, sees, and believes
- Give options and opportunities
- Remind yourself your behavior matters
- Be patient, kind, thoughtful
- Use cueing or demonstrating to help when your loved one struggles
- Try reality orientation
- Talk down to your loved one or try to finish their sentences
- Assume ANYTHING
- Limit choice due to perception
- Be mean, rude, abrupt, or dismissive
Listening is the most important part of dementia communication. Listen for your loved one’s emotions and feelings then focus on those feelings, not what they are saying.
When caring for your loved on with dementia, there will be times when you need help. Know that there are many resources out there to guide you through this journey. A great place to start is the Alzheimer’s Association — www.alz.org.
If you feel that you and your loved one would benefit from a break, there are many memory care communities in the Edmonds area that can provide short-term stays for respite.
Experience State-of-the-Art Memory Care at Mukilteo Memory Care
Mukilteo Memory Care specializes in caring for seniors with dementia. At Mukilteo Memory Care, you will find a compassionate care team, superb amenities, and a range of services that help our residents live independently.
At Mukilteo Memory Care, our Life Enrichment and Resident-Centered Care program includes 8 Core Components:
1. Personal care and activities of daily living
2. Social interaction
3. Emotional support
4. Physical activity
5. Mental stimulation
6. Life-enrichment activities
7. Artistic expression
8. Good nutrition
The purpose of these proven Core Component strategies is to support and comfort our residents and enrich their daily lives.
We are also proud to offer unique “Life Stations” on each floor. These stations create areas for Residents to enjoy surroundings, and tasks that have been part of their normal routine and lifestyle. Our “Life Stations” simulate daily activities and include:
Travel—Browse our travel area and “plan your next trip” or provoke fond memories of a special trip once taken.
Sports—Cheer on the team! We have a special spot to get your favorite team’s statistics and watch those big memorable games.
Front Porch—Rocking on the porch, sipping lemonade, reminiscing of the children playing and the neighborhood activities.
Gardening—For those with a green thumb, you can get those hands dirty and watch your plants come to life.
Kitchen—Homemakers have dinner to cook, and we can help! “Prepare” your family’s next meal.
Laundry—So much to do and so little time! The family needs clothes and it’s time to “wash”.
Workshop—Things need a fixin’! Keep those hands busy and get to work.
Want to see our state-of-art community in-person? Schedule a tour today. Call (425) 405-7371 or visit www.mukilteomemorycare.com.
— Sponsored by Mukilteo Memory Care