Avoid These Pitfalls When Caring for Someone with Dementia

As a caregiver, it can be hard to cope with the changes in behavior in someone affected by dementia.

Whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, communication is one of the first areas to be affected by the disease. In the earlier stages, the person with dementia might even be aware of little slips, like forgetting birthdays or difficulty with decision making.

As the disease progresses, sufferers can even forget things that seem unforgettable, like family members and directions home.

Aggressive Behavior

The most important thing to remember when dealing with someone with dementia is to stay calm. The person with dementia isn’t lashing out on purpose. As the disease progresses, a person with dementia will grow increasingly confused and disoriented, potentially leading to frequent mood swings. It can be hard to predict what will trigger such outbursts, but it’s often due to physical discomfort or another form of stress.

The best way to deal with aggressive behavior is to address whatever is causing the issue rather than engaging in an argument. Some caregivers rely on validation therapy, also called therapeutic fibs, to cope. By going along with the “reality” that the dementia patient is experiencing, you allow them to express their feelings and avoid blow-ups.

Cognitive Decline

Dementia is defined as a disorder that affects mental processes leading to impaired reasoning. It’s common for people living with dementia to become confused and demand to “go home” if they’re in a care facility or visiting somewhere unfamiliar. Even some medications designed to treat dementia can lead to an increase in disorientation and agitation. Again, avoid arguing with someone who has dementia and is upset; it’s not worth it.

Instead, try to calm them with simple explanations. You can also use photos and other items to help the person remember relationships and places.

If your loved one seems to be mentally trapped in a specific period, travel back in time with them. Engage them with conversation and questions as if you were back there with them.

Trouble with Decision Making

As dementia progresses, it becomes harder and harder for patients to make sound decisions. Frequently, children notice this when their parents suddenly can’t manage finances, or lash out unexpectedly. Avoid confronting someone with dementia about their inability to manage their affairs. It will only serve to increase stress and might lead to the patient to refuse help.

Above all else, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Join ALZConnected, the Alzheimer’s Association’s online support community, and share what response strategies have worked for you and get more ideas from other caregivers.

How California is Addressing Alzheimer’s

As a country, we face significant challenges from Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, the neuro-degenerative disease affects between 4 million and 7 million people in the United States, and doctors expect to diagnose more than 14 million people by 2050.

In California, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death. The effect on people’s lives is enormous, and it comes with a hefty financial bill as well: It’s estimated $100 billion is being spent annually to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

Fortunately, California has a four-part plan in place to address the growing Alzheimer’s crisis. It includes:

Eliminating stigma

The first step in California’s plan is to spread awareness and acceptance of Alzheimer’s disease. This involves public education and developing public information and educational materials.

Ensuring Access to High-Quality, Coordinated Care

California wants to make sure Alzheimer’s who want and can stay in their homes can do so. With coordinated care plans, more patients will have this options.

Establishing a Comprehensive Approach to Support Family Caregivers

The state’s initiative will focus on unpaid family caregivers. California is working to develop more professional guidance, training, and resources.

Developing an Alzheimer’s-proficient Workforce

Truly addressing the Alzheimer’s crisis requires training medical staff in basic dementia sensitivity. California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers will lead the way in training healthcare workers.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s doesn’t always mean moving into a nursing home. With technology like EasyCall, seniors can keep their independence and stay in their homes. EasyCall ensures help is never further than the push of a button.

Four Signs You’re Ready for a Medical Alert System

Are you considering a medical alert system like EasyCall for a loved one? If you have an older family member or loved one who’s still active and independent but might need help in case of an emergency, then EasyCall might be right for you. Here are four signs you’re ready for EasyCall.

You’re Worried About Their Safety

If you find yourself worrying about the safety of your loved ones, you can get peace of mind with a medical alert system, like EasyCall. With our fall detection technology, help is automatically summoned when an accident occurs.

They’ve Recently Had a Medical Issue

Many doctors will recommend their patients get a medical alert system after a medical procedure. From surgery to routine procedures, it can take a long time to recover to full health. In the meantime, EasyCall is there as your 24/7 helper.

They’re on Medication

Dizziness is a common side effect of several medications. Dizziness can lead to falls, and falls are a leading cause of mortality among seniors. If your loved one is taking a medication that causes dizziness, nausea or impairs their motor skills, having EasyCall by their side can give you and them peace of mind.

You’re Too Far to Help

These days, many of us live far away from our elderly family members. If you can’t be there to help, Easycall can. EasyCall lets you create a customized response plan. If you’d rather a nearby friend or neighbor get the first call in the case of an emergency we can do that. We can also immediately dispatch police, fire, or an ambulance. It’s up to you.

Getting help fast is critical in an emergency. With EasyCall, you can be sure help is always there at the push of a button.