Dementia is a disease that affects the brain and its functions. Many times, the person living with dementia will have an understanding that their mind is not “working the way it should.” They feel helpless, frustrated, and angry with their limitations. There is often a lack of awareness of their own physical and mental capabilities. These complex emotions can lead to agitation, anger, and frustration with their caregiver. These feelings can then spill over to verbal and physical aggression if not identified and appropriately managed early on.
‘Tis the season… for cold and flu. There are several ways germs spread, but the most common is from contaminated hands. This is why handwashing is so important, especially during cold and flu season. However, there are some simple things we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Washing hands often will lessen the chances you will get and spread germs. Get the whole family involved and help everyone stay happy and healthy.
As fall and winter roll around, it can become a challenge to find the motivation and methods to stay active. The days are shorter, colder, and rain or snow may prevent you from going outdoors. It takes some creativity to get the exercise necessary to remain healthy.
Maintaining physical activity is important for everyone, but is especially vital for older adults. The need to maintain physical fitness increases as we age. Daily exercise not only keeps you healthy, but it also helps you lead a happier life throughout your retirement years.
For family and caregivers of a memory-impaired individual, one of the most frustrating things to experience is your loved one’s repetitive questions. While not all who are living with dementia exhibit this symptom, when it is present it can be quite frustrating for those in their company. However, with a little understanding, patience, and a bit of creativity, there is much that can be done to help support your loved one and guide them towards better communication.
Nutrition, while important for every stage of life, can pose certain hurdles as we age. Physical changes in the body and possible health issues make obtaining the recommended daily nutrients a bit more complicated. Add to this a diagnosis of dementia and you may be required to come up with some creative approaches during mealtimes.
Every stage of dementia presents its own set of challenges. Familiarizing yourself with what is common during each stage and getting to know your loved one’s personal preferences can go a long way in supporting their health in the best way possible.
I was on my way to work when the driver overheard my phone conversation. After hearing I was a nurse who works with the geriatric population and specifically clients with dementia, he opened up about his particular situation as the sole caregiver for his mother who has dementia. I could hear frustration, fear, and weariness in his voice. He felt guilty about leaving her home alone and worried that she still insisted on driving even though he didn’t think it was safe. He also had several questions about the medications she was taking. He just needed someone to listen.