Knowing the early signs of dementia can get help sooner, what inspired me to write this guide is my elderly mother. She is showing cognitive difficulties that concern me, since I wanted this information for myself why not share it with you as well?
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We are going to explore dementia signs and more, so if this interests you please feel free to read my entire guide to learn as much as you possibly can. Educating ourselves will benefit our elderly loved ones, now let us get started learning in my next paragraph.
Dementia Early Signs
The first thing that I learned is dementia is not a disease, how many of you knew that before reading this? Symptoms are what we will be watching out for, and depending on the part of the brain damaged determines what we will find.
- Memory difficulties are the most common symptom in the majority of people, so this is what we want to watch out for in our seniors and our elderly.
- Struggling to concentrate is our next sign to watch out for, one thing many people struggle with is budgeting their bank account balance.
- The most common daily tasks are becoming a big challenge, we might not realize this as much when our loved one still is living on their own.
- Conversing with them might make them anxious, and they often take more time to find the right terms for what they wish to say.
- Lose track easily of the time and day, someone like my mom depends on her smartphone to know which day it is.
- Being stubborn is another common trait they might be showing you, also they could be experiencing changes in their mood.
- Need help working with stubborn seniors read this guide
The symptoms will begin extremely mild, you might even overlook them at first. As time goes by they are going to gradually increase, and that is usually when the family will notice there are some problems going on with them.
Dementia Later Stage Symptoms
Since my grandmother passed away with many of the later symptoms, I do fear my mother just might do the same. It is important to get them help before they get to this advanced stage.
- Difficulty recognizing some family members is extremely common, yet scary.
- Often will ask the same questions over and over again, sadly my grandmother even lost her ability to speak to us.
- Mobility can become a problem for some people, they just seem to forget how to walk.
- My grandmother became violent to the point my parents could no longer care for her, and she would wander out in the middle of the night having no idea where she was going or how to get back home again.
- Depression is another common problem, also chronic anxiety as well.
- Grandma become extremely aggressive with my parents, she also had the idea they were actually stealing from her.
- Bladder and bowel control or lack of control is possible, grandma used to overuse laxatives when constipated which ended up in a real mess.
- What caused her to be with God was her inability to eat, she lost her appetite arguing she just ate. Sadly, she had to live her remaining days in a nursing home.
- Many people will need to be in a lockdown facility for their own safety, this is not just scary for them, but also for family members to experience.
- Find Dementia Support Services by Clicking Here
The following information is a combination of my own experience and the website NHS, now that we know both the early and the later stages let us move on to learn more.
Dementia Caregiving Guide
Being a caregiver is not an easy task to take on, now that my mother is elderly, I am becoming a caregiver myself. When my parents were caring for my grandmother, I really didn’t know what they were really experiencing. Now that I am in that role, this is something brand new and scary for me.
- Developing a regular routine makes caring for them much less stressful for them and for yourself.
- Often once you get them into a routine they are not as easily overwhelmed, it got to the point my grandmother could not even dress without my mother’s help.
- Purchasing one of those large desk calendars to write important appointments really has made life easier for my own mom.
- Adding fun things to do with them that they enjoy regularly works wonders, you will want to add these activities into their routine.
- For my own mom, I take her shopping for houseplants every Saturday. Since she still can care for them this really improves her mood, you really want to make it a point to spend quality time with them during their early symptoms while you can.
- Since I live in the same apartment building now that I moved my mother there, I control her medications to be sure she is taking them every day.
- Medication planners are a good addition to help you both keep track, they are inexpensive and more valuable than you might ever imagine
- Assist them only when you absolutely must, they still need to be independent as long as they possibly can.
- Shoes without laces are what I have bought for my mom, and this has really helped her when we are going out.
- Go shopping for tops without buttons has decreased her frustration in getting dressed.
- A shower chair is something that mom really loves, she is able to spend as long in the shower to ease the aches and pains from her arthritis.
- Explain in simple terms so the person understands what goals you are working towards, they often become overwhelmed quite easily which scares them.
- Schedule their meals on a regular schedule to be sure they are getting enough nutrients, I use one of those portion containers that are color coded for the proper amount of the food groups for each meal.
Next, we are going to focus on how to communicate with our loved ones. This really will make both of your lives much easier, we want both the caregiver and the dementia patient to stay calm with less stress.
Communicating with your loved one could be frustrating for both of you, we are going to find out how to make this easier for both of you from the Alzheimers.Gov website. The reason this is so important is that the person with dementia becomes overwhelmed very easily, and in turn, this will possibly increase their anxiety at the same time.
- Talk to them with a calm voice
- Ask them if they understand before doing the task you are working towards
- Being understanding and patient is something you must work on for yourself, I know at times both of these for myself can be very difficult to control.
- Encourage them to be in as much control as they possibly can, you don’t want to give them the impression you are treating them like a child.
- Make it a point to provide them with some time to do things on their own.
- Time-out calming activities throughout the day are an important part of their routine.
- Providing them with photographs of their family members is recommended, you can even keep reminding them who is in the photographs from time to time.
- Avoid asking the person if they remember this or that, instead kindly reminding them will be a better strategy.
Now that we have a better understanding of how to communicate with them, we are going to consider what activities that might be possibilities to add to their routine. Spending quality family time is an important part of being a caregiver, so let us get some inspirational ideas for activities.
Dementia Activities Guide
Spending quality time in the early stages is very important therapy, many of us might not understand how much this can benefit the person. Sometimes we just get so wrapped up in our own lives, we forget about how they might feel. My grandmother felt super lonely despite my parents living right next door, eventually, depression set in and she started isolating herself.
- If they are physically still able to walk take them to their favorite park, you might want to watch them extra closely my grandmother used to sneak and try to dig up the flowers in the parks.
- Helping them maintain a garden is extremely good therapy for people with dementia, you can even purchase small garden kits at very inexpensive prices.
- Setting up a bird feeder is a great idea for many people, even if they live in an apartment you can get window bird feeders without spending much money.
- Maybe your loved one always wanted to go to the beach, so why not plan a trip while they can still enjoy it?
- Plan a family picnic for the entire family, this will allow them to be around their family which can help them remember more of them.
- Listening to their favorite music regularly can ease their anxiety, I prefer providing my mother with calming music rather than stimulating music myself.
- Simple watching television with them can make their day special
- Add some easy-to-play games to the routine and invite some of the family
- Large print word search puzzles are often favorites of older folks, and this is another easy activity for them to work on alone.
- Help them bake their favorite cookies if they are into this activity, many senior ladies love to bake and give their prizes to family members
- Getting them into the holiday mood with music is never a bad idea, many times they will remember some of the older classics of their childhood
Some of these activities were found in the Alzheimers Association Organization blog, and others were from what my mother and I do together right now. Every guide that I write you is motivated by my own personal experience, so you can be sure that I really do understand what you are going through.
Dementia Exercise Ideas
Stimulating the brain is the best type of exercise for people struggling with dementia, medical professionals recommend caregivers add these regularly to the person’s routine. That is what we are going to learn about now, if this is interesting and helpful feel free to share it with your family and friends.
- Singing aids the person to improve their memory by singing the lyrics of their favorite songs.
- Any type of puzzle is another popular brain health exercise, as I mentioned earlier word search puzzles are favorites of many older folks.
- Reading books together or even online blogs might be something to consider.
- Allow them to help you do simple everyday things that need to be done, maybe they can assist you with sorting laundry for example.
- Art therapy is very beneficial for dementia patients, and this also is a great choice for a time-out activity
- The past is often more remembered than the present, encourage your loved one to share the things that they remember from the past with you
- Need a Helping Hand
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You just might be in need of some support dealing with caring for someone with dementia, and that is what Gizmo has in store for you next. This website earns extremely very little income, you will be happy to know that is not the reason this exists. Providing you with valuable information and resources is my goal, every purchase is appreciated but not what is important to me.
- 24/7 Helpline 800.272.3900
- Local Resources
- Support Programs
- Education Programs
- Early-Stage Social Engagement Programs
- Online Tools
- Explore Dementia Assistance
Financial stress is not a stranger to families dealing with dementia care costs, medicare does not provide you with enough financial assistance. There is a plan available that does this, and we are going to talk about what it covers in the next paragraph.
Medicare Advantage Plan
Many people are surprised that medicare does not cover all of their medical expenses after retirement, sadly, the government lets us think that is the case. To receive what many of us will need we must take out Medicare Advantage, let us see what we receive with this plan.
- Compensate for physical impairments
- Diminish the impact of injuries or health conditions
- Reduce avoidable emergency room utilization
Examples of potentially available benefits, which can be very instrumental for persons with Alzheimer’s, include:
- Adult daycare
- Home modifications (wheelchair ramps, grab bars)
- Personal emergency response systems
- Respite care
- Personal care assistance
- Homemaker services
- Meal delivery
This is what people will receive with this Medicare plan, you might be surprised once again to know you are going to need more than one financial source for dementia care. That is why I am including this link for financial assistance, you will find a wealth of information here to help you prepare for the medical expenses of dementia.
Many of you might not be aware there are several types of dementia, with knowing this our risk of experiencing this one-day increases dramatically. What I want you to know are the different types, so that is what we will cover below.
- The most common type that you all know is the Alzheimers Disease
- Vascular Dementia is another type that might be brand new to you
- Lewy Body Dementia
- Mixed Dementia Disease
Disorders Linked to Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
Explaining each of these would be an article of its own, instead of wasting time and making this extremely long, you can read more about each of these on the Mayo Clinic Organization website. What you will find is a detailed description of each of these, also the symptoms and the causes for anyone interested in learning more.
This is a part of my newest addition to my website, and this focuses on seniors and caregivers. For your convenience, below are my other topics that might provide solutions to your problems. As this website grows more problem-solving categories will be added, and that is all thanks to people like you.
How is Gizmo doing, even though this website is less than one year old, I am happy with the progress at this time? Let me know what you think about what I am doing, you are encouraged to leave me feedback in my comments section at any time. Many thanks for reading Early Signs of Dementia, together we can learn and grow from the guides I am writing for you.
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