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25Jun

Individuals with dementia require more specialized care as their condition progresses. The disease affects various cognitive abilities of the brain.  The usual cause of dementia is ageing. However, medical conditions and injuries can also lead to progressive or static loss of cognitive functions in younger individuals. Each individual diagnosed with this condition has a different set and progression of symptoms. A person living with dementia may eventually require full-time care at home or in a specialist residential environment.

Creating a Care Plan

Carers with health care training must develop a unique plan for each patient with dementia. Most individuals diagnosed with loss of cognitive abilities due to ageing are over the age of 65.  As the world’s population is ageing, more individuals will be diagnosed with a dementia related condition. In addition to dementia, an older person may have physical health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and others. While caring for an individual with dementia, the additional conditions also require specialized medications and treatments.

Woman with her walking stick in the park

Difficulties Caused by Dementia

An individual living with dementia can have difficulties with solving problems, loss of language, attention span or memory. The condition progresses differently with each patient requiring careful monitoring of symptoms. Any care decisions must be discussed with the loved one first to maintain their dignity. While making lifestyle changes an individual should be seeking medical attention. New medications and treatments are useful for various types of dementia and can delay loss of mental functioning. Many people who live with dementia also develop anxiety or depression that requires treatment.

Help From Family

In the early stages of dementia, an older person is often able to continue normal activities with assistance from carers. Family members often share in the task of caring for an individual with this condition while they remain in the home. Setting up a schedule with phone calls and home visits by family members is helpful in making sure the loved one is safe. In addition, many religious institutions provide volunteers who are eager to help older people in their communities. Various private and government agencies have also developed programs to assist with caring for the ageing population.

Home Care for People Living with Dementia

Remaining in familiar surroundings is essential for individuals with dementia during the early stages of the condition. Stress from moving to new locations can actually cause an increase in loss of mental functions. An older person’s home is safer with a few simple changes to the physical characteristics of the home. Installing safety devices in the bathrooms such as grab bars, electrical outlet covers and slip proof flooring can prevent falling injuries. Increased lighting inside and outside the house also helps an individual to walk safely from location to location.

Home Health Assistance

The individual living with dementia should begin making plans for their future care before losing the mental capacity to make decisions. Hiring a home health worker to visit every day or live in your loved one’s house can be a great plan. A professionally trained carer can assist with tasks such as bathing, household chores and preparing nutritious meals. Alternatively, an individual could spend time each day in a day care facility designed to meet the specialist requirements for individuals living with dementia. As the dementia condition progresses, a loved one may move to an assisted living home full-time.

  

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