KONKANCATHOLIC

DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND ONCE TOLD? HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU ASK THE SAME THING?

Your risk of developing dementia increases as you get older, and the condition usually occurs in people over the age of 65.The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.



Patients with dementia:
Suffer from memory loss
Find difficult to memorize names
Repeatedly asking /do the same things
Unable to perform familiar tasks

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS?
As we have our grandparents with us how do we treat them?Do we ignore what they say? or just avoid going near them.


Especially when they are in this condition we need to help them every day in their daily chores due to forgetfulness and keep reminding them to do it.
They usually forget where they have kept their spectacles or other things necessary and keep searching where they will spend hours together but sometimes find the misplaced thing, at times they don’t hence this becomes a strenuous task for them.


Often feel confused, anxious and unsure of themselves. Further, they often get reality confused and may recall things that never really occurred. Avoid trying to convince them they are wrong.


Sometimes hold hands, a gentle touch, hug or praise will get the person to respond when all else fails.


FIGHTING THE FORGETFULNESS
Mostly “to do list” should be prepared.
Few daily affairs must be noted on the board.

WHICH IS THE WAY TO GO HOME?
Frequently forget the roads or way towards home,they make enter somebody else’s place we shouldn’t leave them alone.

I DON’T WANT TO TAKE BATH NOW!
As the condition worsens they lack personal hygiene and no interest in doing the routine tasks. We need to tell them and also help them go take a shower.
Use signs (with illustrations) to indicate which door leads to the bathroom.

PHYSICAL HEALTH IS ALSO IMPORTANT
As a family, care must be taken to watch on proper diet.
Avoid giving them heavy meals at once, eating less at regular intervals helps.
Drink lot of water and consume fruits daily.
Exercise daily like walking.

BE CAREFUL WHILE DEALING WITH MONEY MATTERS
Avoid financial affairs with strangers.

AVOID FREQUENT CHANGES AT HOME
Bigger calendars should be displayed
“Cognitive restructuring” it sounds a bit complex but is easy we just need to keep rehearsing daily the date, time and place this will keep them updated.


Family members must keep their memories fresh by showing them photographs so they can identify faces and people.


If required display the names on rooms such as bed room, toilet, kitchen etc.


As a family we too have our daily commitmentswork, upbringing of children education etc. this will be too much to handle at once hence, the role of a caregiver is to provide suitable care to the dementia patient. They have to make required adjustments in their lives, understand the work, the skills that will be needed, and the amount of time and energy it will need.


Be prepared for social isolation and embarrassments. A person with dementia, fail to recall the task performed a while back. For example, they may forget that they have eaten their breakfast. Patients also get suspicious because they forget where they have placed things. They may therefore tell others that you are starving them or torturing them. They may even accuse you of stealing their money or property.


As a caregiver be patient and ready to accept what happens as the patient is not doing it on purpose.Everyone would like to be cared for when needed.A caregiver performs a necessary role, and hence take the step to become one and appreciate yourself even if others do not.


Do visit mental health professionals, who also help and provide tips for coping and to stable the life of the person.

TIPS TO HELP A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA:
• Set a positive mood for interaction.
• Get the person’s attention
• State your message clearly.
• Ask simple, answerable questions.
• Break down activities into a series of steps.
• Respond with affection and reassurance.
• Remember the good old days.
• Maintain your sense of humor.

-Rasha D'Souza

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