Responding to Dementia Confusion: Should I Play Along?

Dementia confusion, a typical occurrence in Alzheimer’s, can lead to recent memories being forgotten about or distorted, while memories from the more distant past usually stay unaffected. This can cause past events to make more sense to a senior with dementia than the present. A person’s alternate reality can be the senior’s way of making sense of the present through past experience.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease often have problems expressing themselves, and at times their alternate reality has more to do with a physical requirement or a distinct feeling they want to express rather than the actual words they are saying.

For example:

  • “I need to deliver all these casseroles to the neighbors before the end of the day.” Though these casseroles do not exist, the words could actually represent a need for meaning in everyday life or wanting to be involved in an activity. A suitable response to find out more could be, “Why did you make casseroles for our neighbors?”
  • “When will my wife be coming home?” This question may be more about a need for affection or acceptance or a home-cooked meal than it could be about wishing to see his wife, who passed away many years ago. An appropriate reaction to uncover more might be, “Why would you like to see her?”

Keeping a diary of these kinds of events can help you notice a pattern in the older person’s dementia confusion. The more you listen in and pay close attention, the easier it will become to understand the thinking behind the alternate reality and the ideal way to react.

Is It Alright to Play Along?

As long as the scenario isn’t going to be unsafe or improper, it is perfectly fine to play along with the senior’s alternate reality. Doing so won’t make the dementia worse. Keep in mind, the senior’s reality is true to him/her and playing along can make your loved one feel more comfortable.

If the situation is inappropriate or may possibly cause harm to the older adult, try to respond to the perceived need while redirecting him/her to something safer or more appropriate.

Bear in mind these 3 actions:

  1. Reassure the older adult.
  2. React to his/her need.
  3. Redirect if required.

Also, call on the caregiving team at Endeavor In-Home Care, providing senior home care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas, including specialized dementia care. Our caregivers are on hand to provide compassionate, professional respite care services for family care providers who could use some time to rest and recharge. Contact us any time to learn more at 480-498-2324.

Anosognosia – Why Is My Parent Denying a Dementia Diagnosis?

Dementia can have many side effects,including anosognosia.

“How on earth could you think that I have dementia? There is not a single thing wrong with me!”

If a senior loved one with a dementia diagnosis communicates feelings like this, you may think to yourself that the senior is essentially in denial and reluctant to admit to such a concerning diagnosis. Yet there could be a different reason: anosognosia, or someone’s actual unawareness that he or she is affected by dementia. Read more

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Living with a COPD Diagnosis in a COVID-19 World

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Living with a COPD diagnosis during the pandemic requires extra vigilance to stay safe.

Those with a COPD diagnosis have needed to stay especially vigilant since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as they are at both a greater risk for contracting the virus as well as developing more severe complications as a result. A current study published by the European Respiratory Journal reported that COPD patients were more prone to be admitted into the ICU, require ventilator care, and succumb to the virus than those without the disease. Read more

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Breathe Easier with These COPD Tips

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Seniors with COPD can find relief with these tips.

Family members providing COPD care for an older loved one know that outdoor air pollution can make symptoms worse. But, did you know that compromised air quality in the house may also magnify COPD symptoms? Cleaning the air inside the senior’s home can help older adults with COPD – and everybody else in the home – breathe easier. Read more

Activities for Older Adults with Purpose and Meaning

Try these unique activities for older adults that build self-esteem.

Search online for the words “activities for seniors” and you’ll probably find an assortment of games, crafts, memory-stimulating puzzles, and of course, the requisite bingo. What you will not find, unless you search much longer, are the purposeful, philanthropic activities that bring purpose to our lives. And yet, if you ask older adults what they would most like to do, the majority of them will not mention art projects, games, or bingo. What they want most of all is to feel useful. Read more

The Art of Balancing Providing Help with Maintaining Senior Independence

Help preserve a senior’s sense of purpose by allowing him or her some independence

“Here, I can help you with that.”

“Be careful!”

“You can just sit here and rest; I’ll handle that.”

How often have we said things along the lines of these to seniors, with the best intentions of course? We want to do everything we can when caring for older adults to ensure they are safe and to take care of them in the same way they took care of us when we were younger. Yet, there’s a concealed threat in trying to do too much for seniors and depriving them of the opportunity to do as much as possible for themselves – the danger of harming senior independence and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Read more

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Tips to Brighten Everyone’s Day When Caring for Elderly Parents

Let our Phoenix area home care team help improve quality of life for a senior loved one in your life.

Millions of Americans have found themselves in the role of providing senior care for an older loved one, and although serving as a family caregiver is incredibly rewarding in many ways, the day-to-day duties involved with senior care can come to be monotonous for both the caregiver and the older adult. The Phoenix home care experts at Endeavor In-Home Care want to assist you in putting the fun back in your loved one’s day-to-day routine. All it takes is a bit of ingenuity! Try some of these suggestions to help brighten your loved one’s day and make caring for elderly parents more enjoyable: Read more

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How Personalized Activities for Seniors Increase Quality of Life

Call on Endeavor for personalized care & customized activities for a senior loved one in your life.

Is a senior loved one participating in activities on a regular basis, or is she stuck in a rut that commonly is comprised of watching television, eating, and sleeping? Particularly during this time of quarantining and isolation, it can be challenging to maintain an active and involved way of living – but it’s vitally important for the health and quality of life of older adults. Read more

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Long Distance Caregiver Tips: How to Help Older Parents Remain Safe and Independent

Living at a distance from older loved ones can make the need for home care easier to miss. As a matter of fact, many adult children of aging parents never even realize that Mom and Dad need help until they return home for a visit or spend extended time together over the holiday season. If you’re a long distance caregiver for a senior loved one, it becomes that much more essential to have a plan in place for emergency situations and care. Read more

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Steps to Avoid Sandwich Generation Caregiver Burnout

Do you have aging parents in need of help to ensure safety at home? Are you also trying to manage caring for children and family at home? If so, you are part of the sandwich generation – a generation of people, mostly in their 30s or 40s, who have become responsible for bringing up their own children while simultaneously providing care for their senior parents. The to-do lists of this sandwich generation are loaded and caregiver burnout can quickly become reality. Numerous family caregivers not only work full-time, but they’re also taking their children to and from school, after-school activities and managing household tasks on top of their caregiving obligations. There are solutions to help caregivers though, and the first step is learning how to make the situation more manageable. Read more