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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Alzheimer’s Care Tips During COVID-19

Providing Alzheimer’s care for a loved one is hard under the best of scenarios; add in a global pandemic, one that calls for social distancing, masks, and intensive sanitation of both ourselves and the environment, and the challenge may seem insurmountable. Read more

Elder Care in Scottsdale AZ: Signs of Alzheimer's

Is Your Parent’s Difficulty with Problem Solving Normal or a Sign of Alzheimer’s?

Everyone has trouble solving problems or getting organized at times in their life.

When, however, may these signs of difficulty indicate that there could be something more serious happening? Alzheimer’s disease is an issue that most family caregivers put a considerable amount of thought into throughout their care experience with their senior parent, and it is important to be able to recognize early warning signs of the progression. While memory loss is the first thing that most people think about when they consider the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, the reality is that there are many other signs that could indicate that your senior is at the beginning of their progression with the disease.

 

One early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty solving problems or making plans.

While it is perfectly normal to occasionally experience confusion when making complex plans or when managing a challenging task, such as balancing a checkbook, if your parent is having frequent or marked difficulty with planning or problem solving, it may be time to discuss it with their doctor.

 

Some problem solving or planning difficulties that may be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease include:

-A marked difficulty with concentration and seeming distracted when they should be focusing on a specific task

-Difficulty following a set of tasks, particularly something familiar such as a recipe that they have made several times before

-Inability to keep up with their regular household bills

-Receiving cut-off notices for their utilities

-Getting overdraft notices for their bank account

-Inability to make simple organizational choices such as how to put items away in a drawer or linen closet

 

Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them during the course of your care journey.

Having a senior home care services provider in the home with your aging parent can ensure that they have ongoing access to the care, support, and assistance that they need to manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations in the ways that are right for them while also respecting the care that you give them on a regular basis. This means that your parent can stay healthy, safe, comfortable, and happy while also pursuing a lifestyle that is an active, engaged, and independent as possible throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this will give you confidence and peace of mind that your senior will get everything that they need both when you are with them and when you are not.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Scottsdale, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Endeavor Home Care today. Call  (480) 535-6800.

Source:

https://www.alz.org

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Rethinking Alzheimer’s Disease—How Opposite Thinking May Lead to a Cure

Neurology QuestionsThose of us who follow the latest research in Alzheimer’s disease are all too familiar with the troublesome amyloid plaques thought to be linked to Alzheimer’s. But is it possible that the buildup is, in fact, helpful? Read more

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Not Sure How to Act When Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease? These Tips Can Help.

Spending time with grandmaIt may sometimes be a bit intimidating to know what to mention and how to behave when spending some time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent elements of the disease, oftentimes family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid going to see the person anymore. Understanding more information on the disease and things to anticipate, and planning ahead about how to best manage challenging behaviors can help.

The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease fall into one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will probably fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.

To help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as you can, Endeavor Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care professionals in Arizona recommend the following approach:

Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.

Use very simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.

Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.

Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.

Listen to a number of the person’s favorite tunes together, and maybe even ask him or her to dance!

Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other physical exercise, can make the visit more fun for both of you.

Remain calm during your visit, even when the senior gets agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.

Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, understanding the senior may repeat questions and statements.

Reduce distractions in order to give the person your full attention.

Above all, bear in mind who the individual was pre-dementia, and remind the person what she or he did which has inspired you or helped you become the person that you are today.

For additional tips on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact the Arizona dementia care team at Endeavor Home Care. Our skilled dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a number of tactics to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and are able to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time. Call us at (480) 535-6800 or contact us online for more details.

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Dividing Caregiver Costs Without Causing Family Uproar

Mature women talkingDo you recall how challenging it could be when you were young to learn the lesson of sharing with your brothers and sisters? While the incredible importance of taking into consideration other people’s feelings, and also being fair, was impressed upon us early on, it may still be a challenging goal to minimize sibling squabbles regarding complicated decisions we struggle with in adulthood – such as how to fairly divide caregiver costs and requirements for our aging parents. Read more

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Anosognosia – Is Mom Denying She Has Dementia?

Senior man sitting on sofa“How can you say I have Alzheimer’s disease? There is nothing wrong with me!”

If you’ve ever heard a senior loved one with dementia frustratingly express this or perhaps a very similar sentiment, you might have believed the person was just in denial and not willing to accept a difficult diagnosis. The simple truth is, however, that oftentimes people who have dementia and other conditions are experiencing anosognosia – an unawareness of their impairment. Read more

Mature radiologist talking to senior patient

When Less Is Best: Seniors Can Receive Too Much Health Care

Mature radiologist talking to senior patientWe desire the right health care for our loved ones, but is it possible that on occasion, less is best? Based upon a recent report published in Plos One by Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a full 21% of medical care we receive is unneeded – meaning that millions of individuals subjected to various treatment plans, screenings and scans are getting little if any benefit. And these kinds of unwarranted health services come at a cost: up to $210 billion each year, as reported by the National Academy of Medicine. Read more

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Use Your Holiday Visit to Check on Senior Safety

Smiling Mature nurse embracing  senior woman and holding a Christmas gift while sitting on the sofa.Living across the country from family makes it hard to see our aging loved ones as frequently as we’d like, but during the holidays, families make it a priority to spend quality time with each other – making it the perfect opportunity to ascertain senior safety for your loved one. There are quite a few red flags that are unnoticed in weekly telephone conversations, emails, or even through Skype, but which often become very clear when the family gets together during the holiday season. Read more