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

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Is It Parkinson’s, or Dementia with Lewy Bodies?

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The Benefits of Professional Dementia Care at Home

Although an astounding number of older adults are dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, an even greater number of family members are struggling with caring for them. Surprisingly, nearly 75% of family caregivers are managing their senior loved ones’ dementia care needs by themselves, with only 26% reaching out for professional care support.  Read more

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Two Alzheimer’s Treatments that Reduce the Most Severe Symptoms

The most up-to-date Alzheimer’s statistics are worrying. The disease has become the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast and prostate cancer together. And while deaths from several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular illnesses, are declining, those from Alzheimer’s have jumped more than 100%. The toll the disease takes on family caregivers is similarly staggering, with more than 16 million Americans supplying over 18 billion hours of caregiving for a member of the family with Alzheimer’s.  Read more

Home Health Care in Sun City AZ: Dining Out With Dementia

Dining Out With Dementia – Four Ways to Make Sure the Evening Out is a Success

When a parent has dementia, dining out poses a challenge.

It’s not always avoidable, however. Your mom really wants to attend her granddaughter’s wedding dinner. Her best friend is having a birthday gathering at a local restaurant. You’re not sure it’s a good idea.

 

It could be a baby shower, graduation dinner, or family reunion. If she is eager to attend, forcing your mom to stay home may upset her. Here are four ways to make sure the evening is a success.

 

Talk to the Host in Advance

Make sure the host knows your mom has dementia. Going to a crowded restaurant can be stressful when you have dementia. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for your mom to have a good time. If the host knows in advance, it’s easier to make arrangements that will ease your mom’s stress during the event.

 

Carefully Pick Seating and Leave Room for an Escape

See if it can be arranged that your mom has a corner table away from noisier attendees. Noise can make for a very stressful evening out. A corner table nearer a door may work best.

By being near a door, if your mom needs to leave for a few minutes, her escape route is right there. In inclement weather, she may need a quiet indoor space to go to. Talk to the restaurant’s event planner to see if there is a sitting area that will work for her. If the weather’s good, she can head outside to regroup. A bench outside that’s away from crowds will work.

 

Do a Trial Run

Take your mom to the restaurant beforehand. Take her at a quieter time of day when she’s at her best. Enjoy a meal, if possible, or simply have the host give a tour. Take a video if it’s allowed and replay it often. The more familiar the setting is, the easier the event will be for your mom.

 

Be Prepared to Leave Early

Your mom may start out strong and become agitated after an hour or two. Arrive as close to the time the meal will be served as possible. Once the meal’s over, your mom is free to leave. Make sure she knows that she can leave when she wants to once you’ve had your dinner.

If you cannot leave, have an elder care provider available to bring your mom back home and spend time with her. Caregivers can drive your mom to and from events and businesses. They are companions who can take your mom for a ride or play games with her at home. She gains a friend while you can stay out and enjoy the evening.

Discuss your family’s needs with an elder care agency. They can walk you through the range of services and pricing information. Call now to get started.

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

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

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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