The way a person reacts to dementia, and the ways they adapt and cope with the condition, will be influenced by a range of factors. These include their personality, their previous experiences, their understanding of dementia, the social and emotional support they receive, and their environment. People will react differently and may adopt different strategies at different times.
Some people may not acknowledge that they have dementia or deny that they are experiencing difficulties. Others may be aware that things are becoming harder but feel that it is a normal part of aging rather than part of dementia. It is important to understand that these responses may be a person's way of making time and space to accept a diagnosis of dementia. It is important for carers and others to understand that people who lack this awareness will not realise their abilities or behaviour has changed.
A person's sense of identity - who they think of themselves as - is shaped by many things, including their relationships, roles in the family and community, hobbies and occupation. For example, a person may identify themselves as a keen gardener. Changes in people's abilities caused by dementia, however, may lead to changes in their sense of identity. It is important that the people around the person with dementia are aware of this as they are able to influence how the person sees themselves. They should try to treat the person with dementia as an individual, and value them as such, rather than defining them by the condition or focusing on negative aspects such as lost abilities.
They may start to behave in ways that are challenging and distressing, both for themselves and those around them. For example, a person with dementia may:. Rather than just being a symptom of the dementia, these out-of-character behaviours can occur because the person has a need that isn't being met or they can't communicate. The behaviour will have meaning to the person. They might be in pain, be thirsty or hungry; maybe they misunderstood something or someone and feel threatened; or perhaps they are frustrated or under-stimulated. It is important to look at why the person is behaving this way and try to identify which needs are not being met.
This will mean trying to see things from their perspective as much as possible. Meeting a person's needs appropriately can make these behaviours easier to cope with, or prevent them from happening in the first place. Read more about the changes in behaviour a person with dementia may experience, including the possible causes and how best to help the person through it. Our relationships with the people around us form a central part of our identity.
Relationships often change when someone has dementia. People with dementia can easily become isolated or avoided by those around them. They may lose contact with friends and family, who may fear not knowing how to react to them. Carers can help by supporting existing relationships and encouraging continued participation in social groups, community activities, religious activities and hobbies.
The GP surgery, local library or council office will also have information about other social groups. Carers and others can also help in creating a dementia-friendly community. This is a community in which local people have an understanding of dementia. It is geared towards empowering people with dementia to feel confident, knowing that they can contribute to their community and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. Carers can do this by involving people with dementia in their own social groups, informing others eg shopkeepers, local business and neighbours about the nature of dementia, and challenging mistaken ideas or fear of dementia if, or when, it occurs.
Dementia may also change the relationships between the person and those closest to them, who may find they have taken on the identity of a 'carer'. A carer may find they have an increasing number of roles in the relationship. While taking on more responsibility may be necessary, it is important that the person with dementia continues to feel involved with, and able to contribute to, the relationship. However, many positive elements from the relationship eg mutual affection will remain.go here
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Carers and those around the person with dementia may find it helpful to focus on these positive aspects. Resisting care and digging in their heels are two hallmarks of dementia, and they are among the most common reasons that adult children look for help as caregivers. If you are unsure of how to deal with your stubborn elderly parents with dementia, you are not alone.
We understand the challenges you face in getting your parents to the doctor, gaining their cooperation, convincing them to bathe and brush their teeth, and communicating with them. We also have categorized the tips and listed them alphabetically within each category to make it easier for you to find the tips you need most; thus, our tips for dealing with stubborn elderly parents with dementia are not ranked or rated in any way.
Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors
While this allows you to express your feelings, aggressive communication generally makes others more defensive and less cooperative. Assertive communication allows both parties to engage in a dignified discussion about the issue at hand. Can you help me with this? Other times, patients may be more prone to these behaviors simply because they are not feeling well or even because of an unfamiliar activity.
For many, these behaviors are the only way they remember how to communicate. Take some deep breaths before you start and stay calm throughout the process. If the person has dementia and is afraid of bathing, then you must be gentle. Begin with a small request, like asking if you can simply wipe off their face. As they get used to this, you can gradually add cleaning other parts of the body.
Be sure to chat with them during the process and let them know what you are doing as you go.
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Too much nagging is counter-productive, and at the end of the day, you may have to lower your standards and adapt your definition of cleanliness. What was her routine? Try to make the bath area appear familiar, inviting, and non-threatening to her.
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A shallow amount of water and a safe sturdy bath seat work for some. Not jelly, which is smooth, but sweet, lumpy jam. This is, in my opinion, sheer brilliance.
Most people who like sweets will not bulk at a spoonful of their favorite jam. If the pill is one that can be crushed, make it as fine as possible and then add it to a spoon of jam. The presence of an outsider may suggest to them that their family can't or doesn't want to take care of their needs.
This combination of concerns can create the perfect storm, especially if they are prone to lashing out when angry. Of course, the family members who arrange these services get an earful, but the professional caregiver becomes the primary target for sending the message that outside help is neither wanted nor needed.
For example, people with Alzheimer's may resist taking a bath because being naked and enclosed in a shower frightens them. They may feel humiliated by their loss of ability and react to this emotion when asked to do something they don't understand.
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In the earliest stages, they may become angry at any suggestion that they are no longer fully competent, because the reality of what's happening to them is too terrifying to acknowledge. In one actual situation, a patient complained bitterly that his foot hurt.
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In the emergency department, an assessment revealed a severe bladder infection. Following treatment, the patient said his foot no longer hurt. He had provided the biggest clue—that he had pain—and it was up to caregivers and health care professionals to find the source.
Change is the enemy of people with dementia. And she was paranoid and believing that every squirrel that traipsed across her roof was a burglar. A call to was a weekly thing. Hopefully, you can get them to agree to a partnership. Stop being a people pleaser. Reach deep inside you and find the resolve to make the tough decisions when you need to. If experience has taught the caregiver that this will lead to an argument and to Grandfather becoming agitated and upset, it may be best to let Grandfather continue to hold onto this belief.
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