Guest Post-Helping a Loved One With Dementia

Helping a Loved One With Dementia

Dementia is a term that covers several different conditions but mainly refers to Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form. Dealing with the daily challenges presented by dementia requires love, patience and spiritual strength. The different stages of Alzheimer's and how to help someone manage them are outlined below.

Stage One
The first stage of dementia is when the symptoms of the disease initially appear. These may include agitation, confusion and mild memory loss. This may cause an individual to get lost in familiar territory, such as on the way to work or to a friend's house. It can also lead to deteriorating performance on the job and frustration at having to be reminded of things over and over. The individual may also struggle to keep bills paid or with managing money in general.

Stage Two
The midstage of the disease is the longest, lasting up to a decade in some people. At this point, everyday activities such as brushing the teeth, taking a bath or getting dressed become a struggle. Memory loss increases, with the individual often forgetting visits from friends or developing an inability to recognize family members. The person will also develop problems with logical thought processes and may find simple activities, such as getting in the car, to be difficult. There may also be hygiene issues, where the person forgets to bathe or change clothes. At this point, full-time supervision is usually required.

Stage Three
Considered to be the end-stage of the disease that lasts a few short years, the person will lose the ability to communicate or recognize anyone, and may suffer from incontinence and an inability to swallow. All aspects of daily living will have be accomplished through assistance. It is important to remember that the individual will still be aware of love and understanding coming from others, despite cognitive issues.

How to Help
One of the best ways to comfort someone with dementia is to let them be helpful in some way. Whether this manifests as a simple task or just being there for a hug can help the person feel needed and useful. Some people with dementia go through a phase where walking brings peace and a feeling of accomplishment. This can be a pleasant routine to get into if the individual is in a care facility, as it gives them something to look forward to and count on. Planning visits at certain times will help the person feel more oriented and will help to reduce fear and confusion. Bringing a family pet for the person to hold and stroke can be beneficial as well.

Overall, the best way to support someone with dementia is to let them know they are loved, no matter what. Even if the person is unable to communicate well, they will still be able to feel and appreciate the concern for their well-being.

Nisha represents a site called She enjoys writing about elderly health and dementia care.  Feel free to visit her site for more information on’ >care homes in Essex.


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