Learn Why the Progression of Dementia May Vary for Latinos

progression of dementia in senior hugging caregiverA new study sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association is uncovering some striking findings in how dementia may present differently in Hispanic people. While additional exploration is required to fully understand whether these differences are the result of social/cultural nuances or perhaps the dementia itself, it’s worthwhile information for Latino families to know.

Daily Activities

One feature of the study was the considerably faster decline in the capability to execute everyday activities, like walking, getting dressed, and taking a shower, when compared with other ethnicities. Andrea Ochoa Lopez, the University of Houston doctoral student who conducted the research, clarified that the cultural dedication to looking after older loved ones may be a contributing factor.

“Some families want to start doing everything for their older members to try and remove some of the burdens and make their lives easier,” she mentioned. “But there is research showing that when cognition is declining, older people actually do better when they stay active. And there is also still stigma. They may not want their elder family member to be seen as ill or mentally unstable.”

Depression and Anxiety

While we realize anxiety and depression are risk factors for dementia, a separate research study of 5,000 people showed a significantly higher percentage of Hispanic individuals reporting these issues: more than 25%, as compared to approximately 16% and 11% in black and non-Hispanic white participants, respectively. Centering on the mental health of people with dementia is vital. Clinical psychologist Michael Cuccaro points out, “We have lots of great evidence that medications and talk therapy help, but minorities have the lowest rate of getting this help.”

Although more thorough scientific studies are necessary to better comprehend these ethnic differences in dementia, finding minorities to be involved in research is still challenging. Latinos currently comprise fewer than 8% of present dementia scientific studies – regardless of the fact the prevalence of dementia in Latinos is as much as 50% more than it is in non-Hispanic whites.

Families interested in current Latino dementia research opportunities can visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch website to learn more.

At Responsive Home Care, our professional caregivers are fully trained and experienced in helping seniors with whatever their particular challenges are, making life the very best it can be. We accomplish this by consulting with each senior in his or her home before the start of services, enabling us to create a customized care plan. We then carefully monitor the care plan over time to make certain that needs are always completely met, both now and as needs change as time passes.

If the need is for only a little assistance with housework and meals, transportation and companionship, or if some more specialized dementia care is needed, Responsive Home Care provides the ideal solution. Contact us to set up your free in-home consultation to learn more.

Dementia Tips: Understand the Newly Defined 4 Subgroups of Alzheimer’s

happy adult daughter with senior mother with dementia

For many years, experts have been exploring the development of Alzheimer’s through one particular basic model, despite the fact that the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person.

Now, however, a large, new collaborative study between the US, Sweden, Canada, and Korea is revealing some interesting data to help us more fully understand and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rather than one universal, dominant diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, researchers have discovered that there are four distinguishable variants that occur in as many as 18 – 30% of cases. This change in thinking is helping researchers better comprehend the variations in the disease from one person to another.

With these findings, specialists are now able to customize treatment plans based on the particular subgroup diagnosed.

The study looked at data from more than 1,600 men and women, identifying over 1,100 who were either in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease or who were not cognitively impaired at all. Researchers followed these participants for more than two years, funneling each person who presented tau abnormalities into four distinct sub-groups:

  • Subgroup 1: Occurring in as many as one out of three diagnoses, this variant features the spreading of tau within the temporal lobe. The predominant impact is on memory.
  • Subgroup 2: Impacting the cerebral cortex, the second variant has less of an impact on memory and more on executive functioning, such as carrying out actions or planning activities. It affects about one in five individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  • Subgroup 3: In this variant, the visual cortex is impacted, affecting a person’s orientation to self, ability to distinguish shapes, distance, contours, movement, and an object’s location in relation to other objects. As with the first variant, it occurs in about one in three diagnoses.
  • Subgroup 4: This variant represents an asymmetrical spreading of tau in the left hemisphere of the brain, causing the greatest impact on language and occurring in about one out of five cases of Alzheimer’s.

Oskar Hansson, supervisor of the study and professor of neurology at Lund University, explains future steps: “…we need a longer follow-up study over five to ten years to be able to confirm the four patterns with even greater accuracy.”

No matter which type of dementia an older adult has, Responsive Home Care’s caregivers receive significant training in helping manage any challenges while focusing on his/her strengths. Contact us and let us develop a plan of care to enhance life for a cherished older adult with dementia.

How Does Dementia Progress? What Families Should Expect

Female home carer hugging senior male with dementia

“How does dementia progress?” is one of the top questions asked after a loved one is diagnosed.

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, one of the first questions in most people’s minds is how does dementia progress in the weeks, months, and years to come. We know that the hallmark of dementia is the progressive decline in cognitive abilities and the skills required to manage daily life. Yet each person progresses through these changes differently. There are a variety of factors that can impact the rate of decline, including:

  • Medications the senior is taking
  • Overall health and physical makeup
  • The network of support in place
  • The person’s general emotional wellbeing and resilience

There are additional determinants to factor in based upon the specific type of dementia diagnosed. For instance:

  • MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment): Mild cognitive impairment impacts up to 20% of seniors. More than the normal minor cognitive decline experienced in aging, MCI involves problems with language, judgment, thinking, and memory that are obvious to the senior individually and often to others as well. Researchers found that about 38% of seniors with MCI later developed dementia. The other 62% never progressed further than MCI – and in some cases, their condition actually improved, for unknown reasons. Signs of MCI include forgetfulness, depression, impulsiveness, anxiety, apathy, aggression and irritability, and more.
  • Vascular Dementia: Because vascular dementia is caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain, the type of blockage will impact the progression of the disease. If small blood vessels are blocked, for instance, the decline will typically occur gradually. Major blood vessel blockage can cause a sudden onset of symptoms, followed by intense periods of change thereafter.
  • Lewy Body Dementia: Progression of Lewy body dementia may be gradual, but may also include widely varying degrees of alertness and attention in the early stages. One day may find the senior lucid, while the next day – or even several hours later – could bring confusion, hallucinations, and memory loss. In the later stages of the disease, agitation, restlessness, aggression, tremors, and stiffness become more prevalent.
  • Frontotemporal Dementia: Unlike other types of dementia, short-term memory is usually not impacted in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia. Instead, early symptoms include behavioral changes, such as distraction, apathy, rudeness, and disregard for social norms. As the disease advances, problems with language become apparent as well, along with memory loss, vision problems, and other typical symptoms seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact the dementia care team at Responsive Home Care for more helpful resources to help you better understand and care for someone you love with dementia. We’re always here to assist with compassionate, creative care to make life more fulfilling for a senior with dementia, and to help family members achieve a better life balance. Reach out to us online or give us a call us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about our elder care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

When Cognitive Functioning Returns in the Final Stage of Dementia

The return of cognitive functioning temporarily in the final stage of dementia can be an incredible gift to families.

Even when confusion and memory loss escalate during the final stage of dementia, there’s a fascinating and welcome reprieve that often occurs. Previously coined “terminal lucidity,” it is more frequently referred to now as “paradoxical lucidity.” It represents a sudden, short-term return of clarity to a nearly pre-dementia cognitive state. During this time period, the effects can cover anything from nonverbal but emotional connections to significant cognitive recovery.

For members of the family, it’s a gift to be treasured. It provides the opportunity for meaningful conversations and reminiscing, and also the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings, if only for a brief period of time. For scientists, it means much more.

Dr. Basil Eldadah, supervisory medical officer at the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology at the US National Institute on Aging, sees the opportunities as remarkable. “It gives us some pause with regard to our current theories and understanding about the nature of dementia. We’ve seen enough examples of this to be reassured that dementia can be reversed – albeit temporarily, very transiently – nevertheless, it does reverse. And so the question then is how.”

Currently, there are six scientific studies underway to answer that very question, and also to gain more comprehensive insight into the condition and to examine future therapeutic approaches. Based on preliminary data from the studies, it’s clear that it’s an even more common phenomenon than previously realized. Dr. Sam Parnia, head researcher and critical care physician, pulmonologist, and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center states, “If you talk to hospice nurses and palliative care doctors, they all know about this. But no one’s ever studied it properly because no one ever thought anyone would take it seriously enough. So what I wanted to do is to help move this into the scientific realm.”

Education for families caring for a senior loved one with dementia is also crucial. It’s important to be aware that this short-lived clarity may come about, allowing for the chance to reconnect with the senior loved one, while understanding that it isn’t indicative of improvement in his or her condition.

To get more dementia educational materials and care resources, get in touch with Responsive Home Care, the leaders of in home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. We are also always here to provide specialized in-home dementia care to make life the best it can be for anyone with dementia together with the families who love them, through services including:

  • Memory-stimulating games, conversations, activities, and reminiscing
  • Specialized, compassionate help with the distinct challenges of dementia, for example, wandering, aggression, sundowning, and so much more
  • Help with safe bathing and other personal care needs
  • Meals and household chores to allow family members to relish more high quality time with the older adult they love
  • And more

Contact us online or call us at (954) 486-6440 to discover the best possible quality of life for a person you love with dementia.

Low Vision and Dementia Caregiver Tips: 6 Engaging Activity Ideas

Dementia Caregiver Tips

These low vision and dementia caregiver tips help make each day more enjoyable.

Finding activities that are fun and engaging for a loved one with dementia can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it may seem overwhelming. Yet it’s vitally important to ensure each day holds opportunities for joy, purpose, and meaning – reducing the level of frustration, agitation, and other difficult emotions and behaviors in dementia. Never fear; we have the low vision and dementia caregiver tips you need!

The first step is to think through the senior’s current and past interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then brainstorm ways to tap into those preferences. We’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Put together a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried beans. Reminisce about memories the music invokes.
  • Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are easy to follow and on topics that are of interest to the senior. For instance, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then talking about highlights from the past as well.
  • Get up and moving for improved circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help encourage daytime wakefulness and better nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is a wonderful way to add in fresh air and vitamin D. Try walks in nature, pointing out the particular birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass along the way.
  • Experiment with a variety of tactile art mediums that can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing buttons, shells, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
  • Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the home. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for a cake. Or ask the senior to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
  • Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the senior to pet or hold. While this may seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal can be significant.

At Responsive Home Care, the leading agency for caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and nearby areas, our care specialists are skilled in creative ideas to engage seniors of any ability level to help make daily life more enjoyable. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a trusted care partner today!

Alzheimer’s Research Milestones Reached in 2020

Alzheimer’s Research Milestones

Discover some of the most exciting Alzheimer’s research milestones of 2020.

With so much negative news throughout 2020, it is worth noting some of the incredible achievements the year brought – including the Alzheimer’s research milestones. Katie McDonough, director of programs and services at the Alzheimer’s Association, shares, “There are many things that we’re learning and it’s an exciting time for Alzheimer’s research.”

Listed here are just some of the Alzheimer’s research milestones reached that are taking us ever closer to a cure:

  • Identification of Alzheimer’s disease risk factors. Learning about the leading risk factors for Alzheimer’s, in particular pollution, excessive alcohol consumption, and traumatic brain injury (among others) is estimated to reduce cases of dementia around the world up to 40%.
  • Decreasing rates of Alzheimer’s cases. For the past three decades, dementia diagnoses in Europe and North America have declined by 13% per decade – likely the result of changes in lifestyle.
  • Progress towards earlier diagnosis. The Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative (EDoN) has been started, in which digital devices are being developed to diagnose dementia as early as 10 to 15 years prior to symptom onset.
  • Increased attention to MCI. Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is now being evaluated more thoroughly, allowing for earlier strategy, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Dementia blood tests. Predictors for the risk of Alzheimer’s disease have become more sophisticated, and in a recently available study from Sweden, researchers identified blood-based proteins that predict future memory and thinking problems.
  • Review of antipsychotic meds. A recent study conducted by the University College London reported an increased rate of the prescription of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia – possibly linked to the greater need for delirium management along with agitation and anxiety from COVID-19 restrictions. These meds are recommended only when no alternative is available, and the reduction of their use is currently being further explored.
  • Artificial intelligence. At a faster pace and lower cost, an innovative new AI solution is able to identify the formation of proteins within the brain, helping researchers design treatments to help remove these proteins.
  • The FDA accepted this promising drug in 2020 for a priority review process, meaning that sometime in 2021, we should be finding out if it’s approved for use in the general population.

At Responsive Home Care, we are committed to following the current research on dementia, as well as on offering the cutting-edge, highly skilled care that helps individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live to their fullest potential. Whether the need is for full-time care, or just a few hours each week for reliable respite services, reach out to us at (954) 486-6440 for an in-home consultation or to explore options for home health care in Pembroke Pines and the surrounding areas.

Try This Creative and Effective Dementia Care Idea: A Memory Book

dementia senior care - memory book

A memory book is a great tool for dementia senior care.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

Memories are what bind together our past experiences with who we are today; and for a person with dementia, confusion around these memories may have a powerful impact. One of our goals in providing dementia care for seniors is to help them keep and share memories in order to make sense of daily life.

A wonderful way to help with this is through the creation of a memory book, which includes photographs and short descriptions to refer back to when an older adult has questions relating to his or her identity, friends and family, etc. Memory books  are great for answering repeated questions as well as for helping to clear any muddied waters. For example, if an older adult asks who his sister is, whether he’s married (and to whom), where he used to live, etc., a simple response of, “Let’s look at the memory book,” can be very effective – and, can help with redirection as well for a senior experiencing difficult emotions or behaviors.

The book can (and should) be basic and straightforward. Simply select a sturdy binder, photo album, or scrapbook and place 1 or 2 photos on each page, with a brief description underneath. Include details such as:

  • Close family and friends, including those from the senior’s childhood, if at all possible
  • The older adult’s workplace
  • Special events and milestones
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Pets
  • Previous homes
  • And more

You could set up separate sections for each category, so it will be quicker to locate a particular photo when desired. For a more extensive or elaborate book, you can use the template found here , identifying which pages you want to include that’ll be most helpful for your senior loved one.

For more creative Alzheimer’s resources and care tips, call Responsive Home Care, the leading provider of elderly home care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas, at (954) 486-6440. We are also pleased to offer a no-cost in-home assessment to share more about how we can help with the particular challenges your senior loved one is facing. Our highly trained, compassionate dementia care team can:

  • Improve socialization
  • Offer creative approaches to manage difficult behaviors
  • Ensure safety in bathing/showering, dressing, etc. in addition to reducing fall risk
  • Provide trusted relief care for family caregivers to take time for self-care
  • Engage older adults in meaningful, enjoyable activities
  • Assistance with preparing meals and clean-up
  • Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
  • And so much more

Reach out to Responsive Home Care, the experts in home care in Hollywood, FL and surrounding areas, to discover an increased quality of life for a senior you love with trusted, personalized home care services.

Searching for an Alzheimer’s Cure: The Link Between Cold Water and Dementia

Alzheimer's cure - link between cold water and dementia

There may be a link between cold water and fighting dementia, according to experts.

In this striking new development towards an Alzheimer’s cure, a “cold-shock” protein, which is found in swimmers’ blood, is showing promising results in slowing and even reversing the progression of dementia in mice – leading researchers to further explore this link between cold water and dementia.

Related to the hibernation capacity in all mammals when exposed to cold weather, the research ties in to knowledge we already possess about how cooling body temperature can sometimes protect the brain. For example, those who experience a head injury are often cooled during surgical procedures.

And while it’s not yet fully understood, researchers know that even though some brain connections are lost during hibernation, they’re fully restored upon the mammals’ awakening in the spring. For those with Alzheimer’s disease, the lost connections lead to confusion, loss of memory, behavioral challenges and mood swings, and more – and to date, once lost, cannot be restored.

In the study, both healthy mice and those with Alzheimer’s were cooled to a level of hypothermia. Rewarming the healthy mice showed a restoration of synapses that the Alzheimer’s mice did not experience – thought to be due to the “cold-shock” protein RBM3 that was evident in only the healthy mice. As a result, researchers surmise that RBM3 may be the key to regaining functionality of brain connections.

At the time of the study, RBM3 had not yet been detected in humans, leading researchers to seek out volunteer winter swimmers, who were already becoming hypothermic on a regular basis and could help researchers determine whether the cold prompted the production of RBM3. The result: a significant portion of the volunteers were found to have high levels of RBM3 in their blood.

There are inherent dangers in exposure to the cold, however. It raises heart rate and blood pressure, slows responses, and increases breathing rate, and is too risky for researchers to recommend for seniors with dementia. The goal is to develop a drug to stimulate RBM3 production in humans and to determine its impact on dementia, in particular, to delay or prevent the disease.

“If you slowed the progress of dementia by even a couple of years on a whole population, that would have an enormous impact economically and health-wise,” explains Professor Giovanna Mallucci, head of the UK Dementia Research Institute’s Centre at the University of Cambridge.

We look forward to learning more about this link between cold water and dementia, and other promising research to help diminish the effects of dementia or possibly lead to an Alzheimer’s cure. Always here to match you with a caregiver in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and surrounding areas, we at Responsive Home Care are premier providers of highly skilled and creative dementia care. Call us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more.

Problems with Memory: Could It Be Dementia?

Problems with memory could indicate dementia, or could simply be a normal part of aging.

You entirely forgot about the doctor’s appointment scheduled for last Monday, misplaced your glasses for the umpteenth time, and can’t remember the name of the new neighbor for the life of you. Are these problems with memory just a regular part of getting older, or could they signify the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?

The fear of developing Alzheimer’s is common; and growing, as dementia has garnered increasing awareness, resulting in anxieties about our own potential loss of independence and functionality, in addition to memory difficulties. Furthermore, it brings up questions regarding future care and living arrangements, if the time should come that support is necessary to remain safe and to tend to daily needs.

Yet it is important to understand that there are a number of reasons for forgetfulness which happen to be totally unrelated to dementia, and some level of problems with memory are simply part and parcel of aging. Recently available statistics show that only 5% of older adults ages 71 – 79 actually have dementia, though that number increases to 37% for people aged 90 and over.

The initial step is to speak with your primary care doctor about any cognitive impairment you’re experiencing, so you can receive a precise diagnosis and treatment. Before your appointment, pay attention to details such as:

  • When the impairment began
  • Whether it was a gradual or sudden decline
  • If it is impacting day to day life: eating, getting dressed, taking care of personal hygiene needs, etc.

The physician will want to rule out issues that can mimic dementia – such as depression and delirium – as well as determine whether the issue might originate from medication side effects. Dementia progresses slowly, and in addition to memory deficits, can impact the ability to:

  • Communicate
  • Reason, judge, and problem-solve
  • Focus and pay attention

For anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or any other condition that affects the capacity to manage day to day life independently, Responsive Home Care, the leaders in home health care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and surrounding areas, is always here to provide as much or as little assistance as necessary by well trained and experienced care professionals. A few of the many ways we can help seniors with dementia or other challenges remain safe, comfortable, and independent at home include:

  • Assistance with personal care needs, like showering and dressing
  • Running errands
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Household chores
  • Engaging activities and socialization
  • And a lot more

Call us at 954-486-6440 for a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about how our home care services can help.

What to Do When A Senior with Dementia Refuses to Change Clothes

Adult Daughter Helping Senior Man To Button Cardigan

Learn gentle dementia care tips for difficult situations.

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia requires creativity, patience, and empathy, the ability to step outside of your individual reasoning and logic and understand why a certain behavior is occurring, and then to know the best way to successfully manage it. That is certainly the case when an older adult with dementia refuses to change clothes, in spite of how unkempt or dirty an outfit has become.

There are lots of reasons why an individual with Alzheimer’s disease may insist on wearing exactly the same outfit, including:

  • Judgment or memory problems, for example, losing track of time or thinking the clothes were recently changed
  • The comfort and familiarity of a particular piece of clothing
  • A desire to maintain control
  • Difficulty with the task of changing clothes
  • Feeling stressed by the choices related to selecting an outfit
  • Physical pain and/or fatigue
  • The inability to detect scent or even to clearly see stains on clothes

Our Alzheimer’s care team has some strategies to assist:

  • Most importantly, never argue or attempt to reason with someone with dementia.
  • Purchase extra outfits that are identical to the one your loved one insists on wearing.
  • When the senior loved one is bathing or asleep, take away the dirty clothing from the room and replace with clean items.
  • Make getting dressed as easy as possible, with just a couple of choices which are simple to put on and take off, and allowing as much time as needed for dressing.
  • Offer clothing options in solid colors in lieu of patterns that could be confusing, distracting, or visually overstimulating.
  • Take into consideration any timing issues: Is the senior loved one extremely tired and/or agitated at a particular time of day? If so, try incorporating dressing into the time of day when he or she typically feels the most content and calm.
  • Establish if your own feelings are exacerbating the matter in the slightest. For instance, is it a question of embarrassment that is driving the demand for your senior loved one to dress in a certain way?

Keep in mind that wearing a comfy outfit for an added day may be preferred as opposed to the emotional battle involved with forcing a change of clothing. When it truly becomes an issue however, give us a call! Sometimes, a loved one feels more at ease being assisted with personal care needs such as dressing and bathing by a skilled in-home caregiver rather than a family member. Responsive Home Care’s experts are experienced and skilled in helping those with Alzheimer’s disease maintain personal hygiene with kindness and compassion, and they are always available to help.

Give us a call at 954-486-6440 for additional helpful tips or to arrange an in-home consultation for dementia care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas.

Best Ways to Manage Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors of Concern

caregiver comforting senior womanAwkwardness. Discomfort. Disbelief. Shame. Each one of these feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when someone you care about with Alzheimer’s disease showcases disinhibited behaviors, for example:

  • Rude or tactless comments
  • Inappropriate sexual advances or remarks
  • Removal of clothing at improper times
  • And other socially unacceptable actions

The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s can cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, for example, a formerly genteel grandma suddenly swearing like a sailor. For somebody who is disoriented, uncomfortable, confused, or has essentially forgotten social graces and skills, these behaviors are actually quite common, consequently it’s crucial to know how to best manage them if and when they develop in someone you love.

Responsive Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care specialists recommend trying the following tactics:

  • See if there’s a solvable problem creating the behaviors, such as a physical illness, medication side effects, the need to utilize the rest room, environment-induced anxiety, etc.
  • Remind yourself that the dementia is to blame, and respond patiently and gently, without overreacting or lashing out in anger.
  • Help the senior loved one remain involved in appropriate activities in accordance with his / her particular interests. If the person becomes agitated with a specific activity, switch to something else, or move to a new room in the house or outside when possible.
  • Pay attention to clothing choices if removing clothes at inappropriate times is an issue. If the older adult has been wearing pants without zippers for comfort and ease, you might want to change to something a bit more challenging to remove when out in public, for example.
  • Be certain that each of the individual’s physical needs are met to circumvent problematic behaviors. Maintain a comfy temperature in the house, keep plenty of healthy snacks and drinks handy, and recommend regular physical exercise and movement.
  • Offer proper physical contact often such as hugs, holding the person’s hand, or rubbing his/her back, when welcomed by the senior, communicating reassurance to relieve anxiety.

It is also beneficial to ensure you’ve got enough time for scheduled breaks to tend to your personal self-care needs and ease the stress that is frequently inherent in taking care of a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Responsive Home Care’s caregivers are thoroughly trained and experienced in effective, compassionate dementia care, and are here for you with as much or as little respite care as necessary. Call us at 954-486-6440 for additional helpful resources as well as to schedule a free of charge in-home consultation for more information about how we can help.

Caregiver Tips for Dementia: False Accusations

caregiver consoling senior womanIt can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite tuna sandwich on the table – light on the mayo, no onions – something which typically brings her joy. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the meal.

Or, you have provided the senior with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she charges you with tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her bank account.

How can you most effectively diffuse situations like these dementia false accusations?

  1. Keep a controlled, gentle, understanding tone. It may be instinctive to be defensive and refute the accusation, but appropriate responses may include something such as, “I see that you are feeling afraid, but I will not let anything bad happen to you. Let’s enjoy this food together,” or, “Oh no, are you missing some money? The bank is not open at the moment, but let’s go there right away tomorrow to get it straightened out.”
  2. Move into a welcomed distraction. After sharing in the senior’s concern, transition into a pleasant topic or activity that your loved one likes, or move to another area. In the case of the suspected food poisoning, you could engage the senior in going to the kitchen and helping her prepare a fresh sandwich. If you’ve assured the senior that you will stop by the bank together tomorrow, a walk outside to look at the flowers and birds, or playing some favorite music, can help.
  3. Never argue or try to reason. These approaches very often escalate agitation in someone with dementia. It might take some time and experience to develop the approach that works best, and that strategy could need to change from one day to another. The goal is to stay calm, patient, and empathetic, validating the senior’s feelings and offering comfort.

Responsive Home Care’s home care experts are highly trained and experienced in effective, creative dementia care techniques, and can help with managing challenging situations and behaviors, enabling a senior loved one to experience a greater quality of life, and providing family caregivers with relief and peace of mind. Reach out to us today at 954-486-6440 for more information about our home care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding area or to inquire about additional resources to help you better care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s.