How Reminiscence Therapy Can Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Stay Engaged

eminiscence therapy

To help seniors stay engaged, reminiscence therapy provides a way to walk down memory lane.

Memory loss and dementia may seem synonymous. Yet it is crucial to realize that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. Because of this, tapping into those distant memories is an easy strategy to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past.

Known as reminiscence therapy, these walks down memory lane help seniors:

  • Minimize some of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s, for example , restlessness, anger, wandering, and more
  • Decrease negative emotions and stress by shifting the focus to happier times
  • Instill self-confidence by bringing to mind the many accomplishments they have made as well as the lives they’ve impacted
  • Better connect to others through sharing stories

Implementing reminiscence therapy doesn’t need to be elaborate. Start with opening a photo album and simply taking a look at pictures together. Let the person drive the next steps. If a particular photograph sparks a memory and the senior wants to share that, keep the conversation going as long as they would like. If they choose instead to view the photographs silently, you can do the same, while assessing the person’s expression to make sure they are calm and relaxed.

Just as photos can bring enjoyable memories to the surface, they can also remind the senior of friends and family lost, or of a particularly hard time in their life. If the activity invokes anxiety, close the book and move on to something else. It may take a little coaxing to switch gears if the person seems distraught. Moving to a different location, such as outdoors or to the kitchen for a snack, can help. Or try bringing up an alternative memory from a period you know was a positive experience for the older adult.

Other ideas for reminiscing include:

  • Smelling familiar, enjoyable scents which could have meaning for the person: freshly mowed grass, flowers that grew around their family home as a young child, a particular brand of shampoo, bubble bath, or soap they used to bathe the kids when they were little, etc.
  • Making a recipe the older adult especially enjoys and eating it together
  • Engage in an ability-appropriate activity that holds meaning to the past: sorting buttons or nuts and bolts, filing papers, painting, knitting, playing a musical instrument, etc.
  • Listening to favorite music from the past

Let our creative dementia care team help! We provide home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area. We’ve got lots of ideas for effective reminiscence therapy that will help a senior you love live life to the fullest. Contact us at 954.486.6440 to learn more.

Two Ways Using Virtual Reality Helps Dementia Patients

grandfather and grandchild using VR headsetsPicture for a second how it could feel to struggle with the cognitive obstacles of Alzheimer’s disease. The people who are closest to you are no longer familiar. The words that would roll off your tongue without a second thought are now just beyond your grasp. In fact, the whole world as you once knew it has turned completely upside down, leaving you yearning for a recognizable foothold.

One of the kindnesses imparted by dementia is the long-term memories that oftentimes remain intact long after short-term memories have disappeared. It is why connecting a senior with Alzheimer’s to the past is usually an incredibly effective way to engage them – through music, movies, photos, and reminiscing. We can also now add a high-tech tool to the mix that is demonstrating impressive results with seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; virtual reality.

Skip Rizzo, director for medical virtual reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, has been using the technology to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s now expanding his reach to seniors – beginning with his own 89-year-old mother, whose delightful reaction to a virtual trip to Rome confirmed exactly how effective the technology can be for older adults.

Rizzo shares an encounter in which he visited a nursing home where a group of residents were simply sitting around a table in silence, until he began showing them flashcard-like pictures of objects they might recognize from their past. The change in the atmosphere was electric, as the seniors began sharing memories with each other. With the potential of low-tech tools such as simple photos to create delight for seniors, just imagine the opportunities available to us now with high-tech options like virtual reality!

The advantage of virtual reality for older adults goes further than merely boosting memory and bringing enjoyment, such as:

Improved Health Care

The distraction of virtual reality is showing to be an effective tool for easing physical pain for seniors. It can also be used to enhance balance and other motor skills as well as improve spatial reasoning. It can even help doctors detect health conditions by monitoring how older adults respond in various activities and games.

Increased Socialization

We know that older adult isolation is a contributing aspect in a number of physical and mental health problems. A recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine presented that up to one in four older adults feel socially isolated. To tackle this concern, AARP Innovation Labs developed an app called Alcove, in which older adults and their friends and family can enjoy virtual reality experiences together.

Would you like to learn more creative options to improve quality of life for an older adult you love? Connect with our team at Responsive Home Care, for home care in Hollywood, FL and throughout the greater area at 954-486-6440!

The New Developments in Alzheimer’s Research That May Surprise You

brain connections head illustrationIf there is one constant thing in the race to solve the puzzle of Alzheimer’s, it is change. It appears as though any time researchers start to get a grasp on one piece of information, new information shifts their hypotheses in an alternative direction. That is most certainly the situation with the amazing new developments in Alzheimer’s research.

For the first time ever, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been in a position to study human data as opposed to animal models. Their findings point to an origin of the disease in several regions of the brain, instead of a single location that sets off a chain reaction, as previously surmised from scientific studies of the brains of mice.

Dr. Georg Meisl of Cambridge’s Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry explains, “The thinking had been that Alzheimer’s develops in a way that’s similar to many cancers: the aggregates form in one region and then spread through the brain. But instead, we found that when Alzheimer’s starts there are already aggregates in multiple regions of the brain, and so trying to stop the spread between regions will do little to slow the disease.”

Because of this, the disease’s progression is predicated upon how fast cells are destroyed within these different regions. This new insight will undoubtedly be extremely beneficial in the advancement of treatment plans that target the processes that happen at the beginning of Alzheimer’s. Further good news: the replication of the tau and amyloid beta proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s happens slowly, and our neurons are already evolving to stop the aggregation of these proteins. Hopefully soon, science and biology will work together to help the millions of individuals impacted by Alzheimer’s.

The next step will likely be for researchers to further investigate the processes involved in the earliest stages associated with the disease, while extending research to other health conditions, for example, progressive supranuclear palsy and traumatic brain injury. The data obtained could even help provide clues into more effective treatments for other common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

If someone you love is battling Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, reach out to our dementia care team for helpful information and assistance with innovative, skilled, hands-on caregiving support. Our creative, patient, and caring methods alleviate the strain of challenging behaviors including:

  • Sundowning
  • Wandering
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Frustration
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • And many others

Give us a call any time at 954-486-6440, and we can discuss solutions to help with the particular challenges a senior you love is facing. You’re never alone with Responsive Home Care’s trained experts by your side! To learn more about our dementia care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas, contact us today.

How to Talk with the Doctor if You Suspect an Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis

senior-discussing-dementia-diagnosis-with-doctorDistress. Fear. Embarrassment. The thoughts and feelings surrounding a potential Alzheimer’s diagnosis may cause older adults to keep their suspicions to themselves. A recently available AARP survey peeled away a few of the layers of emotion to get to the reason – namely, a concern over losing independence and becoming a problem to others.

While there is some truth to those worries, there are also some misconceptions fueling them. As an example, nearly 50% of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re likely to get dementia as they get older. The truth is that just over 10% of seniors over age 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

As a result, it is essential for seniors to communicate with their physicians for the practical, straightforward information they need – particularly if any warning signs of dementia [MS2] are being detected, such as:

  • Memory decline which is disruptive to everyday life
  • Planning/problem-solving challenges
  • Problems with accomplishing once-familiar tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation to time and place
  • Vision issues and difficulty identifying color/contrast and judging distance
  • Writing/speaking changes
  • Losing things and leaving them in unusual spots
  • A decline in judgment
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood/personality changes

The following are some suggestions to help overcome any reluctance in talking to a doctor about dementia, and how to make the conversation as productive as you possibly can.

  • Don’t put it off. The natural impulse might be to procrastinate bringing up something that may potentially be so life-changing. Nevertheless, time is of the essence in obtaining a proper diagnosis together with the most effective treatment.
  • Bring a friend. It is comforting to have the support of a dependable friend, family member, or caregiver at the appointment. Ideally, this person can provide additional information to the physician as well as any concerns being noticed from their perspective.
  • Make comparisons to then and now. Share with the physician the particular changes that are causing concern. For instance, a loved one may be a retired math teacher who, up until last month, didn’t need to think twice about balancing the checkbook, but recently is experiencing some frustration with the task.

The physician can review prescription drugs to see if adverse reactions are creating a problem, and schedule assessments and test to discover the best course of action.

Responsive Home Care’s kind and friendly caregiving companions are always on hand to accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, and also to help make life easier and more manageable in a number of other ways as well. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for more details on our home care services in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

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, the expert provider of in-home caregiver services in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas, 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 to learn more about in-home senior care in Fort Lauderdale and nearby areas 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 provider of home care assistance in Plantation, FL 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!

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 in-home care in Plantation and the surrounding areas.

Managing the Common Dementia Behavior of Rummaging

Rummaging through cupboards and closets is a common behavior for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Rummaging through cupboards and closets is a common behavior for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Looking through boxes, cupboards, and closets, pulling out odds and ends from drawers, and sorting repetitively through a number of items can be frustrating for individuals providing care for a member of the family with dementia, but in fact these actions are fulfilling an objective.

Rummaging can supply a degree of comfort for individuals with Alzheimer’s, along with the reassurance of identifying familiar objects and finding purpose and meaning.

The important thing then is not to deter rummaging, which may trigger agitation, but to better manage this common dementia behavior if it becomes disruptive. The following tips can help:

  • Keep rummaging to a specific area. Assemble containers of items the senior seems especially drawn to, for example, keys, paperwork, a wallet, tools, gardening equipment, sewing implements, sports memorabilia, and so on. Whenever your senior loved one starts to rummage in other places, pull out one of the bins and guide his/her focus there.
  • Establish an activity aimed at rummaging behaviors. Let the senior know you could really use his or her assistance with a particular activity that takes advantage of these behaviors, for example, folding towels or socks, sorting nuts/bolts in a toolbox, or placing paperwork into folders.
  • Identify other stimulating activities to ease boredom. Rummaging may be the response to feelings of uneasiness, loneliness, or boredom. Try out assorted activities you can do together with the senior, including arts and crafts, puzzles, going for a walk, listening to music, etc.
  • Keep valuables out of reach. Understanding that your loved one has the tendency to rummage, be certain that any essential documents, jewelry, keys, credit cards, etc. are all kept securely away. It is also a smart idea to tuck away the mail when it arrives, to be certain bills along with other items aren’t getting tossed or misplaced.
  • Step up security precautions. Now is a very good time to evaluate how hazardous objects are stored in the house, such as sharp knives, cleaning products, even certain kinds of foods, such as raw meat that the individual may unintentionally mistake for another food product and ingest. Keep all items that could potentially cause the individual injury in secure places, ideally locked away.

Responsive Home Care can assist with the professional in-home care services that offer companionship and engagement in creative, enjoyable, and fulfilling activities for those with dementia that lead to fewer challenging behaviors. Call us at 954-486-6440 for additional information or to schedule an in-home assessment for home care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.