Dementia is a progressive brain dysfunction (in Latin 'dementia' means irrationality), which results in a restriction of daily activities and in most cases leads in the long term to the need for care .
There are many forms of dementia, the most common one being Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a silent killer of brain and lives of world’s elderly people. It is the fourth leading cause of death among the older adults in the developed world. The symptoms can broadly include difficulties with language, significant short-term memory loss, time disorientation, difficulty in making decisions, showing signs of depression and aggression and lack of initiative and motivation.
Dr Aloes Alzheimer, a German doctor, in 1906 discovered Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's Disease can cause a person to show behavior that they normally wouldn’t. This means that you, as a caregiver, will be faced with many challenges as you try to give your the best care that you can.
Some of the challenges that you may face include physical aggression, verbal aggression, mood swings, wandering, repetition of words, and combativeness
All of these changes in behavior can lead to a great deal of tension and frustrations for both you and your patient. The most important thing that you need to remember is that your Alzheimer's parent isn’t behaving this way on purpose. Their behavior is simply the result of their disease so you need avoid analyzing the situation and looking for solutions when there are none.
Dignity of the person is the first principle to maintain. This means to allow the person with dementia to maintain as much independence that is realistic for their abilities including maintaining dignity through doing one's own personal care when able; through choice of activities; and through choice of relationships that are satisfying.
Safety of the person is the second principle. This means ensuring that the caregiver monitors to protect the person from self-harm or from the actions of others who may not have the person's best interests at heart. In addition, providing reasonable safety includes making changes in the home environment to reduce the potential for injury.
Quality of care: When services are arranged, it is essential that the care providers are knowledgeable about dementia care . Care must be delivered in a timely fashion to address immediate needs. Care must also be consistently provided to ensure appropriateness for maintaining optimal health of the person with dementia
Planning for comprehensive care: The family caregiver needs to obtain an assessment of the total needs of the person needing care. Planning includes obtaining understanding about advance directives, such as implementing a health care proxy instrument. Comprehensive planning requires the caregiver to take an inventory of resources that include informal and formal supports, personal financial capacity, and determination of eligibility for community programs.
Balance by and for the caregiver is important. Balancing needs and resources requires consideration of balancing of the available time in the day's routine to address both the person and caregiver needs. Developing a balance of servicing between the primary caregiver and other family members is important to sharing the responsibilities. Further, acceptance of a balance to blend family help and outside community supports is needed to sustain the primary caregiver's ability to cope.
Relationship between the caregiver and the person with dementia should be preserved. The ultimate purpose of the caregiving experience is to sustain and enhance the relationship between the caregiver and the person. While the person with progressive dementia will increasingly be unable to express appreciation for the care received, there can still be moments in advanced stages for such expression to occur. The caregiver's willingness comes through as compassionate care in recognition and in honor of the relationship. When this happens, the care giving relationship allows both people to give loving kindness to each other.
The day that you see me old, have patience and try to understand me….
When at some moment I lose my memory or the thread of our conversation… let me have the necessary time to remember… and if I cannot do it, do not become nervous… as the most important thing is not my conversation but surely to be with you and to have you listening to me…