As we age, we may find ourselves forgetting certain information like a family member’s birthday or just why we got up to go to the kitchen. While this may be annoying, it is not debilitating, unlike dementia.
Even though we refer to it as one illness, it is a group of conditions affecting the human brain. It is not just limited to memory loss, although this is a key component. Those with dementia can also experience erratic mood swings, depression, and social withdrawal.
What is the most common form of dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 70% of people living with dementia. It is characterised by severe memory loss, confusion, incoherent speech and even hallucinations.
The disease destroys and kills brain cells, resulting in an actual shrinking of the organ. Initially, this will cause short-term memory loss but as the disease progresses, sometimes at a rapid rate, long-term memory capacity will also be negatively affected.
Those with Alzheimer’s disease will forget family, friends and familiar routines, including self-care. They also may suffer a severe deterioration of social skills and may be prone to depression and anger.
Behaviours of Concern
Many people believe that looking after their parents as they age is their responsibility. They may decide to do this full-time in the comfort of their homes. And it may be a good idea in the beginning stages of dementia, depending on a medical professional’s opinion.
While those with dementia may indeed find comfort in familiar surroundings, this could become very challenging as the disease progresses. They could start to exhibit concerning behaviours such as severe depression and anger issues.
The latter could take the form of verbal abuse to the carer and sometimes, unfortunately, physical abuse. In addition to directing this at their carer, those with Alzheimer’s disease could even harm themselves.
They could also become easily disoriented and could wander out of the home and get lost or injured. In addition, they could become easily agitated if they do not remember their carer, which may result in a dangerous situation for both parties.
When should dementia patients go into care?
The behaviour mentioned above not only causes stress and anxiety on the carer but can also be detrimental to the physical and mental health of the person with dementia.
As the disease worsens, the person will need a higher level of specialised care and supervision. This can be found in a reliable, reputable, and professional aged care facility.
However, it is essential to ensure that the centre can cater to people living with dementia specifically. There need to be dedicated areas that provide a secure environment for residents to feel safe. There should also be 24-hour nursing assistance available, so they are always be supervised.
There is also more to caring than administering medication and keeping a watchful eye. It is important for those living with dementia to interact with others and feel free to appreciate nature in a controlled and safe way. Christadelphian Aged Care can provide all of this and so much more. Contact us today if you’d like to find out about our services.
It may seem as if you’re shifting the responsibility of care onto a facility, but that could be the best option and way forward for both you and your parent or loved one. We have Specialised Programs for Dementia Patients to fulfil all their needs.