A three part series By Suzanne Faith RN, CDP Alan Johnson, MSW, LICSW, Cape Cod Health Care Education Program for Dementia. This program will be offered for caregivers on three consecutive Wednesdays in January (12, 19 & 26th) at the Heritage Barn of Captain Foster Homestead at 1 PM followed by questions, answers and encouragement.
- Jonathan Graff Radford, M.D., studies normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, cerebrovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Specific disorders of interest include mild cognitive impairment, vascular cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, corticobasal syndrome, posterior cortical atrophy and frontotemporal dementia.
In dementia, day to day tasks can become a challenge, even with simple things, like getting dressed…
The family caregiver’s role is changed and comes without defiance, protest, and dare. Both involved will need to learn new roads and understand each other in new ways.
Anxiety – Agitation
In the following video, UCLA professor for the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program demonstrates new approaches to those behavioral challenges. He offers new ways to communicate and decrease anxiety or agitation.
What is Dementia?
Dementia isn’t a disease. Instead, it’s a group of symptoms caused by other conditions. You might also hear it called major neurocognitive disorder.
Some cause for these symptoms are curable, it is why it is very important to have an accurate diagnoses for it’s cause.
Causes of dementia that may be reversible include:
- Reaction to medications
- Infections of the brain
- Compromise Immune disorder like leukemia
- Emotional distress, depression
- Poisoning caused by carbon monoxide, heavy metals..
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Subdural hematomas, blood clots beneath the outer covering of the brain
- Normal-pressure hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain
- Metabolic disorders such as a vitamin B12 deficiency
- Low levels of thyroid hormones, called hypothyroidism
- Low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia
- HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND)
- Heart and lung disease causing low oxygen.
These forms of dementia are partially manageable, but they aren’t reversible and get worse over time:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Dementia from Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease)
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
The Benefits of Routines for People With Dementia
How Consistent Caregivers Can Help.
Because dementia can make it difficult to learn new things, using established, consistent routines can be calming and reassuring, for both the person with dementia and those around her.
Routines are often associated with our procedural memory (how we do things) and long term memory. So, since dementia typically first affects the short-term memory, the memory of a routine will often remain well into the middle stages of dementia.
Types of Daily Routines. Cont
Benefits of Routines in Dementia
- Maintains Functions
- Reduces Anxiety
- Decreases Caregiver Stress
- Allows for Some Independence