Dementia is a condition where the person loses the ability to reason, understand and think. It also results in memory loss and hinders the sufferer’s daily routine. Its effect is so serious that it interferes with the patient’s daily activities. The patient’s behaviour affects the people surrounding them. And that is why the family and friends might start treating the patient inappropriately. So, it is better to make your loved ones understand and be considerate about the patient’s condition. This can be achieved through proper awareness. Let’s find out ways to make the family and friends understand dementia disease so they can support the one enduring this ailment.
If the people around are unaware of the patient’s situation, they will naturally behave abnormally when faced with the unrealistic behaviour of the patient. Now, here’s how one should tread this situation:
- The first step in introducing the disease is by educating the loved ones about what is Dementia, what Dementia causes, and the signs of Dementia.
- Next, they should know about the impact of Dementia on the patient. Tell them how Dementia affects the patient’s memory, behaviour, and thinking capacity.
- Now that they are introduced to the disease, they should be aware of the dementia stages. Explain how the disease progresses and how the disease might turn in the future. Ask them to be extra cautious around the patient. Else, our inappropriate behaviour toward the patient might speed up the progression of the disease.
- Share appropriate links and materials with family and friends to learn about the disease.
- But your role doesn’t end here. Tell the family and friends how they can help the patient prevent the disease’s progression.
- Generally, people are prone to avoid such situations because they can’t determine what is right or wrong. But if they know how to be present in front of the patient, they might be helpful.
Now that friends and family members are acquainted with signs of Dementia, dementia stages, and how they can help the patient. Here’s how they should put it into action:
- Start by introducing yourself. Even if the patient knows you nicely, it is possible that Dementia might have caused some memory loss. Or maybe the patient is confused about you.
- Do not put forth logic in a conversation. Try and avoid corrections while conversing. The patient might get confused about correction.
- You can talk about memories by looking at a picture album. This might make them happy.
- Talk calmly and kindly. Noise or loudness might affect the patient adversely.
- Plan and do fun activities with the diseased, like visiting old friends or people they would like to meet.
- Don’t feel bad if the patient does not remember you. Imagine the confusion going inside their brain.
- Whenever the patient specifically asks to meet someone specific, make a video call to them. If possible, ask them to meet in person.
It could be tiresome to understand a patient with Dementia. But the patient’s plight could be worse. They are not able to enjoy life as you can. Hope our article will help you to make your family and friends understand how to be around a dementia patient.
What is the main cause of Dementia?
Any change or damage in the brain causes Dementia. Some most common Dementia causes are Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, Lewy body Dementia, frontotemporal Dementia, and severe head injury.
What do you do when a Dementia patient hits you?
You can expect aggression from a dementia patient, both verbal and physical. In case of physical aggression:
- Find out the root cause of that trigger.
- Don’t feel bad, the patient might not have done it intentionally.
- Try and relax, and shift your focus. If you feel really bad, try and leave the room.
- Do not react in front of the patient.
How do doctors test for Dementia?
There are multiple ways to diagnose Dementia are:
- Neurological and cognitive tests: The tests here include problem-solving, memory assessment, math, and language skills. Neuro tests have balance, reflex, and sensory response tests.
- Brain Scans: This will have CT scans, MRI, or PET scans. Brain structure can be seen through these.
- Evaluation by a psychiatrist.
- Genetic tests
- Blood tests
What is the best medication for Dementia?
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of Dementia. The class of medicine used to treat Alzheimer’s is acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Medicines like Rivastigmine, Donepezil, and Galantamine are used to treat moderate and mild patients.
Word of caution: do not take any medication without a doctor’s consultation.
Why do Dementia patients get worse at night?
This is termed Sundowning syndrome. The fading light serves as a trigger to the patient. The symptoms get worse at night.