Dementia: What Next


Hi everyone. Thanks for reading

Having noticed some of these symptoms written in the last two days. What is the next step?

In most cases, dementia is a progressive non treatable disease. However, there are some causes that are treatable. For example Vitamin deficiencies, drug toxicity, Alcoholism, Chronic infections.

It therefore means that anybody with these features should see or be taken to a Doctor. The Doctor will ask some questions, examine and run some tests to determine whether

the Dementia is treatable or not.

For most of the cases of Dementia which are not treatable, there’s still a lot that can be done. The Doctor may give some medications to improve the memory( to some extent), improve sleep, handle some of the abnormal behaviours. Some may be depressed, accusatory or restless: these can also be controlled with medications.

On your own as a caregiver, caring can be frustrating: It can also be very rewarding!!

The first thing you should note is that

The Dementia patient is not giving you a hard time: the Dementia patient is having a hard time!!

Please be patient with them. The following are helpful tips in their care

  1. Be patient: your mum or dad is not whom he or she was. Every activity will take longer.
  2. Have a routine: it’s easier for them. For example Wake up at 8, Pray for 20 minutes, bathing at 8:30, Dressing at 8:45, Breakfast at 9……. It’s difficult for them when you do things haphazardly.
  3. It’s better to involve the person with visual cues like laying out the clothes in order.
  4. Provide options: 2 or 3 different outfits, choice of beverages ETC
  5. Make your instructions simple and clear
  6. Reduce distractions: turn off the TV, try not to mmultitask.
  7. Create a safe environment: safe locks, prevent lock, ensure the floor is not slippery, no sharp objects. Remember that their judgment is impaired, they may not be able to avoid a slippery floor or sharp object.
  8. Play games like scrabble, ludo, cards ETC.
  9. Take them for social interactions: church, weddings, group programmes ETC
  10. Try to be cheerful, they notice your frustrations and anger

Remember ‘ The Dementia patient is not giving you a hard time!, the Dementia patient is having a hard time!!!!!

Thanks for reading

Published by berthaekeh

Medical Doctor/ Teacher/Author

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