Friday, 31 Aug 2018
The Challenges of Caring for Someone with Dementia
By Private Therapy Clinic
One of the less welcome side effects of more people living for longer is that dementia related to ageing is becoming more common, with associated dilemmas around care—who will provide it, what can be done, and can the person in question be cared for at home, or do they need to go into an institution.
While some people get premature dementia, it is most often a condition associated with old age. Symptoms can come on gradually, or quite quickly. For the person whose symptoms appear gradually, it can be absolutely devastating when they realise that they are not just having a “senior moment” every now and again, but are actually losing their memories, and that it is going to continue getting worse.
It is also devastating when someone we love starts to display the symptoms of dementia, and a formal diagnosis confirms it—it is important to rule out other issues that could be causing similar problems, as vitamin deficiencies and common ailments such as urinary tract conditions can also cause some older people to appear confused.
As dementia is a degenerative condition, that means that it is going to steadily get worse until the person passes away. While many people with dementia also have other health problems, because of their advanced age, some are physically healthy and can live for years. They need people to care for them, advocate for their needs, and ensure that they are getting the sort of support they need.
While some patients with dementia can be cared for at home, there are also times when this is not possible. Some pose a danger to themselves or others, because they may do things like start cooking and then forget, risking the house going on fire, or be inclined to leave the house and wander off.
The emotional and physical needs of carers can be neglected when they have to devote much of their life to looking after someone they love, who is never going to get better. People in middle age often find themselves having to care not just for aging parents, but also their children, who may still be young or in adolescence, and also in need of a great deal of love and attention. In the process of giving as much as they can to all those who need them, they can neglect their own emotional heath, and risk becoming stressed and depressed. In these cases, sometimes the kindest thing to do is to find a residential home in which professionals can provide support.
While dealing with the dementia is never going to be easy, there are things that we can do to help the person directly affected, and those that are caring for someone with Dementia. We will discuss some of these in the next blog entry which is tips to help with dementia.
WHO CAN I SPEAK TO FURTHER ABOUT THE ISSUES IN THIS ARTICLE?
For help with the issues discussed in this article speak to one of our therapists here at Private Therapy Clinic for a free initial chat or to make an appointment.