Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but it’s not the only type. Getting an accurate diagnosis can help you support your loved one, anticipate likely changes and ensure you choose the right level of care. The right diagnosis begins with a trip to a doctor you trust and usually requires a referral to a neurologist. Here’s how to understand the distinction between Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Transitions can be difficult, particularly for seniors with dementia. If your loved one’s dementia is progressing, it may be time to shift from assisted living to memory care. The decision can be a difficult one, since there is no single guideline for deciding when it’s time to make a change. Financial considerations can weigh heavily on your mind, too, since the higher level of care at a memory care community typically comes with a higher price tag.
It’s heartbreaking when dementia interferes with a grandparent’s relationship with their grandchildren. Children may feel fearful of grandparents who have had dementia for most of the child’s life. Conversely, children who once had warm relationships with their grandparents may feel angry and sad. Some might not even believe that their grandparent can’t help their behavior.
Assisted living versus memory care. This is not really a debate or a competition, but rather, two levels of senior living that many people do not understand the differences between. As a result, the two terms are often incorrectly interchanged. This is unfortunate, because seniors who require care in a senior living community need amenities, assistance, and a philosophy that corresponds to their situations. And amid the assisted living versus memory care “debate,” they often don’t receive what they truly need.
Outstanding assisted living is also a priority for today’s seniors, and the two goals appear as if they should run parallel to each other. Although dementia care does incorporate many principles of assisted living, the two are not the same. Yet both are incredibly important to seniors and their families.
All people benefit from routine—it helps us feel in control of our lives and our surroundings, as well as provides a sense of comfort—and loved ones suffering from dementia are no different. In fact, routine is incredibly important for them. For memory care patients, any deviation from a daily regimen routine can cause anxiety as changes disrupt the things loved ones know and rely upon amid the uncertainty they feel.
The adjustment period for a loved one transitioning into a dementia care community can span days, weeks, or months. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict how long the adjustment period will last or what challenges and environmental triggers will have to be overcome during the process.
Is there anything better than the spring season? There is certainly much to be said about a season that beckons us all outside to enjoy warmer temperatures and take big breaths of fresh air that smells like rain. Colorful flowers push up from the dirt, and everyone has an innate desire to throw open the windows to clear out any stale air left over from winter.
Since spring does encourage more outdoor activity, in temperatures that are reminiscent of Goldilocks—not too hot, not too cold—most people dust off their jackets and tennis shoes to head outside. This year, consider grabbing your gardening gloves and tools. Not only will you enjoy the time gardening, you will be able to reap some mental and emotional benefits as well.
Dementia affects 47 million people around the world, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. Finding ways to provide more efficient and effective dementia care will be among the world’s top public health priorities in the years ahead.