caregiving

Tips for Hospitalization

Hospitalization of a patient with dementia is a potentially stressful experience often associated with negative outcomes for both the patient and family. The “Partner With Me” (PWM) project was developed to educate and connect healthcare providers with family caregivers of our patients with memory impairment.

Hospitalization of a patient with dementia is a potentially stressful experience often associated with negative outcomes for both the patient and family. The majority of dementia care is provided in the home by family caregivers who have intimate knowledge about the patient’s preferences, schedule, communication and comprehension abilities. The "Partner With Me" (PWM) project was developed to educate and connect healthcare providers with family caregivers of our patients with memory impairment.

Practical Tips for Daily Life

Activities of daily living are divided into two major categories. The first, often called instrumental activities, includes more complex types of activities such as paying bills, shopping, managing medications, working and driving. The second category is activities related to personal care and include eating, bathing, dressing, getting in or out of bed or a chair and using the toilet. In the beginning of the disease, the patient will have trouble completing the instrumental, complex activities. As the disease progresses, the person will have difficulty managing the more basic functions and will need help from caregivers.

Topics

Alleviating Symptoms

Living with the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease can be frustrating, difficult and even scary. The first step is to recognize that these behaviors are part of the changes in the brain. The person has little or no control over them and isn't behaving this way on purpose. Often times, behavioral and environmental changes can help prevent or stop these behaviors. For some symptoms, medication may be helpful.

Aggression

Aggressive behavior may become more common in some forms of dementia due to the brain’s inability to control impulsive actions.

Tips for preventing aggression

  1. Ensure the person does not have pain and see the person's regular doctor for any illness. A change in behavioral symptoms may be triggered by even minor illnesses such as a cold or by pain such as arthritis.
  2. When talking to the person, do not use sarcasm or abstract thinking. Instead, be concrete.
  3. Reduce external distractions when talking, e.g., TV, radio, busy places.
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