There is a common misconception that dementia is a “natural” or inevitable part of aging. While the odds that someone will develop the condition increases as they age, not everyone experiences it. It affects about 5% of people over the age of 65, and many live well into their 80s or longer without suffering from any kind of cognitive disorder. There also are many different diseases related to the condition, although Alzheimer’s is the best known. Yet another myth would have people believe that those suffering from Alzheimer’s are a lost cause, that they don’t really know what’s going on, or that they won’t be able to experience joy. None of these things are true, and it’s important to understand that the best thing you can do for a family member with Alzheimer’s is help them live with dignity and respect.
One major aspect of dignity in aging is “aging in place,” which, for someone with dementia, means receiving dementia care at home. Studies have shown that abrupt relocations to unfamiliar surroundings can aggravate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. A large majority of seniors in Edmonton wish to stay in their own homes, a desire that does not go away with the onset of a chronic medical condition. That’s why live in care agencies are changing the way Edmontonians look after their loved ones. Some, including one called Mavencare, have even incorporated mobile apps and matching algorithms to provide the best possible service. But before you go looking for technological conveniences, make sure you find an agency that gets the basics right.
One of the hardest parts of living with dementia is the emotional turmoil of sufferers. Seniors frequently become depressed and aggravated as they realize that their cognitive abilities are in decline. They can withdraw and become isolated, even if family is present in their lives. Everyone becomes frustrated when they are told that they are wrong because their memory failed them. It’s far better to continue to engage socially so that the sufferer does not withdraw. These and other social tactics are all employed by dementia care help in Edmonton.
As the disease progresses, live in caregivers begin to take a greater role assisting seniors with basic daily tasks. Whereas at the beginning they may only assist with housework and cooking, at later stages, they can help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and eating. These intimate tasks are one reason why it’s so important find a caregiver who will make your relative feel comfortable and respected during the process.
Montessori Methods for Dementia
Elements of this young children’s teaching method have successfully been used for people suffering from dementia. Edmonton caregivers such as many of those with Mavencare are now affiliated with programs that teach Montessori Methods specifically for those with declining memory. The philosophy behind the practice is to bring joy and feelings of usefulness to those who are at advanced stages of the disease. It’s all part of restoring respect and dignity for those with chronic, degenerative brain illnesses.