Get the Help You Need When Caring for Someone With Dementia

DementiaCaring for someone with dementia can be challenging. Monitoring, interpreting their intentions and meeting all needs is a job that takes a special person.

Types of Dementia

The term “dementia” covers a range of diseases affecting the memory. While we most often hear about Alzheimer’s disease, it’s not the only identified form of dementia. Scientists have identified Lewy Body Dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia, as well. Here are the common symptoms of each:

Alzheimer’s disease

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Anxiousness
  • Paranoia

Lewy Body dementia

  • Sleep problems
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Frequent changes in alertness

Frontotemporal dementia

  • Decreased inhibition often resulting in inappropriate behavior
  • Loss of motivation
  • Decreased empathy
  • Repetitive compulsive behaviors
  • Anxiety and depression

Vascular dementia

  • Memory loss
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decrease ability to plan
  • Loss of motivation

While similar, each type has its own distinctions. Additionally, symptoms of dementia can be a side effect of medications and other diseases. If a loved one is showing signs and symptoms of dementia, visit a doctor as soon as possible to obtain a clear diagnosis.

Caring for Someone With Dementia

No matter the type of dementia, caring for someone with this diagnosis is multifaceted. You must ensure safety and quality of life and often assist with activities of daily living. Safety measures may include installing additional locks on doors and alarms and ensuring your loved one uses assistive devices for walking. Continuing a high quality of life includes seeking activities that are meaningful to them at the stage of dementia they are in. Looking at old photo albums, listening to Lawrence Welk, spending time outdoors or watching old TV programs may enhance their days.

Seeking Help

For activities of daily living, many times family members will handle these tasks. Others hire additional help. Certified nursing assistants are available to come into the home to help with daily care, and some uncertified companions will do the same, as well. If you work, you’ll likely need someone to stay with your loved one during the day. CNAs and nurses can assist with bathing, dressing, mobility and more. Companions can provide life-enhancing activities, help keep minds alert, be a friend and more.

For doctor appointments, it can be difficult to get off of work, but sending someone with dementia to an appointment alone is typically not an option. Hiring a nurse or nursing assistant cane be costly, but so is taking time off of work. There is another option: You can call us for a companion to drive and/or ride along with your loved one. Companions can help in the following ways:

  • Provide comfort to your love one and reassurance to you, as well
  • Assist with filling out paperwork
  • Answer questions from the doctor with information from you
  • Take notes of instructions and findings
  • Accompany your loved one to each place he or she needs to go
  • Assist with mobility if needed

It’s important to seek help in the areas you need it. Caring for someone with dementia is a demanding, full-time job. Here at Errand Works, we love to assist seniors in our area. If you need qualified, kind-hearted companions to accompany your loved one to appointments, contact us. We’ll take time to learn about your needs, get to know your family member and provide the exact service you need.

-Jennifer

After two decades of owning a medical transcription business, overseeing the household while her husband was deployed and managing the care of their special needs daughter, including hiring, training and scheduling multiple caregivers, Jennifer became aware of skills she had developed which would benefit others.

Jennifer has lived in Nokesville for over 20 years with her husband, Kurt, who is retired from the Coast Guard and in his 11th year of teaching middle school science in Prince William County. Their special-needs daughter, Katie, who is 28 years old, continues to live with them, with the help of several caregivers. Church and family are very important to them, as is reaching out to others.