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September 2016 Newsletter

Knowing the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease.

Aging

It is common for older adults as they age to become more forgetful and slower in their thought processing. This can be frustrating but does not interfere significantly with daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of memory impairment is typically characterized on onset by a progressive loss of ability to complete activities of daily living (ADL).

In the early stage, the person will experience cognitive changes such as not remembering a recent event, difficulty solving problems, poor judgment, difficulty planning, misplacing items, missing appointments, inability to retrace steps and trouble learning something new. These changes can interfere with independent and safe performance such driving, meal preparation, cooking, handling finances, and managing medications.

 Families and friends can expect to get more involved to provide active monitoring, guided assistance, and daily reminders to help to maintain health, safet and well-being.  The early stage is the time to be more proactive by becoming educated about the impact of the progressive disease, learn effective, compassionate ways to engage a person with dementia, and gathering  information about community resources.

If I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Reduced antipsychotics recommended for dementia

Pills

A person with dementia may experience agitation. This can be caused by emotional distress, cognitive losses, physical discomfort, pain or undetected infection. Antipsychotics have often been utilized to reduce agitation however guidelines are being revised for limited “judicious use” to treat agitation. A recent article in The National Psychologist states that the findings of the American Psychiatric Association in May indicate ”clinical trials show little benefit from using antipsychotic medication and are associated with significant adverse side effects….”

To read the entire article goes to: http://nationalpsychologist.com/index.php?s=reduced+antipsychotics+recommended+for+dementia

If I can be of assistance with referrals to medical professionals don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Having meaningful interactions with Individuals with dementia

Meal Prep

Learning ways to have a successful interaction with a person who has dementia

Is not only helpful to the individual but will help to sustain your relationship.

Here are some tips:

 

  1. Communicate within their eye level. Sit or lower your body so that you can relate at eye level. Standing over the person can be threatening and lead to their resistance and agitation.

 

  1. Body language and tone of voice.  Approach and engage with a relaxed body posture and pleasant tone of voice. Wear a smile- it conveys happiness and wellbeing. Individuals with dementia are quick to pick up non-verbal communications.

 

  1. Know what topics are appealing. If family is important to the person, talk about it. If they liked cooking or gardening, that’s a great way to start a conversation or engage in that type of activity. Learn what made them happy or feel successful prior to there having dementia.  Let the person talk without your offering correction.

 

  1. Avoid negative topics. Stay away from conversations about bad weather, disturbing news, all negative situations. This can cause undue agitation that they cannot fully understand nor control.

 

  1. Offer directives and/or activities which achievable. Offer one sentence directive, pause and wait for response. This is true for engaging in an activity. Give one-step directive and pause till it is completed.

 

  1. Compliment their involvement. We all like to feel valuable and productive. This feeling doesn’t diminish because of dementia. There is no such thing as too much praise!

 

  1. Validation. Individuals with dementia can be resistant and reluctant to engage. If with all your best intentions and understanding of how to engage doesn’t work then stop. Don’t respond by being firm or belittling. Instead, validate or join with what they are feeling or reacting to and convey that you are sorry, be reassuring and try to change the topic or location.

I have on hand over 100 kinds of activities and will offer you specific ways to successfully engage the person you are providing care, contact me.

Please feel free to Contact