Many lives change after a family member gets diagnosed with dementia. A person with dementia experiences a complete life alteration, while immediate caregivers and other family members learn to adapt to the changes while keeping their loved one safe.
Many caregivers offering support to their loved ones face challenges every day. After all, it is likely a new and unfamiliar experience for everyone in the family.
It’s essential for caregivers who aren’t trained professionally to offer care to learn about the different aspects of caregiving. Better knowledge can help caregivers face challenges head-on while offering support. Learn more about the common challenges and ways to tackle them to make the transition to this new way of life smoother for your loved one.
Unfamiliarity with New Symptoms
Some dementia symptoms are prevalent and appear in the earlier stages, but as dementia progresses, your loved one may experience changes that you are unfamiliar with as a caregiver. Symptoms that appear in the later stages of dementia can arise suddenly, and you may have difficulty interpreting the cause and solution. Some symptoms include excessive memory problems, language difficulties, and changes in behavior.
The severity of the symptoms and their impacts depends on several factors, such as the type of dementia, your loved one’s age, and physical abilities. It’s normal to feel stressed out when faced with new symptoms, but it’s important to remember that the change is new for your loved one. The best way to deal with this is to consult a doctor who can offer guidance and solution to adapt to the new symptoms.
Seniors Refusing to Eat or Take Medication
Many seniors with dementia refuse to eat or take medication, which can cause problems for caregivers, especially if you are in a rush to work. If you notice signs of appetite loss in your loved one, dig deep into the matter and discover the underlying cause. Appetite loss often stems from cognitive impairment, pain, or fatigue. Their appetite and eating disturbances may become more prominent in later sources and can vary depending on the type and stage of dementia.
A study about eating disturbances in individuals with Alzheimer’s found that some had eating and swallowing difficulties. In contrast, others faced appetite changes and changes in eating habits and food preferences.
You can convince your loved one to eat by keeping the table setting simple, offering one food at a time, being flexible with food choices, and eating together. Limiting distractions and considering their food preferences can encourage them to eat and reduce your stress.
Aggressive Behaviour from Seniors
Seniors with dementia undergo many changes, often resulting in agitation or aggressive behaviour towards caregivers or other individuals. It’s important to understand that the frequent changes to their brain can be complex for them to handle, leading to uncontrollable behaviour.
Most aggressive behaviors root in underlying issues, such as the inability to remember things, pain, hunger, or confusion. If you’re having trouble navigating these behaviours, consider seeking help from a memory care facility. A key advantage of memory care facilities is that they have the necessary knowledge to deal with behavioral issues among seniors with dementia. They can identify the root causes of the issues and help your loved one feel safe and comfortable, reducing aggressive behavior.
Witnessing your loved one go through one of the most challenging changes in their life isn’t easy. Caregiving certainly takes a toll on family members, but it’s important to remember that you also need to find mental peace. Get familiar with common challenges caregivers face and seek professional help when necessary.