As we know, often it is not what we say, but how we say it, that impacts our probability of success. It is no different than with caregiving.
Someone living with dementia is grappling with a loss of control. They are older adults who have lived their entire lives, led successful careers, raised families, and are used to being in control. It is not easy to accept the fact that they need help from others to carry on with basic tasks.
Therefore, consider the following phrases and how we might change them:
I want you to … –> May I help with that?
You need to … –> Can I do that with you?
That’s not what I told you … –> Would it be alright if?
No, not like that… –> How about we try it this way?
You can’t… –> How do you feel about this?
Let me do that for you… –> How about we do this together?
Why don’t you… –> Do you prefer this or that?
Don’t you remember? –> This is your (house/sister/son,etc.).
Please do this… –> Would you like to do that now or in a few minutes?
In addition to changing our phrases, we can also use new ones when we encounter difficult situations. If your loved one in angered or frustrated, acknowledge how they feel and explicitly express empathy. They do not like their situation any more than you. This will help them feel understood.
Some of these ideas came from the Mayo Clinic’s magazine “Living with Dementia”, specifically Chapter 3, p. 42.
Late-stage dementia can be a tough and challenging time for caregivers and loved ones. However, understanding what to expect during this stage can help make the experience more manageable. The progression of dementia is marked by changes such as memory loss, language impairment, and carrying out familiar daily tasks. Though it’s difficult to predict the exact course of this progressive disorder, the last stage of dementia has specific identifiable characteristics.
As caregivers, it’s important to understand what happens in your loved one’s brain and how that affects their behavior and capabilities. At NursePartners, our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), also known as CarePartners, support and care for dementia patients whether they are aging at home or in a healthcare facility. We’ll connect with your loved one as they endure the last stage of dementia symptoms, which can be a challenging and emotionally charged experience.
It’s important to understand the final stages of this disease so you can better adjust your care techniques to be more effective. In this post, we’ll let you know what to look out for during the final stages of dementia.
What is Late-stage Dementia?
Late-stage dementia is the final stage of progressive brain disorder. This is when symptoms become severe enough to significantly interfere with daily life and everyday activities. The exact symptoms will vary from person to person, but they can be extremely challenging for the individual and their caregivers.
At NursePartners, we are trained in using The GEMS™: Brain Change Model, designed by world-renowned occupational therapist Teepa Snow. We use this approach to connect with and care for patients at every stage of dementia.
Under The GEMS™: Brain Change Model, Dr. Snow categorizes dementia stages as gemstones. It’s an approach that encourages a strong care partnership by seeing your loved one as precious, unique, and capable. Our CarePartners use this model to help them to live fully in their moment. The advanced stages of dementia are classified as follows:
Ambers prefer to live in the present and are sensation-driven, manipulating, gathering, and touching objects. They emphasize wants and needs and occasionally wander while unaware of risks. Since they have trouble comprehending and expressing needs due to their limited communication ability, choosing familiar and sensory-stimulating activities is best.
Rubies start to lose their motor coordination. They also experience difficulty with visual awareness and major sensory changes, causing them to require assistance with everyday activities and actions such as brushing, buttoning, and walking. Hand-under-hand assistance helps rubies feel safe and secure.
In the last stage of dementia are our Pearls. They are oblivious to their surroundings like a pearl layered and concealed within a shell. They are also motionless and quiet. Pearls cherish intimate moments by clinging to pleasant noises and recognizable voices.
What are the Symptoms of Dementia Towards the End of Life?
The symptoms of late-stage dementia can vary depending on the underlying cause. Still, people in the last stage of dementia are more likely to experience a decline in physical and cognitive function.
The last stage of dementia symptoms include:
Difficulty remembering names and faces
Struggling to speak coherently
Having a limited understanding of what is being said to them
Inability to walk
Difficulty swallowing and feeding themselves
Inability to use the toilet independently.
They may also suffer from weight loss, incontinence, and sleep problems. In addition, people with late-stage dementia are at an increased risk for falls and other accidents. As the condition progresses, they typically become bedridden and require around-the-clock care.
Further changes are common as a patient’s condition deteriorates within a few days or hours of dying. The person may:
worsen more quickly than before
be unable to swallow
become agitated or restless
develop an irregular breathing pattern
have a chesty or rattly sound to their breathing
have cold hands and feet.
How Long Does the Late-stage of Dementia Usually Last?
On average, the final stage of dementia last one to two years. Ultimately, the length of time a person spends in the last stage of dementia will depend on many factors, including the underlying cause of the disease and the individual’s overall health.
How to Support Someone During the Last Stage of Dementia?
Knowing that your family member or friend is near the end of life can be devastating, but making some plans may make things easier. When someone reaches the final stages of life, one of the main concerns is ensuring they are comfortable and as pain-free as possible.
There are a few things that you can do to manage difficult behaviors associated with late-stage dementia:
Create a calm and safe environment: Make sure the space around them is uncluttered and free from potential hazards. Consider using soft lighting and calming music to create a soothing atmosphere.
Encourage communication: Try engaging them in conversation and activities they enjoy. This can help them feel more connected and less frustrated.
Provide support: It is important to provide physical and emotional support to the person with dementia and other caregivers. This can help reduce stress levels and prevent burnout.
Professional Help for Late-Stage Dementia Available in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware Counties
For 20 years, NursePartners has supported families by providing compassionate and experienced nurse care to their loved ones living with dementia. We will work with you to devise a comprehensive care plan for your relative.
Contact us today by calling 610.323.9800 for a free consultation. You may also complete our online contact form.
Modern technology has enabled people to work and communicate from any part of the world, resulting in many families scattered around several cities and states. However, there are instances when your physical presence and attention are needed. Taking care of a senior loved one presents specific practical challenges that can’t be managed from a distance. Relocating to a new city can be traumatic for your loved one, and there are times when moving closer is the best option. But what are the telltale signs that the time has come?
Today, NursePartners shares some tips to help you recognize and respond to the signs.
Signs Your Senior Loved One Needs You
Parents and close relatives who’ve been leading independent lives may not want children, family, or other loved ones to know they require increased care. You may notice their eyesight is deteriorating, and they’re less mobile and active than before. For example, they may have difficulty with day-to-day tasks, such as driving and cooking. A loss of interest in activities and hobbies they previously enjoyed may indicate they suffer from depression and feel isolated.
Before contemplating any action, take a trip to visit them, and talk to friends and any caregivers. By getting a realistic picture of their current situation, you can make informed decisions on the best plan moving forward.
Taking Steps to Move
One of the primary challenges of moving is finding a new home. The best way to overcome these challenges and avoid an emotion-driven purchase is to rent a property in an area close to where your senior loved one lives to assess the situation.
If you plan to purchase a home, for example, top mortgage lenders can help you. The house you can buy depends on your monthly income and total monthly expenses. It means that you have to add up your monthly expenses and divide the total by your gross monthly income. Some online calculators can assist if you aren’t sure how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the market and the prices you can expect.
Lastly, develop a plan to help you prepare for the move itself. Don’t think you need to do everything yourself. You can do yourself a big favor by searching online for “movers near me,” then browsing ratings and reviews to get the best deal.
Getting a jump start on this can make all the difference in the world; the sooner you start making a plan, the smoother the process can be. Sure, there will still be a few bumps in the road, but planning ahead is essential when you’re moving — especially if you’re moving yourself and your business.
Arranging Care for Your Senior Loved One
Your loved one may experience loss of memory, act impulsively, or lose their balance when walking, which may be indicative of the early stages of dementia. Depending on the level of care your loved one needs and the amount of time you can spend taking care of them, consider using professional caregivers’ services. In many cases, seniors require specialized treatment as their condition advances.
Take Preventative Action
Whether or not to move closer to a senior loved one isn’t an easy decision, as it involves several changes for you and the person you’re caring for. By carefully assessing the situation and determining the actual level and need of care, it can help make a move successful in the long run.
NursePartners provides services to assist someone living with this ever-changing condition to help them live fully in their moment. Call 610-323-9800.
There comes a point in every person’s life when they are not physically able to care for themselves anymore. The decision of what to do next can be a difficult one. If you have a loved one who is approaching old age and seems to need care, the responsibility of choosing a care plan may fall on you. How do you know what’s right for the senior in your life? By knowing your options and weighing them carefully. Home Care and Nursing Homes are two viable options for providing care. Understanding the benefits of both can help you make a better decision.
Of the two, home care is a more private option and allows your loved one to remain in their own home. Home care is often the first choice for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia as it is less disruptive to their current lifestyle. Home care allows for a more personal, one-on-one relationship with the caregiver and ensures that your loved one’s needs are being met all while keeping them in a setting that is comfortable and familiar to them. With home care seniors can remain as independent as possible, rather than needing to turn over basic tasks to the daily staff at a facility. This is especially important for individuals with dementia, as they often find a sense of stability and purpose in the small tasks, they are still able to perform for themselves.
Who you hire for in-home care matters! Your in-home care team needs to be friendly, professional, and patient. NursePartners provides quality certified nursing assistants that specialize in geriatric care. They have at least one-year experience and are managed by registered nurses and certified dementia practitioners. We want to make sure the proper support is in place.
In some cases care is needed at all times of the day; and for these individuals nursing homes may be a good option. Nursing homes are typically staffed with a variety of medical professionals. These professionals can care for your loved one around the clock and can perform medical and non-medical functions when needed. Though they are all inclusive, nursing homes may remove an individual’s independence and leading to depression. Nursing homes can be noisy and feel unfamiliar for a time before feeling like “home,” which can be a difficult adjustment for some seniors.
The choice between a nursing home and home care is up to each individual and their family. Sometimes it is a very personal decision, and sometimes it is a logistical one. It also does not need to be one or the other. Many families use home care services to transition a loved one to a facility or supplement care.
As a dementia progresses, many assisted living communities will require that the resident move to a nursing home. This comes at a steep premium. By using home care services at the facility, you can devise a creative solution. You also have two groups of advocates monitoring your loved one and another.
Learn more: 610-323-9800.
Call us to learn more about what makes NursePartners different. We are an independent coming, caring exclusively for older adults since 2002. We are locally owned and run by a registered nurse and certified dementia practitioner, Angela Geiger. We would love the opportunity to learn more about how we can support you.
How can we, family and carepartners, support the people we know living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia?
Keeping loved ones stimulated and providing ability-based care and support cannot be overstated. At NursePartners, we recognize the GEMS™ model as an effective method for providing a treatment plan for individuals affected by dementia. Click here for an introductory overview of the classification system describing the stages of the journey.
By appreciating what is changing and what is still possible, we can provide care that is more effective and less challenging.
Stage 3 – Severe/Late (lasts about one 1-3 years) – Rubies and Pearls
As dementia moves into the final stage, it can be difficult to know how to meet needs. Many lose their ability to control movement and respond to the environment. As memory and cognitive skills worsen, your loved one may need extensive help with daily activities.
The goal of care at this stage is to focus on preserving dignity and quality of life. Although your loved one may lose the ability talk and express needs, you can still connect with them, enjoying interactions and experiences of their past life.
About Rubies and Pearls
Rubies experience late stage changes as fine motor skills are very limited. Losses in depth perception, as well as limited visual awareness and major sensory changes result in needed assistance with utensils, brushing, buttoning and moving. Hand-under-hand assistance helps rubies feel safe and secure. Suggested activities together include: reading, playing music, and looking through old photos.
Pearls are still and quiet, unable to actively move or respond, with limited awareness of the world. Pearls enjoy pleasant sounds and familiar voices, grasping onto moments of connection. Whether it’s the smell of their favorite perfume, or a beloved radio program, these small experiences can help capture a moment in time and evoke pleasant memories. Being present, patient, and understanding with your loved one will help them escape feelings of isolation associated with late stage Alzheimer’s.
Planning the Day
Tailor the environment with the interests of your loved one. This can allow them to emotionally connect to things they previously enjoyed.
Plan the days to have a balance of restful and active periods to help your loved ones transition slowly and gradually from one to the other.
Observe the person for signs of stress. Keep lights low and noise to a minimum. Consider visiting in smaller numbers.
Use your voice to engage and encourage, talking quietly to tell stories and reminiscing about past events.
Discover which eye they use for vision. Do not obstruct their line of site and get on or below eye level when speaking with them.
At this point in the disease, the world is primarily experienced through the senses. You can express your caring through touch, sound, sight, taste and smell.
Activities for Rubies and Pearls
Playing their favorite music
Reminiscing about past events
Reading portions of books that have meaning for the person
Looking at old photos together
Preparing a favorite food
Rubbing lotion with a favorite scent into the skin
NursePartners is committed to providing uncompromised care to those living with a diagnosis of dementia. Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort and happiness through home-care services.
If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help.
We can support the people we know living with dementia by keeping them mentally stimulated and providing ability-based care and support. At NursePartners, we recognize the GEMS™ model as an effective method for providing a plan of care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Click here for an introductory overview of the classification system and to understand the stages of the journey.
By appreciating what is changing and what is still possible, we can provide care that is more effective and less challenging.
At NursePartners, we use the “Emerald” or “Amber” classification for clients with moderately developed dementias. We prefer this terminology because we know that all clients are operate at their best with the right approach to care.
A client normally persists in the Emerald and Amber stages the longest out of the other GEM levels. During this time, damage to the brain can make it difficult to express thoughts and perform routine tasks. It is important to allow your loved one to be involved in their day-to-day routine. Provide meaning through relevant activities that were part of their past because this will provide them with a sense of self-worth and add to their quality of life.
There will be acute changes to their self-awareness and senses. We need to be able to distinguish daily changes and overall trends. By having an established relationship with the client, we are also able to tell the difference between a client’s personality quirks and further developments of the disease.
About Emeralds and Ambers
Emeralds may get lost in time, thinking that are in another place or assuming a former role. They have problems with communication and comprehension, often asking questions that begin with “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when”. At this GEM level, clients are making small mistakes with their personal care, but may not recognize it. Some examples of this might be fastening buttons in the wrong holes, putting shoes on the wrong feet, or not changing clothing or brushing hair before leaving the home. It is not important that we “correct every mistake”, but make changes subtly by using the right approach. Sometimes this requires relating to the “mistake”, by discussing how we do this ourselves. We could also pull out another piece of clothing and convince the client how good they look in that particular piece.
Emeralds are most comfortable when doing familiar tasks. They like to engage and help others, as well as feeling like they have a purpose. At a family functions, engage them by asking to help set the table and then clean it up. Choose favorite activities or hobbies of the past, but do not impose time limits for completing each task
Activities at home
Activities around the house can help Emeralds feel involved and provide a sense of normality. Activities such as setting the table, watering plants, and cooking can reflect past hobbies and interests, and can be a good way of retaining skills. Helping in the kitchen can also bring people together, as many experiences revolve around meals: holidays, birthdays, church potlucks, summer barbecues, weddings. Some activities for Emeralds include:
Cooking: salads, ice cream, Jell-O, pudding, no-bake cookies and pies, etc.
Copying recipes from magazines onto cards
Making a grocery list of items needed for recipes
Setting the table: Folding or rolling silverware into napkins
Ambers like to live in moments of time, and are focused on sensation – manipulating, gathering and touching. They are focused on wants and needs, and sometimes are exploratory without safety awareness. Their communication is limited with difficulty understanding and expressing needs, so activities selected need be familiar and sensory stimulating. Ambers may enjoy sing-alongs or being in visually stimulating outdoor locations.
Family members find it hard to find new ways “to say hello”. We need to remember that there are other ways to communicate beyond verbally. This is the time to start using those our methods.
Some activities for Ambers include:
Sorting nails, screws, and other hardware.
Organizing nail polish and lipsticks by color and shape.
Grouping coins, according to date, value or place of origin.
Rearranging the order of the silverware drawer by forks, spoons and knives.
Categorizing playing cards into decks or suits that match.
Planning the Day
Make a schedule and follow it: be structured but allow flexibility.
Offer a variety of activities everyday: leisure, work, rest, and self-care.
Create a flow for the day: build up and then slow down.
Build a foundation of familiar and favorite activities.
NursePartners is committed to providing uncompromised care to those living with a diagnosis of dementia. Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home-care services.
If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help. Contact us today.
The early stages of dementia sometimes go unnoticed, especially if the older adult lives alone. In the cases that we do learn of an early diagnosis, the challenge becomes how to best support the person living with dementia. Typically the diagnosis may be Alzheimer’s disease, but the reality is that there are over 80 types of dementia and other conditions that produce symptoms similar to dementia.
Stage 1 – Mild/Early (lasts 2-4 yrs) – NursePartners refers to these individuals as “Sapphires” and “Diamonds”
In the early stages of dementia, your loved one may withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed. It is important to help them remain engaged and stimulated. Even the most simple, everyday tasks such as setting the table or folding clothes can help a person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia feel connected to “normal” life. Activities linked to hobbies and interests can maximize choice and help build the relationship between that person and the carepartner.
About Sapphires and Diamonds
Sapphires may feel “blue” due to changes with the aging process, although there may be no significant changes in cognition. Sapphires are committed to lifelong patterns, enjoying the things the way they always have. Sapphires prefer being asked what to do when making decisions. Pamper them – spending a spa day or a trip to the barber/beauty salon can help them feel less blue. Sapphires are not living with dementia.
Diamonds are “clear and sharp,” successful with established habits and routines. Diamonds like to feel competent and valued, and it is important for them to feel comfortable and in control. A diamond can still do things as they always have, but they become more territorial and less aware of boundaries. Diamonds enjoy familiar places, whether that be a family member’s home or a favorite restaurant. Suggested activities include attending concerts or plays and getting fresh air – picnicking or walking outdoors.
A stroll in the neighborhood helps animate most older adults.
Activities for Sapphires and Diamonds
Thinking: crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, cards, board games, and reading.
Physical: walking animals, gardening, walking, swimming, and dancing.
Social: visiting with family or friends, or going to a favorite restaurant.
Home Activities: folding laundry, feeding pets, cooking and helping in the kitchen.
Creative: arts and crafts projects, knitting, painting and drawing, playing music or singing.
Daily living: taking a shower, brushing teeth, eating, and getting dressed.
Creating a scrapbook, pasting photos onto the pages and writing notes about the memory beside the photo.
Reading saved letters and greeting cards.
Life Story Game: Ask your loved one to list the steps and necessities associated with an activity. For example: “We are going on a picnic, what would we bring in the picnic basket? Where would we go for the picnic?”
NursePartners is committed to providing uncompromised care to those living with a diagnosis of dementia. Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort, and meaningful activity through home-care services.
If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help.
Exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle, contributing to physical and mental health, muscle control, coordination, and a sense of wellbeing. It plays a huge role in reducing Alzheimer’s and dementia, by maintaining blood flow to the brain and stimulating cell growth.
These are the benefits of physical exercise for these individuals:
improved cognition, sleep, and mood;
opportunities for social interaction;
reducing feelings of confusion and isolation;
improved confidence and self-esteem;
reduced risk of breast and colon cancer, stroke, and type II diabetes;
improved physical fitness (maintaining strong muscles and flexible joints can help people maintain independence for longer).
The Department of Health recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week. This equates to 30 minutes of activity per day. This can be broken up into shorter sessions throughout the day, with each session lasting a minimum of 10 minutes. Allow your loved one to go at their own pace. Plan a day around physical activities: a fifteen minute walk in the morning, followed by housework or gardening tasks in the afternoon.
It is important to consider ability, stage of dementia, and preference, as individuals undertake physical exercise. Some might be more adaptable to exercise, while others start with simpler activities.
Always talk to a healthcare professional before creating a exercise plan. Often clients have previously worked with a physical therapist. NursePartners is able to help clients follow those plans already developed.
What is the right exercise?
An exercise program incorporated into a routine in the early stages of dementia is more likely to be maintained, extending the benefits to health and well-being.
Consider a physical activity that is mentally and socially engaging, such as walking, gardening, dancing, or an exercise group. Repetitive activity such as walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike can also help reduce anxiety and confusion.
Exercise in the later stages of dementia
If possible, physical activity can be very beneficial in the later stages of dementia.
Some suggested exercises:
Have your loved one sit on one end of the bed, and then scoot to the other end while sitting. This exercise is good practice for getting up from a chair;
Encourage them to sit in a different chair at each mealtime throughout the day;
Help them sit without support. This exercise helps with balance and posture and can form part of everyday activities;
Have your loved one walk short distances between rooms as part of a daily routine. This will help maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility.
Physical activity creates an opportunity for your loved one to socialize with others, as well as working to improve and maintain their independence. NursePartners is committed to providing uncompromised care to those living with a diagnosis of dementia. Our carepartners are trained in the Positive Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care (GEMS™) and work with families to enable safety, comfort, and happiness through home care services.
If your loved one need home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help.
Family members and caregivers play an important role in identifying eating-related problems of those with dementia. Mealtimes can be made easier by implementing a variety of strategies that promote independence.
These are six common problems and solutions:
Cognitive issues: include the inability to express needs or desires. Sometimes they forget to eat or are unable to distinguish food from the plate as a consequence of changing visual and spatial abilities.
Solution: Set an alarm clock or a phone call as a useful reminder for mealtimes. Snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated can be left out where they are easily seen. Use contrasting plates with placemats. Remember to keep water or another beverage within sight. Your loved one might not always be able to tell you when they are thirsty.
Physical problems: include the inability to hold and use utensils; proper posture; fatigue; vision impairment; decreased depth perception; mouth sores; gum disease; dry mouth; poorly fitting or missing dentures; chewing or swallowing problems (dysphagia); and inability to move food inside the mouth.
Solution: Finger foods can be a nutritious and easy alternative, enabling a continued level of independence. If the person’s head tilts backward, move it to a forward position while allowing them to eat at their own pace. You can also use double hand-under-hand to simulate the motion of the person feeding themselves. This often is the most effective approach.
Menu-related concerns: include an overwhelming amount of choices; unappealing food presentations, smells, flavors, or textures; and foods that from the individual’s personal, cultural, or religious preferences.
Solution: Keep long-standing personal preferences in mind when preparing food. Understand that new food preferences usually develop. Simplify mealtime by serving one dish at a time. Whenever possible, engage the care recipient in the process. Let them express their likes and dislikes and adjust the offerings accordingly.
Lack of physical activity: can decrease appetite.
Solution: Encourage simple exercise, such as going for a walk, gardening, or washing dishes. If your loved one is enrolled in a physical therapy session, try to incorporate the physical therapy suggestions.
Environmental issues: can be noise, visual stimulation, poor lighting, and temperature. These all have an effect on your loved one’s ability to eat.
Solution: Try serving meals in quiet surroundings, away from the television and other distractions. Keep the table settings simple. Avoid any table arrangements that may distract or confuse the person. Use only the utensils needed for the meal. Vision changes for all older adults, but especially for those living with dementia. Remember that you will need to approach from the right angles in order for them to see you.
New medications or a dosage change may affect appetite.
It is common for individuals in later stages of dementia to lose a considerable amount of weight. Physiological changes associated with aging, such as decreased thirst and hunger perception, can further complicate nutrition and hydration status in dementia patients.
It is important to address a decreased appetite while still making the most of your loved one’s abilities. Adapt recipes to enable self-feeding abilities at mealtimes, These are important opportunities for them to make choices.
By now, you all know why we love the nationally renowned dementia care expert Teepa Snow and her GEMS® classification system techniques and strategies. This Huffington Post article covers the essentials in providing family members and care partners the tools and tips that lead to positive and meaningful relationships with loved ones with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
As a person with Alzheimer’s and dementia progresses, it is important to continue to provide quality of life at each stage. Entertainment and activities are essential for the wellbeing of people with Alzheimer’s. While they do not slow the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s, these activities can improve the quality of life for your loved ones.
“They can make the difference between a deadly boring day of staring at the floor and a rich sense of purpose and contentedness. They can also help the caregiver make a connection with the person, no matter how brief.”
Move beyond entertainment
Games and activities help maintain motor skills and lessen agitation, depression, and stress. Projects that match your loved one’s skills and profession can provide a sense of independence and ownership. It’s important to adapt the activities you use to your loved one’s natural likes and disposition. Here are some things to consider when providing a plan of care:
What profession did you loved one choose?
Which roles did they have and can you preserve or re-imagine some of that?
Are they an extrovert or introvert?
What were their hobbies?
While an extrovert is likely to enjoy group activities like bingo, your introvert will much rather do something on their own, such as solving puzzles or organizing coins.
For people with Alzheimer’s disease, a successful activity, whether it’s listening to music or playing a game, helps create meaning and pulls from past interests. These activities can provide your loved one with a chance to be more engaged, while fostering an emotional connection and self-expression.
According to Teepa, the single most important thing for family and professional care partners to keep in mind is:
“Provide more than just entertainment.
People with dementia can become tired or overstimulated if they have too much entertainment.”
Include productive and relaxation activities
It’s important to balance the day, by including productive activities (that the person can realistically to expected to be able to achieve), leisure time, fitness activities and, finally, rest and relaxation. Teepa stressed the importance of modifying your expectations as your loved one progresses through the stages of dementia. Activities that worked well with those in the early stages will not necessarily be successful for those in the mid- to late-stages.
People with dementia have the right to enjoy the highest possible quality of life and care by being engaged in meaningful relationships that are based on equality, understanding, sharing, participation, collaboration, dignity, trust, and respect.
At NursePartners, we work to match a highly qualified and experienced care partners to your preferences and expectations. We strive for hand-picked, exceptional care that meets the needs of each unique individual. Our specialized approach to care includes a customized treatment plan – our caregivers are dedicated to improving quality of life.
By keeping a record of everything from mood behaviors, health problems to daily activities, we can begin to understand what factors contribute to positive moods and overall happiness. Furthermore, our care partners have leading expertise and experience with dementia and Alzheimer’s care. Care partners also assist with transportation, preparing individualized meals, light housekeeping, and personal care.
If your loved one needs home care assistance or relief, our team would love to help. Contact us today.