5 Keys to Providing Successful Dementia Therapy at Home
Dementia therapy is a way for a family to provide dementia activities to promote and maintain independence and mental function for as long as possible. Being proactive and starting treatment early and aggressively is important to the person diagnosed with dementia and the family members that provide care for that individual.
Many family members think that dementia therapy is just taking medications. They do not realize that there are many aspects to this condition and medications are just one tiny part of dementia treatment. Before I go any further in explaining the keys to providing successful treatment at home, it is important that you understand that there are many causes and types of dementia.
Once you have a diagnosis, it is important to learn as much about the specific treatment, Dementia therapy has many different approaches. Early intervention and aggressive treatment is often delayed by family members or the patient themselves. This delay can cause serious setbacks or unnecessary progression of the loss of mental functioning. There are twelve keys to providing successful treatment at home. I will share five important keys with you today.
As I mentioned before, there are many different types of dementia. The parts of the brain affected, the disease process progression expected (slow versus aggressive) and the prognosis will determine how to plan for future care needs. So key number one is to learn as much as you can about the specific dementia type and how the different parts of the brain will be affected.
This will help the family and the patient to identify potential future care needs. When a person inflicted with dementia is diagnosed early, they can work with family members and health care providers to make their wishes for future care needs known.
More on the 5 keys to providing successful dementia therapy at home.
Safety is the second important key to providing dementia treatment at home. Falls are a major concern as we age. Some with dementia will have problems with wandering. Addressing safety issues in the home is important. Making simple changes to the environment may be your first step. Taking measures to keep an individual safe in the home and keep them from wandering outside the home may take a little more expertise. A certified aging in place specialist can make recommendations to changes to the home environment. An occupational therapist that deals with dementia can make suggestions for things related to the activities of daily living.
Proper nutrition and regular daily exercise is the third key to successful treatment, that begins at home. Research studies show that physical exercise is as important as brain fitness exercises to improving mental functioning. Exercise helps the brain create new connections and this, in turn, improves the connections between brain cells.
There are many different approaches and therapies to maintain mental function for as long as possible. It is important that the care givers learn how to focus on the positive abilities of the person with dementia. The care giver should realize that when the individual they are caring for looses an ability to do something, they will not regain that function back with progressive dementias.
Cognitive therapy, therapies that stimulate sensory perception and learning to communicate with the individual at their present level of functioning are the fourth key. Providing successful care at home means developing a routine with dementia activities. On any given day that routine may be disrupted. The individual may no longer remember how to do something they did just a day ago. The person providing the care for the individual with dementia with the proper approach can avoid many negative behaviors that can arise out of frustration with care.
The fifth and final key that I will discuss with you today is the importance of learning behavior modification techniques. One thing for certain is, there will be moments where the person you are caring for will become frustrated, angry or even aggressive. It is important to be prepared to know how to act when negative behaviors are exhibited. Successful dementia therapy begins at home. Start early, develop short and long term goals and develop an ongoing care plan that changes as the needs of the individual change.
Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane’s web site and learn more about dementia therapy and treatment. Check into information on Brain fitness and a brain fitness program, these are important aspects of brain health. Sign up for “The Caring Advocate” her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course “Advocating For Yourself and Others.”
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