As individuals age and reach the point of their senior years, they often require in home care services to continue their independent living at home. This is especially true for those who are having health issues and those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Providing care for someone living with this disease is not easy and can take a toll on stress for the caregiver. In the early stage, an individual may feel everything is under control but as the disease progresses, so does the level of care, can lead to 24/7 assistance. However, at Higher Standards Home Health, our dementia caregivers are familiar with the stages of the disease, common behaviors observed, how it manifests, strategies in dealing with it, and the safety precautions to apply.
Cognitive Stimulation Therapy, also known as CST, is clinically proven to help seniors with mild to moderate dementia and is the premier therapy method for patients diagnosed with this cognitive problem. CST involves memory training, language ability, and problem-solving skills in order to improve a person’s cognitive functioning while increasing the memory and reasoning skills without medication.
Behavioral therapy is usually administered by qualified family or loved ones of dementia patients or by the caregivers of afflicted individuals. This method is twice as effective as antipsychotics for treating symptoms like anxiety, aggression, depression, wandering, and insomnia. Behavioral therapy involves tackling the triggers or causes of unwanted behaviors like aggression or wandering in order to alleviate and provide outlets for these behaviors without medications. For example, a trained caregiver may find that feelings of restlessness or stress cause their patient to wander away from home. They can also implement an exercise regimen to manage this restlessness.
Other dementia therapies can be beneficial based on the situation, and include:
- Reality Orientation Therapy
It works to reduce confusion and disorientation that accompany dementia by providing information about the time and location several times throughout the day.
- Validation Therapy
This involves discussing and accepting the ideas and values of dementia patients in order to foster a positive communication and reduce stress for the care recipient.
- External Memory Aids
These are systems or devices, whether electronic or not, that help makes up for decreased memory. These include alarms that remind patients to take their medication, pictures, notes, message boards, or clocks with information to help reduce confusion and disorientation.
- Consistent Daily Routine
Establishing a daily rhythm is helpful for dementia patients and a consistent schedule allows patients to get access to a higher level of stability and independence. Caregivers may also notice times of the day when patients are more cooperative and less-disoriented – important events or activities should be scheduled for these periods.
- Stress Management
Stressors and anxiety levels are different for each individual. So it’s helpful to discover the different stress management methods. Examples of stress-relieving techniques include exercise, calming music, interactions with pets and animals, meditation, and social interaction.
- Environment Modifications
Factors like loud noises, bad lighting, glare-prone reflective surfaces, or clashing colors and patterns can cause agitation, anxiety, and disorientation in dementia patients. Create a peaceful, calming environment to help reduce stress in patients.