Dementia is a condition that affects the brain. It can make it difficult for someone to remember things, manage time or handle stress. As a result, people with dementia might have trouble with simple tasks or find it challenging to participate in social activities. For those who love and care for people with dementia, this can be an extremely difficult time. You may feel as if there is nothing you can do to help them cope with these changes in their lives. However, by increasing your knowledge about dementia, you can offer your loved one the support they need while also taking good care of yourself. With that in mind... Here are six things you should know about dementia:
Dementia is not a stroke or Alzheimer's Disease.
Dementia is a broad term that refers to confusion and forgetfulness that affects a person’s daily life. The symptoms can occur in people who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s and even 80s. While dementia can be caused by a stroke or other medical conditions, it can also be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia. Although there is some overlap, a stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden weakness in one side of the body, paralysis, slurred speech, or sudden confusion. If you notice these symptoms in a loved one, call 911 right away. A stroke requires immediate attention. Alzheimer’s disease can also cause confusion, but the symptoms develop over time. They may start with mild memory loss, such as forgetting where one put things.
There are different types of dementia.
There are many different types of dementia, and each one has its own set of symptoms. The most common types of dementia include:
Dementia can be hard to understand.
Dementia can be difficult to understand because it affects each person differently. You may have heard that people with dementia “forget everything.” This is not exactly true. While the disease does cause memory loss, it can also affect other areas of the brain. For example, someone with dementia may struggle to understand something that happened five minutes ago. This can be confusing for both the person with dementia and their loved ones. If you take care of someone who has dementia, you may feel as if you are constantly explaining things. You also may feel frustrated when the person does not remember what you said. Dementia also puts a great deal of stress on the caregiver. If you are taking care of someone who has dementia, you may feel as if you are always repeating yourself. You might also feel angry or resentful when your loved one does not remember what you told him or her. By recognizing these emotions, you can learn to cope with them.
People with dementia should continue to exercise.
Exercise is one of the best ways to fight dementia. It also can help with depression, anxiety and other symptoms that dementia brings. Many doctors recommend that people with dementia take part in an exercise program. You can tailor the program to meet the needs of your loved one. For example, you may want to walk with your loved one outside, sit in a stationary bike or go to a pool for therapy. Exercising is not just good for your loved one’s brain. It is also good for you. Taking care of someone with dementia is a stressful job. By exercising, you will help relieve some of that stress. You may also want to find a support group, where you can talk with people who are going through the same things you are.
You should give the person you're taking care of some space.
When people are experiencing a degenerative disease like dementia, they often feel like they are drowning in confusion, frustration and fatigue. They may also become agitated and irritable, which they usually direct toward those closest to them. You may feel the urge to help your loved one calm down. However, when you try to do this, you may actually make the situation worse. Instead, try to give your loved one some space. Allow him or her time to think or do whatever they need to do without interruption. When your loved one has calmed down, you can approach him or her again. You may also want to keep a journal, where you can write down your feelings and thoughts without worrying about bothering the person you care for.
Remember to take care of yourself.
It can be easy to focus all your attention on the person you are taking care of that you forget about yourself. While it is important to provide the best care you can, you cannot neglect your own needs. You should eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. You also need to make time for activities that you enjoy. Spending too much time taking care of someone with dementia can make you feel stressed, exhausted and resentful. You can avoid these feelings by setting aside at least an hour each day for something you enjoy, whether it’s taking a walk, reading a book or talking with a friend. It is also important to take care of your mental health. Many caregivers feel guilty when they take a break from the person they are caring for. They may worry that they are doing something wrong. You do not need to feel guilty about taking time for yourself. You are doing a great thing by making sure you are healthy and happy.
Taking care of a loved one with dementia is a challenging and stressful job. It can also take a toll on your mental and physical health. It is important to take care of yourself. If you notice that you are having trouble managing your stress, you should seek help. You can speak with a doctor, join a support group or take part in some kind of therapy. With these six things in mind, you can better understand and support the person in your life who is affected by dementia. By increasing your knowledge about dementia, you can offer your loved one the support they need while also taking good care of yourself.