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5 Care Giving Tips for Families That Are Dealing with Dementia

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 1:11:47 PM
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 When you have a family member that has Alzheimer’s or another memory related disease, a lot of things change. Dealing with dementia means changing how life is approached and in some cases can alter lifelong relationships. This transition is not easy for the person who is suffering from the disease and for those that are providing care. Additionally, the changes that happen over the course of the disease can be difficult for the family as well. The good news is that there are a few things that can be done. These tips will help to transition a little easier for all.

 

Tips for Seniors and Their Families That Are Dealing with Dementia:

  1. Routines Around the Senior Are Essential: Try to keep meals, sleep and bathing schedules so that there is an expected flow to the day. Sudden changes to a senior with dementia’s environment or schedule abruptly can cause them to become emotional or confused.
  2. Allow the Elderly to be in a Familiar Setting: Confusion is scary but having a special chair, photos around that can act as reminders or even drinking a different thing than what they normally would can cause the symptoms to get worse.
  3. Play Music or Introduce Music Therapy: If you haven’t read about music therapy, it is something you want to consider with a senior have any memory problem. Music can sooth the symptoms of assist in reducing some Alzheimer’s symptoms and increases the mood.
  4. Reduce Noise and Agitation: Noise is usually a sundowning trigger and can agitate symptoms. Agitation will make the symptoms worse and the episode can last for a longer period or be worse than it needs to be. Gentle sound and lighting is the most helpful environment to reduce agitation.
  5. Give them What They Expect: More than simply providing a routine of meals and company at standard times, dealing with dementia also requires you to provide the entire family with an expectation. Small kids to older adults all have difficulties dealing with unexpected shifts in routine.

 

Some studies suggest that melatonin can help with sleep cycles and also lessen some of the symptoms of dementia related illnesses as well as can reduce the severity of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms in the evening. Of course, never give a supplement or medication without checking with a senior’s medical professional first. However, it could be a good resource for those that are struggling with evening amplification of symptoms.

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

Tips for Coping with Sundown Syndrome

Friday, May 12th, 2017 5:51:44 PM
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Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases. As a memory illness progresses and a senior’s memory fades, the symptoms they present change. Sundown syndrome, also known as sundowning, is a symptom of Alzheimer’s that occurs in the middle stages of the disease. The sleep disruption, confusion, and behavioral changes that come with sundowning can be overwhelming for family caregivers.

Below are some tips for coping with sundown syndrome and other Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Recognize the Signs

Sundown syndrome, or sundowning, received its name because it’s symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon or evening. Alzheimer’s symptoms such as confusion are exacerbated by the end-of-day physical and mental exhaustion. According to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, as many as 20 percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s will experience increased anxiety, confusion, and agitation late in the day (http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-sleep-issues-sundowning.asp) Being able to recognize sundowning and other Alzheimer’s symptoms is the first step in providing proper dementia care.

Manage Triggers to Create a Safe Environment

Poor lighting and shadows often increase confusion and anxiety with seniors experiencing sundowning. Keep the home well-lit in the evenings to help your loved one recognize their surroundings and that they are safe. Since exhaustion contributes to Alzheimer’s symptoms, make a comfortable and safe sleep environment. Sticking to a sleep schedule and avoiding mental stimulants like caffeine, sugar, or watching television before bed are also helpful.

Know When to Look For Help

Even when you are able to identify Alzheimer’s symptoms and the negative effects of things like sundowning, there may come a time where professional help becomes necessary. Professional caregivers and senior living facilities specially trained in memory care may be better suited to care for your loved one. What is most important to know when coping with memory illnesses is that you are never alone.

Reference:

http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-sleep-issues-sundowning.asp

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

Senior Comfort Care: What You Should Know About Respite Services

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 1:16:23 PM
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Providing elderly care to a senior parent or loved one is very rewarding, but it does have its drawbacks. It can have adverse effects on your health, professional life, or ability to care for your children. Since you need to care for yourself before being able to care for others, respite care exists as an option for family caregivers.  Respite care lets family caregivers take a break from caring for their beloved senior, providing temporary relief so you can take a much-needed vacation, or have a business trip that cannot be postponed. Respite care can be used for any length of time, whether it is an hour or two a week to part-time each day.

What is respite care?

  • While providing comfort care for a beloved senior can be tremendously rewarding, sometimes people need a break to run errands or relax. Respite care offers you the chance to do so by allowing someone else to take on the responsibility of providing care for your ill or older loved one. From a few hours a week to a few weeks a year, respite care is available in any situation to help you rejuvenate yourself in order to provide the best care possible for you loved one. 

What is comfort care?

  • Comfort care is a service which aids in the care of seniors with mental illnesses or physical disabilities. These services also provide home care for cases where the senior is uncomfortable or unable to leave the home. Providing a range of other services such as meal preparation, exercise, and socialization, comfort care is a beneficial arrangement when caring for an aging loved one.

Making a schedule can be helpful in deciding whether you need respite care, comfort care or a combination of care services. Respite care can include activities that engage your senior loved one, which benefits their mental wellness as well as yours. Include your loved one in any decisions regarding their care plan and reassure them that they will benefit from respite care as well.

 

References:  https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/end-life-helping-comfort-and-care/care-options-end-life

https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/hospice-and-respite-care.html

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-08-2010/pc-respite-care-a-break-for-the-caregiver.html

 

ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:

Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.

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Founder’s Crest (Home) is a warm and open atmosphere with a lot of natural light. It has a fresh look and smell which is pleasing. My sister and I had a hard decision to leave mom in Wichita after our father passed away. Finding ComfortCare Homes was a blessing. The staff are loving, kind, gentle and caring with all of the Residents. It is like they are taking care of their own families.

- Jackie Bayouth

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