Caring For Your Loved One With Dementia: Factors You May Not Have Considered
If you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with a form of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, you may find yourself taking on the role of caregiver without much knowledge about what your loved one will need from you on a day-to-day basis. Get to know more about some of the factors that you will need to consider when caring for your loved one with dementia so that you can be sure you are doing everything you can to maintain their quality of life and provide them with the best possible support.
Insomnia and Sundowning
While you may be prepared for your loved one to have memory lapses and similar issues, you may not be prepared for some of the hours that they may begin to keep and the ways that their behaviors may change based on the time of day. Many people that suffer from dementia also suffer from some form of insomnia.
The reasons for this are not entirely clear. However, it is very common for a person with dementia to get up late at night and wander around or begin exhibiting strange and confused behaviors. Some of these behaviors may be dangerous and include "cooking" without any pans on the stove or food in the apparatus. They may or may not stick with a task they start at such a time which can also be hazardous.
Sundowning could also be an issue that you notice. This occurs when a person's dementia symptoms worsen in the evening, or as the sun goes down. They may be relatively lucid throughout the day but begin to deteriorate in the evening. Be prepared for this issue so that it does not come as a surprise if and when it happens.
You Will Likely End Up Dealing With Incontinence And Catheter Care
Dementia does not only affect memory, but also control over body functions. Urinary incontinence and bladder control issues are quite common with dementia. Some of the problems arise from forgetting where the bathroom is or forgetting that they need to use one. However, eventually, the issues become more problematic and more about the brain being unable to control bladder release.
Eventually, this may call for the need for a urinary catheter. Catheters are tubes that connect directly to the bladder and drain the urine out into a catheter bag. As your loved one's caregiver, you will need to ensure that the catheter bag is emptied and the catheter itself, as well as the area, are kept clean to prevent infections and other complications. If you are not comfortable performing these tasks yourself, you may want to hire a home health aide to assist you once or twice a day with such tasks. Buy or rent reliable catheters from trusted providers, such as Medi-Rents & Sales Inc
Now that you know a few of the factors you may not have previously considered when caring for your loved one with dementia, you can be sure that you are prepare for the scope of care that your loved one will require.