Caring for Patients with Late Stage Dementia

Jan 30

 

Who would want dementia? No one but then it can happen to you or your loved ones. If in this case your loved one is suffering from late stage dementia, you have to be more careful and patient. They need you now more than ever. It will not be easy especially dealing with thinking and communication impairment. You cannot just give up and let him/her succumb to the disease.

Caring for patients with late stage dementia poses challenges and you will be stressed for sure but you cannot just let it go. Patients often feel alone and isolated. These negative feelings will lead to anger, denial or worse, depression. Do not wait for them to be distant or estranged. As a caregiver, the crucial thing that you have to remember is to look after yourself first. You cannot take care of your patient if you are weak, right?

Do not forget about your health because as the dementia progresses, you need all your strength since daily tasks will become difficult for the patient to execute. It does not stop there because there will be behavioural changes that if not looked closely will endanger his/her life. It is significant that you know how to care for him/her.

In terms of hygiene, you have to note that patients will become less interested in maintaining it. There will come a time that he/she will not comb hair even brush teeth. At times he/she will not care about a change of clothes or washing. To address this, you need to ensure that he/she is in a relaxed atmosphere. You should also ensure that the sequence of events is the same every day so he/she will mimic.

After that, you have to consider the patient getting dressed. Sometimes you will wonder how come they forgot about the sequence of clothing but you should understand. There are times you end up getting them out when he/she is tangled up in his/her clothing. The good news is that you can make this process correct and easier. You only need to lay out the right sequence of clothes and let him/her do it. The best solution here is to purchase comfortable clothes.

Another important thing that you should look after is their diet as this is for the overall well-being of your patient. However there are times that you can see a patient gaining weight because he/she does not remember the last meal or lose weight because he/she does not remember how to use the cutlery. Eating or feeding should not be a problem.

As for the toilet, patients will lose their ability to control bladder or bowel. This is stressful and can be a problem for you but there are measures that you can consider. For example, make sure that the toilet is easily identifiable by marking it with colors.

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