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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Caregiver’s Tips on Communicating with Dementia Patients

Jan 26


You have to understand that as dementia progresses, you will find it difficult to communicate with patients because the patients are having hard time expressing their thoughts and feelings. Remember that dementia will impair the patient’s thinking and communication. Do not try to change it or let the patient succumb to it.

It might be stressful caring for a dementia patient because of the wide range of emotions they emanate from anger to depression but that does not give you the reason to give up. Dementia is a serious disease here in Singapore and the world. It is time that you know how to communicate to them. Enhancing communication can help a lot at the end of the day.

Here are some tips that you can consider to communicate with dementia patients:

Voice matters: You need to talk to them slowly and clearly. It should not be too loud because it will sound annoying or even annoying. You need to use a low-pitched voice when communicating to them. Be calm as much as possible.

Face it: Sometimes it is easier not to establish eye contact but patients need that. If you talk to them, make sure that you are facing them and establish eye contact. They will feel your sincerity.

Use simple words: Do not use elaborate sentences no matter how much you want it. Dementia patients understand easily if you use short but familiar words. When talking to them, use simple sentences too. This will clearly express what you exactly want to reveal. Along the process, do not forget to give them enough time to respond. Do not be too quick on letting them know. Avoid composing complicated words.

Give one instruction at a time: It is good to give them some tasks because they will feel productive. When giving out instructions, make sure to give one at a time. Give another instruction after the first one is fulfilled successfully. You need to break the task into smaller steps.

Avoid arguments: You already know that dementia affects a person’s logic and yet you expect them to understand you fully the first time. This will only lead to more arguments or disagreements. Arguing will be futile so do not waste both your energies.

Caring for patients with dementia poses challenges but the least thing that you can do is not to give up. If you cannot really take it, you have to seek for professional group and even let the patient join a support group. It will be up to you.

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