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Senior Home Care Services in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge519-208-2000

Coping with Wandering and Exit Seeking in Dementia Patients – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

People with Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia, often exhibit symptoms of the disorder that are known as wandering or exit seeking behaviors. What is Wandering?   Anyone with memory issues, but is still mobile enough to get around on their own, can be prone to wandering. The term wandering makes it sound like an aimless act, but this is often not the case. Wandering can be caused by confusion or disorientation, but sometimes wandering is just the person’s way of showing others they are still capable of independent activity. Whatever the reason may be for your loved one wandering, it can be very dangerous if not properly monitored and managed. Early Warning Signs of Wandering It is helpful to know the telltale signs of the early stages of wandering so it can be handled before it gets out of control. Some signs to look out for, may include: Taking longer than usual on routine walks or errands Problems with navigation in familiar areas Restless, anxious, nervous, or repetitive behavior Retired people may talk about having to get to work Talk about visiting deceased friends or family like they are still alive Says “I want to go home”, even when at home Trouble remembering where various rooms are in the house Tries to perform daily tasks and routines, but nothing gets done These are symptoms that are generally associated with early stages of dementia, wandering behaviors are frequently soon to follow. How to Prevent Wandering in Dementia Patients If you find your loved one is beginning to wander, and you are concerned for their safety, there are a few...

5 Myths About Aging – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

It’s important for us to know the different between what is normal aging and what is a troublesome symptom. The assumption used to be that aging equaled a steady and predictable decline in our physical and mental abilities, but we have found that this isn’t true. Aging does not inevitably come with a slow and steady decline in our physical and mental abilities.  We are more likely to develop certain health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, but geriatricians emphasize that not all changes are age related; some changes may be from treatable conditions. Here are 5 myths about aging that should send you to your doctor. Myth 1: Forgetfulness There are going to be times when you misplace your glasses, or it takes longer to remember someone’s name; experts tell us that these changes are normal due in part because your brain contains more information as you age. Only 6-8% of people over 65 have memory challenges due to dementia, so don’t go jumping to conclusions. If you notice you are having many “senior moments” or are experiencing confusion along with more serious memory loss this may come from a treatable condition. A variety of conditions such as vitamin deficiencies, depression, sleep problems, chronic pain, changes in medication, urinary tract infections and metabolic disorders can all cause forgetfulness or confusion. See your doctor to discuss your memory challenges and your pharmacist to review your prescription medications and over-the-counter medications. Myth 2: Tooth loss Good oral care and regular check ups play an important role in maintaining good oral health amongst seniors. Compared to the oral health...
When a Loved One Refuses to Accept They Have Dementia – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

When a Loved One Refuses to Accept They Have Dementia – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

It can be incredibly frustrating when your parent or partner is denying that they have a dementia diagnosis. We want to help them get the right care and create a plan for the future but when they refuse to acknowledge it we can’t help. We have to understand that this is common; people are not always comfortable admitting that they have a condition that they have recently been diagnosed with. There are two primary reasons that our loved ones will deny that they have dementia; fear and anosognosia. Fear Many people are terrified of a dementia diagnosis, and with good reason. Can you imagine being told your brain is in decline and you will lose the ability to remember those around you? That you will lose the ability to be in control of your life? When we’re afraid of our diagnosis we can find comfort in denial and avoidance. Denial is a coping mechanism that can bring comfort and keep fear at arms reach. Admitting that you have dementia makes it real, and some of our aging loved ones are not ready to live that reality yet. Anosognosia What is anosognosia? Anosognosia is the inability to recognize an illness or disorder that is clinically evident. Dementia can cause damage to the brain, and your loved one may not know or have the capability to understand that they have dementia. When our loved one has anosognosia they literally cannot understand that they have dementia. It isn’t stubbornness or denial; they lack the understanding, awareness, and acceptance that they have the condition. How to Work With (and Around) Dementia Denial Getting...
3 Tips For Caring for an Adult Child Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

3 Tips For Caring for an Adult Child Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

My friend Dorothy became a caregiver for her daughter Jenn when she developed a chronic illness. It started with pain of unknown origin in Jenn’s joints, and progressed to include full body fatigue, body aches and depression. Dorothy supported her daughter financially, and began to commute to help her manage this huge life change while they waited for a diagnosis. Most of us recognize that we’ll need to support our parents, but we don’t usually consider that we may end up caring for an adult child. Caregiving is challenging, but to watch your child deteriorate physically and emotionally is heartbreaking. We want to swoop down and fix everything, but it’s important to balance being there for your child with respecting that they are an adult. Here are 3 things to remember when helping an adult child: Offer support, but make sure it’s what your child needs and wants It’s important that you don’t just jump into your child’s life and start “fixing”. They are an adult, and you need to respect that they have their own way of doing things. Open-ended questions that open themselves up to more than a yes or no answer can give you information about the ways you can best support your loved one. Ask them what they would like help with, and learn who else is helping to support them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your child’s friends or outside help to coordinate care for your child. Give financial aid if you can, but be clear about amounts There’s nothing wrong with giving financial help if you can, but you need to...
Help! My Family Is Denying Our Loved One Has Dementia – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Help! My Family Is Denying Our Loved One Has Dementia – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

Sometimes the person with dementia isn’t the only one in denial – other friends and family members may deny it too, especially early on when the signs are less frequent. There are many reasons that people will deny a dementia diagnosis. Some of those reasons are: They don’t want to see their loved one’s health deteriorate and are hoping that the problem will just go away They are afraid of the stress and time that caregiving takes, and denying the illness allows them to avoid taking on the caregiving role and responsibilities They rely on their loved one for strength and support, and aren’t ready to have those roles shift They don’t see them regularly, and aren’t around enough to recognize that their loved one’s health is in decline Whatever the reasons are, the sooner we can get everyone on the same page the better it will be for your loved one. What can we do to help our family members accept that our loved one has dementia? Have a family meeting. After getting a formal diagnosis have a family meeting. You can take this time to explain the situation to close friends and family. Be positive about starting early, as early diagnosis will allow you to take advantage of therapies and medications that may slow the progression of the disease. Take this opportunity to bring educational materials and references such as leaflets or website pages’ people can refer to. The person with dementia may or may not want to be at the meeting. Discuss the implications of denial. It’s vital that everyone understand that denying dementia can be...
3 Tips to Help Include Loved Ones with Dementia in Family Gatherings – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

3 Tips to Help Include Loved Ones with Dementia in Family Gatherings – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge

We want to include our loved ones in family gatherings for as long as possible. Those with dementia still enjoy being social, and the joy of being at the event will hold on even after the visit is forgotten. Dementia can change the behaviour and personality of the person suffering with it, but there are ways we can continue to include them. Here are three recommended tips on how to include your loved ones with dementia: Let your family know how to act As a caregiver, you can help your family members understand how to interact with your loved one. Many family members worry and don’t know how to talk to a person with dementia. Here are some things you can let your family know in advance:         Don’t be upset if the loved one doesn’t know who you are. Introduce yourself by your name and your relationship with them.         Don’t argue or correct them – if your loved one thinks you’re their sister, just go with it.         Your loved one may repeat themselves, and that’s okay. Don’t say “I just told you”, or “don’t you remember”. That can confuse them and make them upset.         If you become uncomfortable talking to them it’s okay to excuse yourself and walk away. You can stay close to your loved one and help facilitate conversations with family members. Your loved one may become confused or agitated with people coming and going; remaining by their side will allow them to have a constant, reassuring presence. Scheduling is important We want to schedule our gathering at a time of day that is best for your...
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