We can help make dementia care easier. Dementia Education for Caregivers offers:
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1. Dementia Overview
Learn about Dementia, delirium and mild cognitive impairment, types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Frontal lobe disease, Lewy-body disease, Parkinson’s disease and head trauma. Learn about evaluating dementia, managing symptoms and reversible cause of dementia.
2. Eating Difficulties
Loss of memory and problems with judgment can cause difficulties with eating and nutrition making it hard for the person with dementia to get enough nutrients to stay healthy. Learn proven techniques to decrease distractions at meal time; and solutions that address issues with overeating, under-eating, weight loss, inability to manipulate food or cutlery, finger foods, eating inappropriate non-food objects, oral care, hydration, and problems associated with chewing, swallowing, and choking.
3. Physical Behaviors
Many types of behaviors may be displayed by your loved one as dementia progresses. Learn ways to redirect and cope with clinging (Shadowing), late day restlessness and agitation (Sundowning), pacing, and sleep disturbances. Keeping a person safe and calm are some of the most important aspects of caregiving. Some people with dementia may even display a tendency to wander away from their home or caregiver. Knowing what to do to limit shadowing, sundowning, pacing and wandering are significant tools to help cope with dementia. Initiating correction or coping skills for sleep disturbances is crucial both for the caregiver and care recipient. Without adequate sleep every aspect of life is affected for all associated. Learn how to identify issues and coping skills for that much needed reprieve.
4. Expressive Behaviors
There is a reason and purpose for the behaviors displayed by those with dementia, yet they can be frustrating to cope with and understand. Learn why your loved one is repeating the same behaviors such as calling out spontaneously. Sexual inappropriateness is rarely intentional and often misunderstood; and understanding the meaning and response is important. A person with dementia perceives their surroundings differently. Learn why a person may hide, hoard or rummage and ways to redirect their attention.
5. Psychological Behaviors
Cognitive impairment is the general disorder closely related to dementia-related diseases.
Recognizing the problems those with dementia have with declining abilities to judge, reason, calculate and socialize gives us insight into many of their unusual behaviors. Each of the problems listed is in one way or another affected, minimized or triggered by environmental factors. Learn how to manage these thinking related issues.
6. Activities of Daily Living
As cognitive loss progresses, managing day to day living becomes more complex as verbal communication skills decline, making expressing oneself more challenging. Learn ways to better understand how to reduce or prevent agitation, aggression, and resistance in daily life as well as in personal care such as bathing, toileting and grooming.
7. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Education will be provided to the client, caregiver and family related to Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. Examples of these IADL’s are: shopping, cooking, using the telephone, driving/transportation, laundry and housework. Information will be provided to the caregiver to provide basic and essential resources so that their loved one can “Age in Place.” This program will teach and prepare families and caregivers to notice changes in the progression of dementia related diseases and functional decline.
8. Home Safety
Even in one’s home, the familiar becomes unfamiliar. Take steps to organize your home to simplify daily living for you and your loved one. There are many simple suggestions for each room in your house to help avoid accidents, minimize injury, and enable the person to remain as independent as possible.
A person with dementia, even in the early stages, probably will have subtle changes in walking ability that will become more severe as time goes on. This can create difficulty with transferring, climbing stairs, and balance. If the person has other illnesses, the problems may be more severe. It is natural that they will fear falling. This program will teach how to help the person in your care feel more confident and to assist them as needed. Learn how to be aware of hazards in an environment, manage falls, incorporate a daily exercise routine, and identify if additional therapy services are indicated to preserve function…these skills will greatly benefit both the caregiver and person with dementia.
Activities can benefit the person with dementia, as well as the family and the caregiver. For the person, it can keep them connected to the world and for the caregiver and family doing activities with their loved one can be enjoyable and rewarding. Doing the activity is more important than the end result. Being involved with life is the goal for the person with dementia. In this program, knowledge as to why diversional activities would be rewarding to a person with dementia is explained. Suggestions of activities are also discussed. Learn about Validation Therapy and how it can help you communicate with people with dementia by reducing stress, building trust and restoring well-being and happiness.
11. Medication Management
Medication management along with pain management are important concerns in caring for people with dementia. The person with dementia may refuse medication, forget to take medication, over medicate or lose the ability to swallow. In addition, the person may not be able to express pain or identify pain, which may manifest in increased agitation, restlessness or aggression. Learn more about adequate medication management and ways to identify and treat pain.
12. End of Life Planning
The time will come when the person with dementia cannot continue to take care of legal or financial responsibilities. Learn the importance of making legal arrangements before the person is unable to make his/her own decisions. Enabling the family to know what the person with dementia wants them to do, spares family members the heartbreak of having to guess what they would want. This program will provide you with valuable information related to; the benefits of having a Living Will, appointing a Power of Attorney, understanding finances, insurance benefits, estate planning and late/end stage planning.