Dementia is a group of symptoms that include loss of memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Although some memory changes may be age-related, memory problems that interfere with daily life are not. Dementia is not always caused by Alzheimer’s disease; it can be the result of other conditions as well.
A person affected by dementia may have problems with language, memory, behavior, and emotions; but not all symptoms may be evident immediately. Detecting dementia early may help prevent the progression of the condition, so family members and caregivers must be aware of what signs and symptoms to look out for. Caregivers that use a home care system such as ClearCare can set tasks in their home care software for monitoring mood and behaviors.
Warning Signs of Dementia
Families and caregivers must be educated on the early warning signs and symptoms of dementia. The entire care team can easily communicate their observations and concerns using ClearCare’s home care system and home care software. The most common early signs of dementia may include:
• Memory loss. Although older memories may seem unaffected, seniors with dementia may forget recent experiences, dates, or events that interfere with daily life. While some older ones may forget certain details of a past conversation, a person with dementia will forget the entire experience.
• Disorientation. People with dementia may get lost in familiar places, or have trouble recognizing family members and friends. They may also get confused when performing basic tasks, like getting dressed or setting the table.
• Repetition. People suffering from dementia may often repeat the same stories, or ask the same question over and over.
• Odd behavior. While seniors may misplace their keys or have the occasional bout of forgetfulness, people with dementia are prone to putting objects in strange places. A person developing dementia may put his hairbrush in the freezer and the ice cream in the oven.
• Personality changes. Sudden mood swings are a common sign of dementia. A happy person may become inexplicably depressed, aggressive, or unreasonably suspicious. Caregivers can note such behavioral changes in ClearCare’s web-based home care software to keep family members updated.
• Language problems. While all of us struggle occasionally to find the right word, someone with dementia has significant difficulty finding and using basic words. Her conversations may become distorted and hard to understand.
• Lack of hygiene. This may be the most obvious sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Care providers using a home care system like ClearCare can set daily tasks for bathing and grooming if the patient begins ignoring basic hygiene.
If someone you know is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, don’t panic. These signs may not necessarily point to dementia, but it is important to visit a physician right away. There are tests doctors can use when detecting dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
Caring for a Dementia Patient at Home with Home Care Software
Having dementia does not necessarily mean placement in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Many dementia patients live comfortably and safely in their own home with the aid of a professional caregiver.
Families looking for the right home care agency should make sure the agency has qualified caregivers who have experience with dementia patients. It’s also important to ask what kind of home care system or home care software the agency offers. ClearCare’s home care system provides real-time visibility to patient’s daily care so family members can stay completely involved. This level of transparency is especially vital when dealing with dementia patients.
When families are educated and involved with patient care, the early signs of dementia will not go unnoticed.