Dementia is a disease of the brain that interferes with a person’s ability to think in a normal, logical manner. Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, there is more than one kind of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia are diseases of the brain and not a part of normal aging.
Many people with dementia have changes in their behavior. The changes are more pronounced as the dementia progresses. Despite these changes, they continue to have many of the same likes and dislikes they had earlier in life.
Caring for a person with dementia can be time-consuming and stressful. This is especially true as the dementia gets worse and the person being cared for needs more help. Caregivers are at high risk for depression. Caregivers should be encouraged to use the many resources and support services available to them both in-person and online.
Communication issues affect people with dementia. As dementia progresses, it is more difficult for people with dementia to communicate their needs. Good verbal and nonverbal communication skills are needed for caregivers to provide a high level of care.
Working with people who have dementia can be satisfying and rewarding. But it takes patience, practice, and training to learn to understand the world from that person’s point of view. People with dementia can still enjoy life. They can enjoy memories, interactions with the people around them, and activities that are matched to their preferences and abilities. Your efforts to make the person comfortable and happy can make a big difference in their final years of life.