Dementia is a disease of the brain that interferes with a person’s ability to perceive and think in a normal manner. Although Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, there is more than one kind of dementia.
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 becomes less independent. Caregivers are at high risk for depression.
Communication issues affect people with dementia. As the dementia progresses, it becomes 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 as the dementia progresses.
Working with people who have dementia can be satisfying and rewarding. 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.
2-1-1 Information and Referral Search
For help with food, housing, employment, healthcare, counseling, and crisis intervention.
www.211.org, or call 211
This organization provides support, education, and research throughout Florida. They have excellent educational material, a newsletter, fundraising and volunteer opportunities, and a 24/7 helpline.
www.alz.org, or call 800 272 3900
Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
ADEAR was established by an act of Congress in 1990 and is part of the National Institutes of Health. Its mandate is to compile, archive, and disseminate information about Alzheimer’s disease for health professionals, people with AD and their families, and the public. The website provides excellent educational material about Alzheimer’s disease, current research initiatives, support services, and much more.
www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers, or call 800 438 4380
The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services.
www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx , or call 800 677 1116
Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving
FCA is a community-based nonprofit organization that addresses the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. They provide assistance, education, services, research, and advocacy.
www.caregiver.org, or call 800 445 8106
Alzheimer’s Association. (2014). Alzheimer’s Disease: Facts and Figures. Retrieved June 9, 2014 from http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp.
Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR). (2012). Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved June 16, 2014 from http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/caring-person-alzheimers-disease/about-guide.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). (2013). World Alzheimer Report 2013. Journey of Caring. Retrieved June 16, 2014 from http://www.alz.co.uk/research/WorldAlzheimerReport2013.pdf.