Dementia is a general term that describes symptoms which are due to damaged cells and neurons in the brain. Some of the symptoms include memory loss, behavioral changes, impaired communication and poor judgement. The most common disease that causes dementia is Alzheimer’s.
Behavioral changes associated with dementia are very individual. Some may lose their filter and say or do things that are totally unlike their former selves. This may become evident as cussing or removing clothing in public, shoplifting, aggressive tendencies or becoming increasingly paranoid resulting in a refusal to leave their home. If you and your loved one are currently going through this stage, try to remember it is not your parent performing these sometimes embarrassing acts, it is a disease that is affecting their brain.
Just as when a small child is fixated on something that could to them harm or is not in their, or their parent’s, best interest, distracting them to another activity or object helps reflect any negative behavior that may result from forcing them to stop what they are doing. Remove them from the situation by directing them somewhere else. Be gentle. In all likelihood, your parent doesn’t really know what they are doing or saying.
Maintaining a calm environment for your parent is important at this stage of the disease. This includes limiting any background noise, keeping a regular routine, and letting any visitors know that they will need to be calm and caring, regardless of the situation they may find themselves in with your parent.
In many instances, your parent is feeling a loss of control as their physical and mental abilities start to wane. This may exhibit itself as an increasing need to try and control what they can, or perceive they can. They may state that under no uncertain terms do they want another caregiver while you, on the other hand, need a few days off per week to take care of yourself and accomplish other tasks and goals. Help them feel more in control by including them in the interview process. Keep it simple and calm and incorporate an activity that they enjoy.
Holding on to treasures or hiding things and then forgetting where they put them is another form of trying to maintain some sense of control. Roll with the punches and remember not to take anything personally. You may want to purchase duplicates of a few important items that can be stored away for moments when your loved one “loses” theirs.
Home Care Provider
A home care provider has cared for countless individuals facing this same disease process. Reach out for added help and support so that you have time to take care of yourself and lead a balanced life. The support, care and companionship they provide to your parent will be increasingly valuable in the days ahead.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Santa Rosa, CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! Sonoma County: (707) 238-5700 or Marin County: (415) 942-8955
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.