How do you care for someone with dementia?

Dementia Care Los Angeles
Dementia Care Los Angeles

This is a very hard question for most children caring for a Mom or Dad with dementia.  Dementia care is daunting, but may not be as challenging as you would expect. Whether you care for a parent or senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia the right attitude is crucial to success. Maintaining a positive but realistic attitude allows you to maintain an element of control as a caregiver. Certain types of dementia manifest as personality changes rather than memory loss. Even when memory loss is the most apparent symptom, the person with dementia is experiencing a neurological decline that can lead to a host of other issues.

Know when it is time to seek professional care. If you are having this thought right now, it might be time to call Bobbie at 310-966-3000

What does dementia care mean?

We have taken from a Place for Mom this handy Dementia care guide. It is important to remember as caregivers, it can be terrifying to imagine our loved ones forgetting cherished memories or being unable to recognize those closest to them. In later stages of the disease, people require more care and assistance than family members can provide. Residential care options may provide best for the needs of some individuals by combining housing, support and health care. In assisted living, individuals generally live in a private studio, private apartment, or a shared apartment, and have staff available to assist them 24-hours per day. his type of living arrangement is ideal for someone who can be mostly independent but needs assistance with ADLs. Transportation to and from doctor’s appointments and social activities are also offered at assisted living facilities. And assisted living facilities to have dining halls where residents gather to eat meals. Supervision is provided 24 hours per day by staff trained to care for the specific needs and demands of dementia patients. Memory care units offer the same services as assisted living facilities with increased supervision, plus activities intended to stimulate memory, and possibly slow the disease’s progression. Activities may involve music, arts and crafts, games, etc.

What are the 7 stages of dementia?

Every person with Alzheimer’s experiences the disease differently, this is a very true statement and are most likely aware of this. Below is a summary of the seven stages of dementia and we are sure you will recognize most of them.

Stage 1: No Impairment

During this stage, Alzheimer’s is not detectable and no memory problems or other symptoms of dementia are evident.

Stage 2: Very Mild Decline

The senior may notice minor memory problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the memory loss can easily be distinguished from normal age-related memory loss. The person will still do well on memory tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by loved ones or physicians.

Stage 3: Mild Decline

At this stage, the family members and friends of the senior may begin to notice cognitive problems. Performance on memory tests are affected and physicians will be able to detect impaired cognitive function.

People in stage 3 will have difficulty in many areas including:

  • Finding the right word during conversations
  • Organizing and planning
  • Remembering names of new acquaintances

People with stage three Alzheimer’s may also frequently lose personal possessions, including valuables.

Stage 4: Moderate Decline

In stage four of Alzheimer’s, clear-cut symptoms of the disease are apparent. People with stage four of Alzheimer’s:

  • Have difficulty with simple arithmetic
  • Have poor short-term memory (may not recall what they ate for breakfast, for example)
  • Inability to manage finance and pay bills
  • May forget details about their life histories

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

During the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, people begin to need help with many day-to-day activities. People in stage five of the disease may experience:

  • Difficulty dressing appropriately
  • Inability to recall simple details about themselves such as their own phone number
  • Significant confusion

On the other hand, people in stage five maintain functionality. They typically can still bathe and toilet independently. They also usually still know their family members and some detail about their personal histories, especially their childhood and youth.

Stage 6: Severe Decline

People with the sixth stage of Alzheimer’s need constant supervision and frequently require professional care. Symptoms include:

  • Confusion or unawareness of environment and surroundings
  • Inability to recognize faces except for the closest friends and relatives
  • Inability to remember most details of personal history
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Major personality changes and potential behavior problems
  • The need for assistance with activities of daily living such as toileting and bathing
  • Wandering

Stages 7: Very Severe Decline

Stage seven is the final stage of Alzheimer’s. Because the disease is a terminal illness, people in stage seven are nearing death. In stage seven of the disease, people lose the ability to communicate or respond to their environment. While they may still be able to utter words and phrases, they have no insight into their condition and need assistance with all activities of daily living. In the final stages of Alzheimer’s, people may lose their ability to swallow.

Can dementia patients stay at home?

Can Mom or Dad stay at home? It depends on what level of care they need. As you can see from the 7 stages that answer will increasingly become no. So for the tough answers and someone with the Love and Experience to hand these and many more please call Bobbie at 310-699-3000

Is dementia care covered by Medicare?

A lot of people call me and ask this question. I have prepared answers that Medicare professional have given to me.

Medicare and Dementia

Medicare will usually cover care that is considered medically necessary by your physician (who accepts Medicare). Original Medicare is divided into two parts: hospital and outpatient coverage.

Medicare Part A pays for your inpatient hospital stays. It also covers skilled nursing care and hospice benefits.

Medicare Part B pays for your outpatient needs. This includes preventive care, doctor appointments, lab tests, diagnostic imaging such as CT scans, home health care, physical therapy, durable medical equipment (DME) among other benefits.

You are responsible for some cost-sharing. This includes deductibles for Parts A and B as well as any coinsurance and copays.