If your family member is suffering from dementia, you are not alone! Home Instead has specialized care services for dementia. We pioneered memory care training. In collaboration with experts on Alzheimer’s disease and the Institute of Mental Health, we created a training program called Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education®.
This unique program equips our CAREGivers to support and deliver distinctive memory care plan based on research and experience. Rather than focusing on the symptoms of the disease, our relationship-based program focuses on the care and dignity of your loved one with dementia.
Contact us for a free, no obligation care consultation
In Singapore, 1 in 10 people above the age of 60 suffers from dementia. This corresponded to approximately 82,000 people in 2018 and this number is projected to increase to 152,000 by 2030. Combined with the increasing aging population of Singapore, there are ever fewer working-age Singaporeans per aged person. This creates a personal and social challenge for Singaporean residents and Singapore.
There are more than 400 different types of dementia. The 2 most common types are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Vascular Dementia is caused by a reduced supply of blood to the brain due to damaged blood vessels, depriving these cells of vital oxygen and nutrients. It affects the cerebrum, leading to progressive blackouts, a decline in intellectual ability, and personality changes. It affects the patient’s ability to think, learn and make decisions.
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. It is a progressive illness in which the cerebrum’s nerve cells are destroyed and then shrinks.
Home Instead’s Unique Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
We pioneered recollection care training. In collaboration with experts on Alzheimer’s disease, we created a training program called Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementias CARE: Changing Aging Through Research and Education®.
This unique program equips our CAREGivers to deliver distinctive evocation care based on research and experience. Rather than focusing on the diagnosis and symptoms of the disease, our program focuses on the nursing care and dignity of the patient with dementia.
This relationship-centered approach enables home CAREGivers to provide individualized care that:
- Helps your loved one remain safe and calm at home
- Encourages engagement
- Provides nutritious meals
- Creates social interaction
- Provides mind-stimulating activities
- Helps minimize changing behavioral & cognitive symptoms
- Honors who the senior was earlier in life
- Supports the family
Call us to learn about our Dementia & Alzheimer Care services provided by our dedicated home CAREGivers.
Contact us for a free, no obligation care consultation
More About Dementia
Common Signs and Symptoms
Singapore AIC identifies several stages of dementia, with the experience different for each patient. In all types of dementia, obliviousness is the early sign. The deterioration in cognitive skills is gradual and in later stages, daily activities will become increasingly challenging without assistance. Often people are not sure how to differentiate between the normal changes that come with aging and the signs of dementia. There are several ways to tell:
Normal Ageing Memory Changes
- Still able to pursue daily activities and function independently, despite occasional blackouts
- It may require some time to remember directions and/or navigate new places
- Still capable in judgment and decision making
- Able to recall and describe significant events and instances
- May occasionally have difficulty finding the right word but has no problem in holding a conversation
Behaviors and Symptoms that May Indicate Dementia
- Difficulty in performing simple daily tasks, i.e. paying bills, dressing appropriately, and washing up
- Forgetting how to do things that they are normally very familiar with
- Gets lost or appears disoriented in familiar places and is unable to follow directions
- Has difficulty choosing when presented with many choices, may demonstrate improper judgment or socially inappropriate conduct
- Unable to recall or describe instances, especially with more recent events
- Frequently forgets, misuses, or garbles words
- Repeats phrases and stories unknowingly in the same conversation
How can we reduce the chances of getting dementia?
The causes of dementia are not all well understood but there are some actions that may help to depend on the situation:
- Physical Activity: Exercising regularly will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient. It will also help to lower cholesterol and maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level, decreasing the risk of developing vascular dementia
- Brain Activity: Keep your mind active. Mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles, Sudoku, and other word games serve as cognitive training that may offset or delay the setting in of dementia
- Connectivity: Be physically and socially active. Physical activity and social interaction may delay the onset of dementia
- Diet: Maintain a healthy diet. Having a healthy diet is important for many reasons, but a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids – commonly found in certain fish and nuts – may promote overall health and offset or delay the setting in of dementia
The Seven Stages of Dementia
Dementia is a journey, and it helps to know where you are on the journey.
Stage 1: No Impairment: During this stage, dementia is not detectable, and no blackout or other signs of dementia are evident.
Stage 2: Very Mild Decline: The senior may notice minor recollection problems or lose things around the house, although not to the point where the forgetfulness can easily be distinguished from normal age-related forgetfulness. The patient will still do well on relation tests and the disease is unlikely to be detected by loved ones or physicians.
Stage 3: Mild Decline: At this stage, the families and friends of the senior may begin to notice cognitive problems. Performance on relation tests is affected and physicians will be able to detect impaired cognitive function. Individuals in stage 3 will have difficulty in many areas including:
- Finding the right word during conversations
- Organizing and planning
- Remembering names of new acquaintances
Individuals with stage three dementia may also frequently lose personal possessions, including valuables.
Stage 4: Moderate Decline: In stage four of dementia, clear-cut indicators of the disease are apparent. Individuals with stage four dementia:
- 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, the patient begins to need help with many day-to-day activities. Individuals 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, the patient in stage five maintains 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: Individuals with the sixth stage of dementia 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
Stages 7: Very Severe Decline: Stage seven is the final stage of dementia. Because the disease is a terminal illness, a person in stage seven is nearing death. In stage seven of the disease, the patient loses 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 dementia, patients may lose their ability to swallow.
What can be done?
While there is currently no cure for dementia, there is the care and caring. We believe the right care approach can help your loved one maintain a high quality of life even in the face of a fugue state. Staying in the familiar surroundings of home can keep seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia feeling safe and loved.
Dementia of any kind is stressful for their loved one and for the family. Many families try to deal with the condition by themselves, sometimes with the assistance of a foreign domestic worker. But most families and domestic helpers are not trained or equipped to deal with the challenges of dementia. This just increases the stress. At Home Instead we have developed specialized programs and our staff is specially trained to deal with these challenges.
Contact us for a free, no obligation care consultation
Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia During COVID-19
With social distancing measures, the strain placed on the aging population continues to grow – leaving older adults with dementia more agitated and restless, and family home caregivers at a loss for how to keep their loved ones safe and healthy.
While caring for a forgetful individual requires a great deal of time and patience year-round, the coronavirus has placed a unique set of emotional and physical demands on Alzheimer’s and dementia home caregivers, with nearly 82% reporting higher stress due to COVID-19 in a recent study by UsAgainstAlzheimer’s A-LIST.
The pandemic has upended normal ways of life. For those supporting a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s no surprise that stress is at an all-time high. However, no one should feel the need to travel this journey alone. There are many online communities and resources available to guide them.
September 2020 was World Alzheimer’s Month, a good reminder for family home caregivers to refresh care approaches and evaluate areas where assistance may be needed. Incorporating the following tips into daily home care needs can empower individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and establish a positive environment.
For details on actions you can take to establish a positive environment please visit the page in our resources section. Following are some key points:
Encourage healthy habits. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have pre-existing medical conditions that put them at a higher risk for COVID-19. Remind them to stay healthy with the help of visual cues like regular handwashing or covering your mouth while coughing.
Build structure into the day. A routine not only benefits the individual, but it can also improve the productivity and emotional well-being of their caregiver. Basic patterns subconsciously guide our bodies through the day.
Create a safe space. Patients receiving home care are often very in tune with their caregiver’s emotions. If you are anxious or upset, your family member will likely feel it, too. Keep your stress levels in check by taking the Caregiver StressMeter assessment
Deliberate a backup plan. A recent study found that 73% of family members caring for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease at home are unsure what would happen to their loved one if they as the caregiver contracted COVID-19. By creating a short- and long-term plan, you can help ensure the proper plan is in place and reduce the stress of decision-making under pressure.
Seek out support. Supporting an individual with Alzheimer’s disease can evoke a variety of emotions and take a heavy toll on even the most resilient caregivers. Using resources or respite services doesn’t mean you have failed. In fact, asking for help can often be a gift to both yourself and your family members.
With the right resources and support, you can set yourself up for success and provide the right level of care. To learn more, visit www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com.