Dementia is not a disease. It is a series of symptoms that lead to a diagnosis so you can get the help you need to maintain quality of life for as long as possible. While an individual may be diagnosed with dementia symptoms, it is the family who will feel the brunt of the decline in cognitive awareness as it affects quality of family life. The first steps often include in home care for those living with dementia.
While the individual person is the one suffering from the physical and mental symptoms, dementia affects the entire family. You have built a life together, getting to know each other and creating relationships you thought would last forever. Now, what you thought you knew is shifting like sinking sand under your feet, and this often leaves family members needing to face their own feelings and learn how to cope under pressure.
It will affect everyone who knows the person including young children you may assume are unaware of what is taking place, but the direct caregiver is often left feeling alone, exhausted, stressed, grieving what they once had, and worried about the future. After all, it is difficult to adjust to a parent or grandparent who suddenly doesn’t recognize you or know your name. Part of your identity all of your life has rested on the stories they told you about your birth or childhood or about their childhood. Now, all of that seems to be questionable.
Family members may find themselves worrying whether or not the person with dementia will wander off and get lost putting them in danger. Likewise, family may become flat out bored at hearing the same stories again and again with every visit or even embarrassed at their loved one’s shift in behavior or overwhelmed at the thought of changing from the role of child to the role of caregiver of the one who once cared for you.
Some of the side effects of Dementia include:
- Change in mood or personality
- Becoming obsessed with routine
- Repeating themselves
- Not recognizing family members or those they’ve known all of their lives
When you are the family member that is no longer recognized, and your encounters and conversations with this person you thought you knew changes, this can often create a series of reactions, such as:
- Nightmares or trouble sleeping due to anxiety about what will happen to your loved one.
- Children or grandchildren may act out or have difficulty concentrating on their schoolwork
- Sometimes, the family members may appear to be uncaring or uninterested when they are really keeping their feelings to themselves not sure how to handle the situation.
- Sadness, tearful, or even all-out depression
- Retreating from others to avoid the reality of confronting the facts that you feel like you’re losing a loved one.
- Becoming super involved in the care giving to a point that it’s all-consuming.
If you see any of these signs in loved ones, even if they are not directly involved in the care giving to the dementia patient, make sure you give them plenty of grace and time to talk things out and maybe even seek professional help to get through the situation.
The family plays a vital role in caring for the person with dementia. Often this is easier or less stressful to do when we are allowed to stay in a familiar environment for as long as possible. Dementia in home care services may be the best alternative for caring for those living with these symptoms.
Proper personal care of Dementia patients will help them become more independent. Members of the family who can provide regular care can get the service of Atlanta Caregivers. Regency Home Care of North Atlanta is a premier home care agency in Atlanta GA, a provider with skilled caregivers that have an advanced training and understanding of mobility, health as well as safety issues that accompany changes in cognition and memory. Call now for more information about quality in-home senior care Atlanta.