Dementia brings with it some big changes, both for you and for your senior. In the earlier stages of dementia, you may be able to convince your senior to believe what you’re telling her. But as the illness progresses, you’re going to find that logical responses and thought processes are not as effective.
Dementia Changes Your Senior’s Brain and How it Processes Information
The biggest thing that you need to understand about dementia is that your senior’s brain does not function the way that it used to function. Logical thought and memory processes are not the same as they were. Your elderly family member may be able to recall with amazing detail something that happened when she was a young adult, but struggle to remember that she just had coffee with you. This can be really difficult to witness happening, because of the way that it changes how your senior interacts with the world around her.
Logical Explanations Aren’t Going to Stick
If you’re still trying to use logic to explain situations and information to your senior, you’ve likely become very frustrated to find that those explanations just do not stick with her. This is down to the problems with short-term memory. Because your senior’s brain is not able to move information into long-term memory any longer, anything that you are able to get her to understand as realistic and logical right now is not going to stick. What will happen instead is that you’re going to frustrate yourself by continuing to repeat what you’ve said, over and over.
You Need a Different Approach
Once you realize what you’re actually dealing with, it should get a little easier to try a different approach. Instead of trying to convince your senior to join you in reality, deal with the situation the way that she’s experiencing it. “Playing along” can involve a little bit of therapeutic lying, which can feel distasteful sometimes to caregivers. Working with elder care providers can help you to learn some of these techniques and see how to use them in real life situations with your senior. Don’t forget also to avail yourself of respite time so that you can take a break from these seemingly endless loops.
Dementia creates scenarios for your senior that may not be real, but that feel real enough to her. You’re not going to be able to use logic to convince her that she’s wrong.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Faith, NC, contact the caring professionals at TenderHearted Home Care today. Call us at (704) 612-4132
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