When a person living with dementia is in the later stages of the disease, they often become disoriented in their surroundings. This can cause them to feel saddened, scared, or even panicked.

While you may not know what they are experiencing, there are techniques you can use to help ease some of these negative feelings.

“How long am I going to be here? I want to go home.”

“I miss my mom. Can I call her?”

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These are common types of question both professional and family caregivers receive from loved ones. There’s no mystery behind these questions – people are most comfortable where they have lived their entire lives and older memories are preserved in the brain longer – which is why your loved one may have sentiments of missing loved ones that have long passed, become confused about their age, or misunderstand who certain family members are.

To help ease some of these feelings, validate your loved one’s comments and steer them to happier memories. For example, ask, “What was your favorite thing about your house?” or “What did you like doing most with your mom when you were younger?”  

With each comment your loved one makes to answer a question, ask another to help them step away from the original negative sentiment. As a result, you’re offering them ways to discuss wonderful thoughts of a good memory.

Finding creative solutions to the problems that may arise is part of daily life, and cognitive change is one of the most complicated and challenging aspects of care. It is a troubling statistic that the mortality rate for those caring for a loved one is 60 percent higher than those who aren’t currently providing care.

That’s why home health and hospice agencies like Kindred at Home have developed programs to address memory care. Our specialized Memory Care program is designed to improve your loved one’s quality of life and to help relieve caregiver stress by providing support and resources.

The Memory Care program:

  • Provides strategies that help you and your loved one communicate better
  • Educates you about your loved one’s condition, medications, how to help them perform daily activities, and remain safe at home
  • Assesses the home to help prevent falls
  • Helps you and your loved one prepare for and adjust to ongoing changes
  • Offers care coordination so your loved one gets what they need, when they need it

If you are currently caring for a loved one living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and are interested in learning about the help available at home in your area, call 1.866.KINDRED 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re here to listen and learn about your unique situation and advise on care options and resources available to you. Or, use our find a location tool to get in direct contact with a branch in your area to ask questions.

By Blair Klayko