What Leads to Lewy Body Dementia?

Lewy body is a condition that impacts millions of people each year, and it’s caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins in the brain. These proteins are known as Lewy bodies, and they affect cognition, movement, and mental health. Continue reading to learn about Lewy body dementia, including what causes the condition and how it’s treated. 

Age

Most cases of Lewy body dementia involve seniors over the age of 65. Adults under 55 are known to develop this condition, but they do so at lower rates. There’s nothing that can be done to stop the aging process. Still, there are healthy changes elderly people can make to avoid cognitive decline, diminished bone health, and other age-related issues that increase the odds of Lewy body proteins building up in the brain. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your senior loved one could preserve his or her health and prevent conditions such as Parkinson’s, which also raises the risk of Lewy body dementia.

A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Genetics

Even with a healthy diet, an excellent exercise regimen, and an absence of bad habits such as drinking or smoking, older adults could still develop Lewy body dementia due to their family histories. If your loved one has any of the associated genes, especially the APOE gene, the chromosome variations could cause various neurological conditions, including dementia. 

You can have your loved one tested to determine if he or she has inherited the genes associated with Lewy body dementia. Testing positive for the genes doesn’t guarantee your parent will develop the condition, but it does increase the odds. 

Other health issues, when combined with genetics, can lead to the development of this disorder. For example, if your parent has the genes along with heart disease, the odds of being diagnosed with Lewy body dementia increase significantly. 

Symptoms

The most common cognitive symptoms related to this disorder are unpredictable changes in attention span, difficulty solving problems, and confusion. It’s common for seniors with Lewy body dementia to have hallucinations. They’ll see people who don’t exist or smell and hear things that aren’t there. 

If you notice your loved one displaying any of these warning signs, take him or her to the doctor immediately. After receiving a diagnosis, your loved one can begin the treatment process to reduce many of these symptoms and enhance his or her wellbeing. 

For dementia care Oshkosh families can count on, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors delay the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking.

Treatment

Although Lewy body dementia cannot be cured, there are steps seniors can take to slow the progress of the condition. Your loved one’s physician may prescribe medications or various therapies. Your family should make changes to the home to simplify daily tasks and make it easier for your loved one to entertain and socialize with others. 

Another option is to hire a caregiver who specializes in this type of dementia care. The professional caregiver can offer advice that enhances your loved one’s quality of life. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of in-home care Oshkosh, WI, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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Are Hallucinations a Common Symptom of Dementia?

Seniors with dementia may experience hallucinations as their symptoms progress. This can be difficult for caregivers to address, but there are ways to soothe seniors who are having hallucinatory experiences. Ahead, learn more about the types of hallucinations people with dementia experience and the best ways for caregivers to help. 

Types of Hallucinations

Seniors with dementia may have two broad types of hallucinations: visual hallucinations and hallucinations involving other sensory systems. Visual hallucinations, which cause seniors to see things that aren’t really there, are the most common form. These hallucinations can run the gamut from simple to highly detailed. A senior may see anything from flashing lights to a beloved former pet. 

While visual hallucinations are most prevalent, hallucinations can also occur via other forms of sensory perception. Seniors may have tactile hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, and olfactory hallucinations. 

Types of Dementia

Hallucinations are more prevalent with certain forms of dementia, such as dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Seniors with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations of unusually colored people on a daily basis. Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia are also more likely to cause auditory, tactile, and olfactory hallucinations than other forms of dementia.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Helping a Senior with Hallucinations

If you suspect your senior loved one is hallucinating, you should start by scheduling an appointment with his or her doctor. Before the appointment, try to take detailed notes about the circumstances of the hallucinatory experience: the time of day, the type of hallucination (visual, auditory), medications taken, etc. As some hallucinations are caused by prescription medications, this kind of information may help the doctor pinpoint the source of the problem. 

When your loved one is hallucinating, the best way to help is to be calm and nonconfrontational. While you can try to explain what’s happening, don’t become argumentative. Instead, treat your parent with compassion. Ask your loved one to explain what he or she sees, hears, or feels. Since hallucinations can be triggered by the environment, you can also try to lead your loved one away from his or her current surroundings.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh home care service providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

The Difference between Hallucinations & Visual Mistakes

Hallucinations aren’t the only reason a senior might report seeing a person, animal, or thing that isn’t there. Vision is a complex multistep process, and the impact of dementia on the brain can impede this process in ways that are frustrating but not necessarily indicative of hallucinations. 

There are two main types of visuoperceptual difficulties: misperceptions and misidentifications. Misperceptions involve perceiving one thing to be something else, such as when a senior mistakes a green carpet for grass. Misidentifications happen when the brain faces difficulty with specific, rather than general, identifications. For instance, a senior might misidentify his or her daughter as his or her niece. 

Helping a Senior with Visuoperceptual Difficulties

If visual processing is the cause of the problem, caregivers can help seniors manage their eyesight and their visual environments. Aging adults should have regular optometrist appointments, and they may need different glasses for different activities. 

At home, make sure your loved one’s environment is as easy to see as possible. The more familiar seniors are with their environments, the less likely they are to slip and injure themselves. To increase environmental comfort, keep the arrangement and décor of rooms consistent. Use colors to draw the eye to important spatial information. For example, using a plate that contrasts with the color of the table can make mealtimes easier. Bright, even lighting can also help.

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Oshkosh Senior Stride Home Care offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Senior Stride Home Care at 920-717-1767 today.

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5 Causes of Dementia that Can Be Reversed

Reversible dementia is the type that resolves after the underlying cause has been identified and treated. At the first sign of cognitive decline, it’s essential to see a physician so a diagnosis can be made as soon as possible. Here are five reversible causes of dementia to look for in your senior loved one. 

1. Infections

Bladder, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal infections can cause behaviors similar to those associated with dementia. Infections often cause fevers, and when the body’s temperature gets too high, confusion and cognitive decline can occur. Infections can also cause dehydration, which can lead to dementia-like behavior. Once the infection is appropriately treated, your loved one’s cognitive ability should return. 

2. Brain Disorders

Brain disorders such as tumors (both malignant and benign), concussions, and increased intracranial pressure can all cause reversible dementia. These disorders can impair cerebral blood flow, and when this happens, reasoning skills and memory function may decrease. 

If your loved one becomes forgetful, develops headaches or vision impairment, gets dizzy, or vomits upon awakening—especially if not accompanied by nausea—seek medical attention right away. Once brain disorders are diagnosed and treated, dementia-like symptoms may resolve. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Senior Stride Home Care.

3. Depression

Depression is often characterized by sadness, but it can also cause confusion, memory impairment, loss of appetite, and disinterest in grooming, dressing, and bathing. These signs are similar to those associated with dementia and need to be investigated. 

Depression is a multifactorial illness, and while it can be effectively managed, it can take weeks or even months before your loved one’s symptoms resolve. Antidepressant medications may be helpful in reducing symptoms, but the physician may recommend that your loved one visit a mental health professional to augment treatment. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies can cause dementia-like symptoms, and a lack of vitamin B12 can be especially problematic. This nutrient is essential for optimal brain health, and when people don’t get enough of it, confusion and forgetfulness can occur. 

5. Drug Side Effects

If your loved one takes certain prescription drugs, he or she may develop behavioral changes as a result of their side effects. Medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, antiarrhythmics, and corticosteroids can cause cognitive problems resembling those associated with dementia. 

If you notice personality or mood changes while your loved one is taking medications, call the doctor, who may lower the dosage or discontinue the drug altogether. Once the drug is out of your loved one’s system, side effects and unusual behaviors may resolve. Never discontinue your loved one’s medications without approval from the physician, even if your loved one is exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviors. 

A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh senior home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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How Lewy Body Dementia Leads to Depression

Being diagnosed with Lewy body dementia can lead to a series of health issues, including depression. However, as a family caregiver, you need to remain supportive and develop methods to boost your senior loved one’s mood. It’s best to know the symptoms associated with Lewy body dementia and how they impact mental, physical, and emotional health. Here are some of the ways this disease can increase the risk of depression and what you can do to prevent it.

Limits Socialization

Lewy body dementia can lead to isolation because it can cause a variety of issues, including the inability to interpret visual information, changes in behaviors and physical appearance, and memory loss. As a result, your loved one is less likely to socialize, which could increase the risk of depression. Although keeping your loved one socially active may be difficult to do, it’s not impossible. For instance, if your loved one enjoyed fishing prior to developing this disease, he or she can still go fishing but will need assistance operating the boat and fishing equipment. Customizing activities and outings to suit your loved one’s needs allows him or her to remain social, which could reduce the risk of depression.

A home caregiver can be a wonderful solution when your aging loved one needs companionship and socialization. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Causes Hallucinations

Seeing, hearing, smelling, and believing things that aren’t real are symptoms of hallucinations, which cause people to feel sad, hopeless, and depressed. It’s important to provide your loved one with constant care and do everything possible to control his or her hallucinations. Make sure your loved one is taking his or her medications and attending therapy sessions as instructed by a physician.

Promotes Inactivity

Staying physically active is a good way for seniors to fight off stress and anxiety. However, seniors with Lewy body dementia may have mobility issues, including lack of balance, rigid muscles, and hunched posture. Staying active reduces the risk of depression. To help your loved one remain active, encourage doing activities that aren’t strenuous on the body. Suggest simple, fun activities and exercises your loved one can do with little or no help. Engaging in physical activity can help your loved one maintain independence.

If your senior loved one needs professional in-home care in Oshkosh, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a trusted provider of respite and 24-hour care, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care for seniors.

Disturbs Sleeping Patterns

Seniors with Lewy body dementia may experience rapid eye movement, which could cause them to act out their dreams, sometimes in a violent manner. The condition disturbs sleeping patterns and prevents the brain from clearing out toxins that impact mood and behavior. If your loved one already has anxiety and depression, lack of sleep caused by illnesses could make them worse. Your loved one can sleep better at night by avoiding exercise before bedtime and going to bed as soon as he or she is tired. Make sure the bedroom is dark and the temperature is set at a comfortable level. Your loved one should also have a nightly routine that includes a warm shower or bath at least an hour before bedtime.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Senior Stride Home Care. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at 920-717-1767 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.

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Potential Dangers of Not Treating Dementia

The changes that occur in the brain due to dementia cannot be reversed. For years, nothing much could be done about dementia, but seniors are now able to benefit from treatments that have the potential to help them enjoy a better quality of life. Some types of dementia respond well to medications that can slow damage to brain cells. Other types require families to focus on providing more natural courses of treatment that include exercise, special diets, and cognitive activities. Leaving dementia untreated can have dire consequences for seniors, including these potential issues.

Losing Abilities

Treatment for dementia is mostly aimed at slowing the progression of a person’s cognitive decline. Dementia is best known for affecting memory, but the changes your senior loved one experiences can also impact other abilities. Seniors who don’t receive treatment may lose their ability to communicate, chew their food, and regulate their behavior. Getting your loved one help now could preserve the abilities he or she has left.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Experiencing Preventable Injuries

As your loved one’s abilities decrease, he or she is also more likely to make poor judgment calls that could cause him or her to get hurt. Your loved one may decide to tackle a household task that’s more than he or she can handle, which could lead to a nasty cut or fall. Seniors with rapidly progressing dementia might eat spoiled food or drink chemical cleaners they mistake for beverages. Keeping someone near your loved one can prevent him or her from getting hurt.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Senior Stride Home Care.

Becoming a Target for Crime

Seniors should be safe in their homes, but this isn’t always the case. Abusers can identify seniors with untreated dementia due to their clear vulnerability. A friend of the family may scam a senior into giving him or her money. A frustrated caregiver could neglect or abuse a senior with dementia. Strengthening your loved one’s ability to think clearly can help him or her identify scammers and know when to tell you or a professional caregiver when something seems wrong.

Failing to Maintain Close Relationships

Seniors with untreated dementia are more likely to experience social isolation that threatens their mental health. Without someone to talk to, seniors often experience changes in their ability to communicate. Some older adults may also lose their motivation to take care of their personal hygiene. Planning social activities can slow the progression of memory loss while preserving your loved one’s ability to connect with other people.

Hurting Someone Else

Your loved one might be the last person you’d ever expect to hurt anyone. Yet someone with dementia who isn’t being treated may make rash decisions that affect others. For instance, your loved one may get behind the wheel of a car and cause a collision or accidentally start a house fire when other people are in the home. Provide your loved one with strategies that minimize this risk. For instance, some seniors may need caregivers to take them to dementia care appointments so they can take care of their cognitive health and avoid hurting anyone else.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Oshkosh families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Senior Stride Home Care. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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What You Should Know about Mixed Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions associated with cognitive impairment. If your senior loved one is living with more than one form of dementia, his or her condition is referred to as mixed dementia or multifactorial dementia. Because Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, it’s typical for older adults with multifactorial dementia to have AD and another form of dementia such as vascular or Lewy body dementia. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about mixed dementia.

It’s More Likely to Develop Because of Age

The Alzheimer’s Association notes age is a common risk factor for many forms of dementia. The association also says multiple forms of dementia are more likely to develop as affected seniors get older, but not in any specific order. For instance, Alzheimer’s may develop first, and other forms of dementia could come along later.

If your loved one is living with cognitive impairment and other symptoms resulting from dementia, help is just a phone call away. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

You May Never Know Your Loved One Has Mixed Dementia

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) cites a study based on post-death evaluations of individuals with Alzheimer’s that reported more than half of the subjects had another type of dementia. While research like this suggests mixed dementia may be fairly common, you may never know for sure if your loved one has it during his or her lifetime.

Misdiagnosis Is Common

As mentioned above, it’s common for Alzheimer’s to be one of the types of dementia associated with mixed dementia. For this reason, your loved one may be evaluated and diagnosed with AD based on the symptoms present at the moment. And because there’s no standard test for identifying mixed dementia (or any other type of dementia, for that matter), it’s only likely to be diagnosed if the doctor notices:

• Symptoms not typically associated with Alzheimer’s
• Symptoms that progress faster than what’s typical with AD
• Unexpected reactions to initial treatment/symptom management efforts

Seniors with dementia often need help to be able to live at home safely. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh home care service providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

FDA-Approved Alzheimer’s Medication May Be Effective

No medications are currently approved specifically for mixed dementia. However, some seniors with multifactorial dementia do respond well to drugs already approved by the FDA to manage AD. According to Verywell Health, studies involving participants with mixed dementia who were given common AD medications reported some improvement in memory and thinking. Others have shown a slowdown in the progression of cognitive decline.

Treatments Specific to Identified Dementias May Be Helpful

If your loved one is diagnosed with mixed dementia, he or she may benefit from treatments for the specific forms of dementia identified. A common mixed dementia combination is Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, which is related to brain damage caused by a disruption of blood flow, such as what happens during a stroke. If this is the case with your loved one, treatment may involve:

• Managing cholesterol levels
• Lowering blood pressure
• Controlling blood sugar, if your loved one has diabetes

You Should Focus on Your Parent’s Immediate Care Needs

Because it’s entirely possible to not know whether your loved one has mixed dementia, it’s best to simply provide the type of care that’s immediately needed. That being said, if you do notice symptoms that seem out of the ordinary, bring them to the doctor’s attention. Some seniors with mixed dementia also benefit from cognitive-based therapies that help them retain memory capabilities. 

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Senior Stride Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Oshkosh families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 920-717-1767 today.

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Can Head Injuries Increase the Risk of Dementia?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports up to 25 percent of adults 65 or older experience falls each year. Up to 51 percent of the injuries resulting from falling include head trauma and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Another 9 percent of traumatic brain injury cases in seniors occur during motor vehicle collisions. Hospital records in the United States show older adults account for more than 80,000 cases of TBI emergency room visits annually. Research shows the trauma the brain endures after a blow to the head makes older adults more likely to develop dementia.

The Extent of Brain Trauma

When an older adult experiences a blow to the head, there may or may not be an open wound. However, dangerous trauma occurs internally. Upon impact, the brain quickly moves in the opposite direction, then reverses movement and impacts the skull at the site of the initial blow. The movements may occur several times if the blow is severe.

The jostling motion tears neurons and delicate blood vessels. The ruptured vessels bleed. Fluid accumulates, and the ventricles and tissues swell, putting pressure on the already-traumatized brain. Researchers have found within hours of a TBI, amyloid proteins and tau plaques begin rapidly accumulating along with other proteins, further damaging neurons.

Although TBIs gradually heal, the trauma they cause may linger. Blood vessels may remain blocked secondary to damage or clot formation. The proteins and plaques continue accumulating months after the injury, and the resulting damage is likely to lead to the onset of dementia symptoms.

Scientists from Sweden’s Umea University assessed the correlation between TBIs and the development of dementia in approximately 300,000 adults. They determined seniors who had experienced TBIs were six times more susceptible to developing cognitive impairment compared to those who had never had a TBI. Their study was published in the January 2018 issue of PLOS Medicine.

Seniors with head injuries often need assistance with everyday activities while they recover. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

TBI Dementia Symptoms

Dementia symptoms may occur depending on the severity of the TBI. The type of cognitive impairment that develops is also dependent on the location of the injury. For some older adults, symptoms develop within a month after the injury. In others, symptoms may not become apparent for up to a decade. Even a mild brain injury may cause:

  • Confusion 
    • Disorientation 
    • Disrupted sleep patterns 
    • Emotional changes 
    • Headaches 
    • Inability to learn or retain information 
    • Incoherent speech

Seniors with moderate to severe injuries exhibit similar symptoms. However, the cognitive impairment isn’t reversible and progresses with time.

Seniors with dementia can optimize their quality of life with the help of highly trained, experienced professional caregivers. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Oshkosh caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.

TBI Treatment

Immediately following TBIs, older adults are typically hospitalized and undergo imaging studies to determine the extent of the trauma. Cognitive symptoms and healing progression are monitored over time.

If your loved one has experienced a head injury or is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Oshkosh families can rely on Senior Stride Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Trust Senior Stride Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate professional home care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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Is It Common for Aging Adults with Dementia to Hallucinate?

Memory loss is a well-known symptom of dementia. However, aging adults can also experience things like false perceptions. During these times, family caregivers need to use strategies to calm their senior loved ones and prevent physical harm. Continue reading to learn more about dementia and hallucinations, including the causes and what to do when your loved one experiences this symptom.

Causes

Dementia causes changes within the brain that can lead to hallucinations, especially during the later stages of the condition. Your loved one may have difficulty thinking clearly and making sound decisions. It’s common for seniors with dementia to see things that aren’t there, such as people, places, and objects. The medication your parent is taking to treat dementia could also cause these episodes.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of home care services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Types

Visual and auditory hallucinations are the most common types of false perceptions in older adults with dementia. With a visual episode, your loved one may see things that don’t exist. An auditory hallucination involves the sense of hearing. In these instances, your parent may hear voices and sounds when no one is around. You may walk in and witness your loved one holding a full conversation with the voices in his or her head. Don’t overreact when your loved one hallucinates, as this could cause the episode to intensify.

Caregiving Strategies

When it comes to addressing your parent’s hallucinations, remain respectful, and remember your loved one’s false reality is authentic in his or her mind. Offer reassurance and acknowledge your loved one’s fear, as opposed to being dismissive. Investigate the environment to determine what’s causing the episode. For example, the false perception could be due to a shadow on the wall, and you could solve this problem by closing the blinds or moving your loved one to another room.

Seeing their loved ones have hallucinations can be devastating for family caregivers, which is why you need to have strategies in place. For example, have a support system you can lean on and speak to honestly and openly. You can also take a break and do something relaxing and fun to distract you from your loved one’s hallucinations and reduce your stress levels.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families looking for top-rated Oshkosh at-home care providers can reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Treatment

If your loved one experiences a false perception, call his or her doctor. In some cases, the episode could be a sign of a serious condition, especially if the hallucination involves multiple senses. When episodes last for long periods or frighten your loved one so severely that he or she cannot get through the day, it’s vital to contact his or her primary care physician immediately.

At the doctor’s visit, you should have essential information to share with the physician, including what your loved one saw, the time of day when the episode occurred, how long it lasted, your loved one’s response, and whether it happened after taking medication. This information will help the doctor make vital changes to your loved one’s current treatment plan. 

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Oshkosh Senior Stride Home Care offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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Ways to Provide High-Quality Daily Care for a Parent with Dementia

Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be a beautiful way to show your love for him or her, but it isn’t without challenges. If your loved one has memory loss, confusion, or spatial orientation problems, it can be difficult for you to provide effective care. Try these tips as you navigate day-to-day caregiving for your loved one.

Set a Schedule

Having a daily routine allows your loved one to know exactly what to expect each day, which can be especially comforting for seniors with dementia. A typical schedule may include waking up, getting dressed, eating meals, brushing teeth, bathing, exercising, doing chores, having quiet time, playing games, and making crafts. Try to make medical appointments around the same time of day so your loved one’s schedule isn’t interrupted when they occur. Make a simple clock with pictures of the daily activities to help your loved one understand what’s happening next in the day.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Senior Stride Home Care.

Provide Choices

Making decisions can be overwhelming for seniors with dementia. Help your loved one maintain independence and keep decision-making simple by offering choices. Offer two acceptable options to your loved one and allow him or her to decide. Having choices can make your loved one feel in charge of his or her life. Simple decisions might include what to eat for breakfast, what shirt to wear, and what book to read.

Limit Napping

Including some quiet time each day can allow you and your loved one some space to regroup and relax. Listening to an audiobook or quiet music on the back porch is a great way to have some relaxation time. During quiet time, try not to let your loved one nap. Napping too often during the daytime could make it difficult for your parent to sleep at night. Not getting enough sleep can exacerbate dementia symptoms.

Involve Your Loved One

Having dementia doesn’t mean your loved one is no longer his or her own person. It can be hurtful and frustrating for those with dementia when they aren’t allowed to be involved in their care or take on some of the household responsibilities. Involve your loved one by providing simple chores to do, such as wiping off the table, drying plastic dishes, or dusting. Bring your loved one along to family gatherings, and include him or her in hobbies. At the doctor’s office, it may be tempting to talk about your loved one as if he or she isn’t there. Try to avoid this, and include your loved one in the conversation.

Keep Instructions Simple

Don’t give your loved one a long list of instructions and expect him or her to not feel confused. Keep instructions limited to one step your loved one can easily carry out. Be clear about your expectations, be patient, and allow more time than necessary to carry out the task. 

Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s wellbeing. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Make the Most of Mealtimes

Eating together is a great way to bond and spend time with your loved one. Take the frustration out of mealtimes by providing adaptive eating utensils, using a neutral-colored tablecloth and plate, and cutting food into bite-size pieces.

The responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one with dementia can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Oshkosh senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Senior Stride Home Care is here to help. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Senior Stride Home Care is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 920-717-1767.

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Effective Methods for Treating Dementia

Depending on the stage of dementia your senior loved one is in, he or she may require minimal care or around-the-clock monitoring. Even though caring for a loved one with dementia poses challenges, it can also be very rewarding. Here are some ideal ways to treat dementia in seniors so they can better manage their physical and psychosocial challenges.

Memantine Therapy

Memantine is a prescription medication prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It’s thought to enhance memory, language and reasoning skills, and attention span. It works by regulating glutamate, a chemical found in the brain that affects learning skills and memory. Memantine may also prevent hallucinations, aggression, delusions, and agitation in people with dementia. It may also make caring for your loved one less challenging because it can prevent episodes of disorientation and make it easier to perform the activities of daily living. Your loved one’s physician will talk to you about side effects associated with memantine, such as headaches, dizziness, and high blood pressure.

Calming Strategies

Seniors with dementia may experience aggression. Agitation, aggression, and combativeness can be triggered by illness, fear, new situations, and environmental changes. Employ calming strategies to help your loved one feel secure and comfortable. These strategies may include playing soft music, using aromatherapy, holding your loved one’s hand, talking in soothing tones, and offering reassurance. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Senior Stride Home Care.

Activities that Increase Feel-Good Hormones

Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are brain chemicals that have a positive impact on behavior and mood. They can diminish the perception of pain, boost mood, enhance sleep quality, aid digestion, and enhance memory and cognitive function. Encourage your loved one to spend time outdoors during sunny days to boost the levels of these brain chemicals. Exercise is another way to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin. Increased activity can also prevent depression and aggressive behavior in those with dementia. Before starting a new activity routine, check with the physician to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to engage in more exercise.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional homecare. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy, or AAT, can treat dementia in seniors who have psychological or behavioral symptoms. AAT is thought to boost both physical and mental health in people with dementia because it promotes relaxation, enhances recall, reduces feelings of loneliness, and stimulates brain function. It’s also thought that AAT may prevent sundown syndrome, which can cause restlessness, aggression, disorientation, and agitation when it gets dark outside. Animal-assisted therapy is usually offered by healthcare providers such as occupational therapists and registered nurses, and it can be performed in a group setting or with only one person. To find out more about the benefits of animal-assisted therapy, talk to your loved one’s physician, who can also direct you to a qualified therapist.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oshkosh Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 920-717-1767 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.

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