Source: Brodaty H, Arasaratnam C. Meta-analysis of nonpharmacological interventions for neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2012;169:946-53.
The most worrying thing for the family is that the Patient could wander around and get lost. In recent years, newspapers have increasingly reported elderly Dementia people getting lost or injured in traffic accidents. With the help of a Specilised Caregiver, this type of tragedy can be avoided.
More generally, knowing that the Patient is taken care of by a professional, Specialised Caregiver will give the family peace of mind, and the satisfaction that the are providing the Very Best Care for their elderly loved ones.
Another positive impact which has been highlighted by many of our clients, is that because the Specialised Caregiver keeps the Patient busy and active during the day, anxiety and wandering diminishes at night, which mean better rest for the whole family!
Eating and drinking might be affected: the Patient is not able to prepare food, the Patient does not remember to eat or when he last ate, the Patient is not able to say he is hungry; the Patient’s thirst & smell mechanisms are affected.
Keep the Patient’s familiar eating & dining routines for as long as possible
Make sure the place for eating is pleasant and the table is free of unnecessary objects
Sit with the Patient, make eye contact and speak with the Patient
Encourage self-care (if needed, provide more time & assistive devices)
Adjust the variety, amount, shape & texture of the food to the Patient’s needs
Look at the Patient’s response – if he makes no initiative for eating, place a spoon in his hand
Monitor changes in eating habits & avoid major weight changes
If necessary, consider the use of supplements or nutrient-dense foods
Patient may have a need for social interaction, may feel bored, depressed or isolated;
Patient may be in pain or distress, or have an infection;
A noisy environment of change in routine may make a person wander;
Patient may have a need for food, fluids, exercise or going to the toilet;
Addressing the needs (food, toileting, social contact) and wishes of the Patient and anticipating before he goes wandering;
Organising activities that promote friendship and have a meaning for the Patient;
Taking the Patient outside regularly;
Keeping a list of places a person may wander to;
Making doors less obvious;
Providing cues to help the Patient know where he is;
Avoid access to unsafe objects (car keys, knives, scissors);
Fire safety: fire extinguishers, information about smoking, lighters & candles (especially when Patient is using oxygen);
Hide or lock away cleaning supplies, medication and toxic items;
Any change in environment can be unsafe to the Patient!
Provide grab bars, non-slip mats;
Prevent hot water burns (safety button on tap or adjust water heater).
Keep electrical appliances away from water, if possible, use appliances that have an auto shut-off function;
Remove knobs from stove burners, and if necessary, turn off the gas or the electric power;
Keep the kitchen table clear from medicines, vitamins…
Let the doctor review the medication regularly, and check if they are still needed;
Use a pill organizer so that the Patient can only access what he needs;
Keep all medication together in one place;
In a later stage, lock away all the medication;
Check if Patient has actually swallowed or taken the medication;