Dementia & Alzheimer's: It's More Than Just Losing Your Memory

| Thursday, March 24, 2016
By Rue Nichols

If you have a loved one in a memory care facility for assisted living in San Diego or perhaps still living at home, you already probably understand that dementia or Alzheimer's affects more than memory functions. Aside from forgetfulness, memory loss and confusion, these diseases have other symptoms as well.

Sleep issues are very common for those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. In fact, as many employees of memory care assisted living in San Diego can attest, many residents suffer from an issue known as Sundowner's Syndrome. This syndrome, which tends to affect people more during the beginning and middle stages of dementia, causes people to become anxious or angry or very restless as the sun begins to set. Those with Sundowner's Syndrome often cannot sleep through the night, pacing the floor or even ranting or shouting at family or assisted living staff.

Although we don't know why this problem occurs, there do seem to be some solid strategies that reduce the stress and restlessness. To ease problems at assisted living in San Diego, there might be a carefully planned schedule of activities during the day. Creating a simple, stress-free daily plan can ease a resident's anxiety. In addition to keeping residents busy, it also seems to help if napping is avoided and caffeinated beverages are not served after about noon. Eating dinner early and avoiding nighttime snacks and beverages also seems to help. Lastly, it is a good idea to keep many lights on night and reduce the level of noise in your home or in the assisted living facility.

Another problem a caregiver might face is watching their loved one suffer from hallucinations or delusion. A hallucination, which includes seeing, smelling or hearing something that isn't actually there, can be scary for both the person who has the hallucination as well as the caregiver, although sometimes a hallucination might be very benign. Delusions are another common issue, and these are false beliefs, such as accusing a family member of abuse or stealing that didn't actually occur. These can be very upsetting to handle, so it is wise to keep in mind that these aren't personal attacks but rather symptoms of a terrible disease.

It is quite common for people with dementia to be very moody and, at times, angry or even abusive. Partly this may be due to the frustration of dealing with dementia or Alzheimer's, but this also is a general symptom. A person might lash out at a caregiver with angry words or physically. If this type of abuse becomes quite common, it might be time to consider moving your loved one into a home for assisted living in San Diego that specializes in memory care. These facilities are designed to reduce stress for those with dementia and also the staff is trained specifically to help those who have dementia and related illnesses.

Being the primary caregiver for your spouse or parent is never easy, but when that person also suffers from any type of dementia, it can be overwhelming. If you would like to find a suitable facility for assisted living in San Diego, contact a free service that offers eldercare placement. This service will provide you with a list of suitable options, and you can begin touring these facilities and perhaps select one that will be a good fit for your loved one.

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