Dementia is a confusing and frightening disease. Unfortunately, it is sometimes made worse for people by believing one of the many myths about dementia that exist. Knowledge about dementia is incredibly important to being a successful and effective family caregiver to an older adult with the disease. When family caregivers and others run across incorrect information, it can alter their perception of dementia or lead to improper reactions and care. Below are 4 myths concerning dementia and the truths it is important you know.
Myth #1: Someone with Dementia Cannot Tell You What They Want
Truth: It may be true that someone with dementia has difficulty verbally expressing what they need or want. However, with some patience, people in the early and middle stages can usually get their meaning across. Learning to read non-verbal cues can help you to understand what your aging relative wants, too. Watch for facial expressions, posture, and hand movements that can help you understand what they are trying to say.
Myth #2: Alzheimer’s is Worse Than Dementia
Truth: Alzheimer’s is undoubtedly a scary diagnosis. Because of the fear it conjures, some people think that finding out their older family member received a diagnosis of dementia instead of Alzheimer’s means that things will be easier for them. However, dementia is a term used for many different kinds of conditions and Alzheimer’s is one of them. It’s important to find out specifics about what kind of dementia your aging relative has so that you know what to expect.
Myth #3: Dementia is a Normal Part of Aging
Truth: While it is normal for seniors to have lapses in memory, often referred to as “senior moments,” the memory loss and other symptoms of dementia is not normal. Not everyone gets dementia. There are plenty of people who are 80, 90, or even 100 years old who do not have dementia. If it were true that dementia was just a part of aging, everyone would get it.
Myth #4: There is No Treatment for Dementia
Truth: Actually, there are treatments available for dementia. It just depends on what kind of dementia your aging relative has. In fact, some kinds of dementia are caused by underlying conditions and can even be reversible once that condition is treated. Even for some irreversible kinds of dementia, there are treatments that can improve the quality of life and slow down the progression of the disease.
Regardless of the type of dementia your older family member has, elder care can help with their care. Elder care providers can keep the older adult safe while family caregivers are at work or doing other things. Elder care providers can also improve their quality of life by offering meaningful activities and emotional support. In addition, elder care can assist with household tasks, including cooking and cleaning.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring elder care in Roswell, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.