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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tips For Improving The Quality of Life of Those With Dementia (Guest Post)

Today's guest post is by Tammy Mahan who is a Nurse who contributes articles to Healthline.com.    Healthline.come can also be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/healthlinenetworks.   The article was submitted to me by Tracy from Healthline.com.

Tips for Improving the Quality of Life for Those with Dementia

Meaningful and enjoyable lives can be led by those with dementia. You can easily learn how to improve the quality of life with someone diagnosed with dementia by taking a few simple steps and paying attention to a few specific things.

Environment Affects Dementia

There are some issues that you can take into consideration when determining if the environment is the cause of problem behaviors.

Search for behavior patterns associated with a specific activity. If the doorbell upsets them, post a sign for visitors to knock on the door instead.

Cover or remove dolls, mirrors and television sets if they are being mistaken for actual people. People with dementia can become agitated if there are busy patterns on carpeting or walls. Whenever possible a plain pattern should be chosen.

It is important for you to remain calm and not cause additional stimulus that can have a negative effect.


The idea of environment includes routine and confusion can be prevented by having a schedule. Daily routines typically include basic activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming and eating but there should be other activities such games and exercise that stimulate the mind.

Time of Day

There are those who will experience worsened symptoms of dementia such as anger, paranoia, disorientation, restlessness and rapid mood changes. Symptoms of dementia can become worse later in the day causing them to have trouble sleeping. Violence, wandering, crying, pacing and hiding things can be triggered by these emotions.

There could even be hallucinations experienced as a result of the changes in the light. There are things that can be done to fight the effects of sundown dementia. The internal clock can be set by allowing exposure to light early in the morning. Excess energy can be expended by encouraging exercise throughout the day. Caffeine intake should be limited especially in the evening. There should be a quiet place to relax that is also private and having a toilet by the bed can help to prevent bathroom trips during the night.

Pain can be a problem that those with dementia do not have the ability to adequately express. Visiting the doctor regularly and making the house as secure as possible can help to keep the patients’ health in check and ensure they cannot wander during the night.

You have to take care of yourself as a caregiver to ensure that you are taking the best care of the patient. When you are irritable or sick then you are not going to be performing at your best for the one that you are taking care of. Implementing a new activity every few days can make life easier for you and for the person suffering from dementia. You will both be more relaxed.

The activity should be familiar and something that they like; you can also do animal therapy. Animals will give you a way to introduce new and interesting things to the environment. Interaction between humans and animals has been shown to have healing, calming effects. These are just a few ways you can make the quality of life easier for those with dementia.

Tammy Mahan has been a nurse for over 20 years. In her free time, she contributes articles to Healthline.Com.

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