Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guest Post: 5 Places to Look When Seeking Dementia Care for a Loved One

By Ryan Hughes

It is absolutely heart-breaking to see someone you love suffering from dementia. When dementia strikes, everything changes. The one you love may not be able to perform simple tasks any longer or may lose the ability to solve day-to-day problems. Feeling like you’re on an emotional roller coaster is common, with all of the personality changea. Dementia is a disorder that cannot be handled alone. You need to get help. Here are five places to look when seeking dementia care for a loved one.

Begin with the Primary Care Physician
A proper diagnosis is key and it is important to eliminate any other possibilities. Dementia is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease and vice versa. Reactions to medication, thyroid conditions, and lack of certain vitamins can also cause similar symptoms. A visit to your loved one's physician is important to get a baseline status, health history, and a referral to a specialist. A battery of tests will be performed, including brain imaging and blood tests in order to gather comprehensive information.

Visit One or More Specialists
When dementia is suspected, a specialist will be the next step in order to get the specific care that is needed to deal with your loved one's disorder. Ask the primary care physician to point you in the right direction and do your own research as well. Expect to make the rounds as you visit psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, and doctors, who have made dementia their area of expertise.

Seek Online Sources of Assistance
You'll find a host of helpful resources online. The Alzheimer's Association ( has a great deal of information, including the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers Center. There is a help line that is available at all times, as well.

Learn About Lifestyle Modifications
Many steps can be taken at home to assist your loved one who is dealing with dementia. Discover medications that are helpful in improving symptoms, providing your loved one with more clarity and peace of mind. You can also make changes in diet to promote cardiovascular health and brain functioning. Reduce the amount of red meat in the daily diet and include a great deal of fresh produce. Whole grains, fish, and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for cognitive abilities. Your loved one also needs regular, physical activity to keep the blood circulating and maintain well-being.

Bring in Home Health Care Aides or Seek a Facility
If your loved one can no longer be independent, you can bring home health care aides into the home on a daily basis. However, you may find that moving your loved one to a facility is the best option for round-the-clock care. There are many facilities that specialize in providing care for dementia patients. You can ask the primary care physician and team of specialists for their top recommendations. The Alzheimer's Association and other online sources can assist you in narrowing your search in order to find the best in care for your loved one.

Dealing with dementia in a loved one is truly challenging. Fortunately, resources abound to help you in caring for a dementia patient. Don’t give up. There is always hope... and helping hands.

Methodist Homes ( is a Christian organization providing care, accommodation and support services for persons 70 and older throughout Britain.

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