Breaking Down the Caregiving Compass: A Roundtable Discussion
Thursday, March 7th 2pm-3:30pm. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
Breaking Down the Caregiving Compass: A Roundtable Discussion
Thursday, March 7th 2pm-3:30pm. Click HERE & RSVP Today!
Open Mobile Menu
older woman with daughter and caregiver

The Neurobiology of Change: A Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Behaviors of Concern and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

Communicating with someone with dementia can be challenging when they misbehave or experience psychological symptoms. As a caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and burned out.

However, while it can be difficult, your care journey can be simplified by understanding what causes aggression and other unpleasant symptoms in seniors with dementia. 

The Kensington Redondo Beach is eager to help and offer powerful resources and tips to caregivers. We regularly host events to inform caregivers of the most common senior diseases and how to care for them through each stage. 

On Oct. 19, we hosted a virtual event with Dr. David Hart, “The Neurobiology of Change: A Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia.”

Tune into this insightful event led by expert Dr. Hart discussed the cognitive, behavioral, and functional changes associated with each stage of dementia. 

Learn more about the progression of dementia, behavioral and psychological symptoms, when to seek memory care, and how The Kensington Redondo Beach is skilled and prepared to care for your loved one. 

How to anticipate the progression of dementia

The best way to anticipate the progression of dementia is to learn what to expect. As the disease progresses, your loved one will experience different emotional, mental, and physical changes. 

While each person will go through the stages of dementia at a different pace, most will likely display the same behaviors and impairments at some time. Knowing what to expect can help you, your family, and your loved one plan for their future.

Your loved one may have an opinion on how long they want to remain in their home and when they would like to transition to an assisted living or memory care community. 

Initially, your loved one will be independent and require very little care. But, as their thinking and memory deteriorate, they will need more help with daily tasks. 

Together, you can decide how long you will provide caregiver services before transitioning to a senior living community. 

Typical dementia behavioral symptoms

As their dementia progresses, knowing which behaviors your loved one may experience, and understanding what is causing them can help you care for your loved one with patience and empathy.

Aggression 

In the later stages of their disease, your loved one may become physically and verbally aggressive. Aggressive behavior is one of the more severe symptoms that can be challenging for caregivers. 

Often, seniors become aggressive and experience agitation because they cannot express their feelings or needs. They could be confused, in pain, or reacting to their medication. 

To keep your loved one calm, it’s important to be reassuring and patient with them. Speak slowly and be careful with how you respond. Let them know that you’re there for them, and they will be okay. 

Consider what was happening before they became aggressive to help identify the main problem. Are they tired, hungry, or uncomfortable? Keep your own mood calm as you respond to their behavior. 

Confusion

The more memory loss your loved one experiences, the more confusion there will be. As your loved one’s disease progresses, they may have difficulty identifying familiar items, places, and people.

To help prevent confusion, try maintaining a routine and spending time together in familiar places and surrounding them with familiar objects. While they may forget these places from time to time, as they calm down and feel reassured, they may recall them or feel safer. 

While it may be frustrating to repeat the same answers when they continuously ask why, when, or where questions—remain as patient as you can. This type of commitment to understanding can even prevent aggression. 

Depression

Seniors with dementia are at high risk for developing depression and mood swings. 

As your loved one’s cognition declines and they become less independent, it can be stressful and scary for them.

It may also be more difficult for those with dementia to leave home and socialize. That’s why those with dementia experience isolation and loneliness often.

A senior living community can help decrease depression as residents have opportunities to engage in life-enrichment activities and socialize. 

Hallucinations and paranoia

In the later stages of dementia, a person with the disease may experience hallucinations and paranoia. This is especially true for those with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s dementia. 

If your loved one begins to see or hear things that are not there, they should visit their physician. Sometimes medication can limit or prevent the occurrence of hallucinations. 

The best way to support your loved one is to remain calm, reassure them that what they are seeing isn’t real, and don’t leave them alone. 

Talking with your loved one can help stop their hallucination. It’s difficult for people to hear voices that are not there when someone is talking to them. 

Poor sleep patterns

It can be challenging for someone with dementia to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

Their circadian rhythms confuse nighttime with daytime, causing them to get out of bed and get dressed or attempt to start their day.

You can help your loved one improve their sleep quality by maintaining a daily routine, sticking to a sleep schedule, limiting their caffeine intake, and limiting their screen time before bed. 

If changes to your loved one’s routine and diet don’t help them with their sleeping troubles, their doctor may be able to prescribe a sleeping aid.

Wandering 

More than half of all dementia patients will experience wandering. 

It can be scary and dangerous when your loved one wanders off because they will likely have no idea where they are or where they are going. 

If your loved one begins wandering, they will need a safe home with around-the-clock care, which, unfortunately, may be hard for you to provide in their own home.

The Kensington Redondo beach offers wander management technology including tracking devices to ensure our residents’ safety. 

When seeking a memory care community is the best choice 

It’s best to look into memory care communities before your loved one’s needs become too much for you to handle. Waiting too long to transition can lead to caregiver stress and burnout. 

Additionally, allowing your loved one to be a part of the conversation can help ease their worries about living arrangements.

Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your loved one. It just means that their care needs are too great for one person to keep up with. 

Dementia patients often progress to a point that’s hard to keep up with as a caregiver, and especially as a person caring for a family member. 

When a person with dementia can no longer live alone safely and needs someone to assist them with most tasks, they’ll benefit from the support that a memory care community can offer. 

With medication administration, an on-site nurse, and rehabilitation services, your loved one can get all the comfort, assistance, and services they need in one place. 

The Kensington Redondo Beach offers two cozy memory care neighborhoods, Connections, and Haven. 

Offering two neighborhoods allows our residents to live in a home that matches their individualized care needs. 

The Kensington Redondo Beach is your partner in care

Our Promise at The Kensington Redondo Beach is to love and care for your family as we do our own. 

We understand that as your loved one’s memory disease progresses, it can become more challenging for you to care for them safely. 

Our assisted living and two levels of memory care communities are safe and cozy and will allow your loved one to truly age in place. 

Some of the services we offer to ensure our loved ones live a fulfilling and high-quality life include:

Contact us or check out our blog to learn more about our suites, floor plans, caregiver resources, and upcoming events