How to Prepare You and Your Loved One For Dementia

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When my mom was diagnosed with dementia, I made sure to do a lot of research. I learned what to expect and I educated myself on how to prepare her and myself for when the symptoms of dementia started to take over her life. As a family member/caregiver, it’s not an easy situation to deal with because you go through a lot of emotions, often times you feel like you are alone or that you are doing something wrong, so the more you can learn about the disease the better. Before my mom passed away, she suffered from dementia for at least 10 years. She was the first person that I ever knew with this disease so needless to say everything was new to me and even though I researched about the disease I learned a lot from experiencing first hand the stages of dementia that she went through. Since I know there are a lot of family members that have a loved one that is suffering from this disease, I wanted to share how to prepare you and your loved one for dementia so that you don’t feel alone.

It's important to be as prepared as possible when your loved one is diagnosed with dementia. Here are a few ways you can be ready.

Dementia is a disease that affects people differently. I’ve learned that not everyone that is diagnosed with dementia has the same symptoms and symptoms can affect some more rapidly than others. When I took care of my mom, she had a wide variety of symptoms, so I had to learn how to help her overcome the daily struggles that these symptoms caused. Even though your loved one may have a few different symptoms than my mom did, I want to share with you how to prepare you and your loved one for dementia so that as a caregiver you are as ready as possible.

  • Difficulty in communicating and/or finding the right words or phrase to use– This happened to my mom a lot and it started very early in her diagnosis. The best way to deal with this is by simply being patient. You can try and help your loved one find their words but do not overwhelm them or push them to remember.
  • Confusion and disoriented- Even in the most common places my mom would get lost or forget how to use something that she had used all of her life. When you are in public with your loved one make sure that you never let them leave your site. If they need to go to the restroom, go with them and pretend that you have to go also. In addition, in an effort to help your loved one remind themselves how to use certain things, consider putting notes in places that will help them trigger a memory. When you walked into my mom’s house she had notes everywhere. At first, it seemed obnoxious but after time, I realized how important that these notes were to her.
  • Night Owl- If your loved one has a live-in caregiver, it’s important that once you start noticing that they are staying up during odd hours of the night you need to install special locks on each door and/or install an alarm system. This is important because, like my mom, a lot of people that suffer from dementia have a tendency to go on ‘walks’. One morning my mom left her house at 2:00 am and started walking. I am not sure how long she was walking but thankfully a police officer found her and brought her to safety.
  • Circle of Support- Being a caregiver is exhausting, so it’s important that as a caregiver you take care of yourself so that you do not make yourself sick or overly stressed. One way to do this is by finding a circle of friends that are willing to help you take care of your loved one when you need time alone.
  • Mood Swings- It is important that you understand that your loved one will not always like you. Even though you take care of them and make sure that they have what they need and are safe, they will not always welcome you with smiles and hugs. The moods of someone that is suffering from dementia is sporadic and unpredictable. This is another reason why it is important to have a Circle of Support as mentioned above.
  • Incontinence-  This started happening to my mom as her dementia progressed. We noticed that when her memory started to decline and she became more confused that she began to have more accidents. Often times she would either forget where the bathroom was, not make it to the bathroom in time or not realize that she needed to use the restroom until it was too late. I made sure that I supplied her with TENA® Overnight Pads so that she can keep feeling confident with protection for the Unexpected Leak™.

I always made sure that she was well stocked with TENA® Overnight Pads. I would purchase them during my weekly trips to Walmart. They are located in the Health & Wellness aisle and there are a few different options to choose from such as TENA® Overnight Underwear, TENA® Overnight Pads, and TENA® Intimates™ Overnight Pads. On 3/4/2018 there will be an FSI in the paper where you can get $5 Off Any One TENA® Overnight Underwear Product. This offer expires 3/18/2018. This offer can only be redeemed in-store. In addition, make sure to watch for TENA® intimates™ Overnight Underwear. This product is coming soon to Walmart and will have the same great technology as the TENA Intimates™ Overnight Pads.

Find TENA at Walmart in the Health and Wellness aisle

TENA® Overnight Pads protect against moderate to heavy bladder leakage. It has a cushioned side that conforms to your body for a comfortable fit along with triple protection from leaks, odor, and moisture. The longer and wider in the back design also adds protection while laying down. These pads helped to keep my mom from becoming even more confused and also helped her to remain calm in situations where she could not control her bladder.

Make sure your loved one has TENA available to them if they have bladder issues.

If you are a caregiver for someone that has dementia I hope that I have helped you know what to possibly expect. It can be very stressful not only for your loved one but for you, the caregiver, so make sure that you have a support group and ask questions.

Do you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with dementia? If you do, please share what to expect and any tips to make it easier for the caregiver and the loved one.

Please pin this for others that may have loved ones with Dementia:

It's important to be as prepared as possible when your loved one is diagnosed with dementia. Here are a few ways you can be ready.

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