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Understanding Dementia and Memory Loss Behaviors

July 20, 2020

Have you been noticing memory loss or other signs of dementia in an aging loved one? It can be hard to see these patterns, but it is important to stay alert for changes in senior behavior. This can help you, their physician and their caregivers know how best to move forward with treatment. Senior Home Companion caregivers are specially trained in caring for your aging family members, and are prepared to aid in dementia care as well. 

Signs and Symptoms

Dementia can affect seniors differently depending on many different factors. However, there are some common symptoms that you can notice with careful attention. Keep an eye out for these signs of memory loss, including difficulty completing familiar tasks, confusion about their time/location or challenges in planning or problem-solving. 

You may also notice they have trouble understanding visual/spatial relationships, new problems with speaking/writing or a change in mood and withdrawal from social engagement. Overall, if their memory loss or cognitive ability is disrupting their daily life, then it is time to get help. 

Stages of Memory Loss

Memory loss and the cognitive decline in dementia is a progressive disease, and each individual can experience it differently. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are seven general stages:

  1. No impairment, where a neurotypical individual would be. 
  2. Very mild cognitive decline, where the individual may notice memory lapses, but none can be detected by others.
  3. Mild cognitive decline, where family or friends notice difficulties and a detailed medical exam may detect the problem. 
  4. Moderate cognitive decline, where forgetfulness and personality changes are more noticeable.
  5. Moderately severe cognitive decline, where individuals may begin needing help with day-to-day activities. 
  6. Severe cognitive decline, where extensive daily care is necessary to assist with major memory and cognitive changes. 
  7. Very severe cognitive decline, where individuals can lose the ability to respond to the environment around them.

The Alzheimer’s Association and other similar organizations have many helpful resources about how to support your loved one as they progress through these stages. You can also speak with your SHC companion caregiver about how to work together to best assist the client based on their current stage. 

How to Offer Support

In the early stages of dementia and memory loss, your loved one may be able to remain at home with support, especially from a trained caregiver with Senior Home Companions. As the disease progresses, you may consider assisted living care, where SHC can continue to provide individualized support to maintain community engagement and quality of life. 

Senior Home Companions also serves as the exclusive care provider and founder of Story Cottage, a unique, home-like setting staffed with caregivers trained in memory care. Our flagship home is located on the Northside of Indianapolis, with a new residence opening soon in Carmel, IN. 

When You Suspect Dementia

If you begin to notice signs of dementia or memory loss in a loved one, contact a doctor as soon as possible. It may seem hard to address, especially with a parent or family member, but this is not a time to ignore symptoms. A medical evaluation can determine the stage of memory loss that your loved one is in, and which individualized treatments may be appropriate. 

Always remember that the caregivers at Senior Home Companions are ready to come alongside you in the journey to care for your loved one. We treat our clients as we would want our family to be treated, with integrity, effectiveness and compassion. Contact our office today for a free consultation, or to learn more about our wide variety of services.