Signs of Dementia

Yesterday I stipulated the fact that memory loss in not the only sign of Dementia. In order for the diagnosis to be complete, your client must portray the following symptoms:

  • Two or more core mental functions are impaired

o    Memory

o    Language Skills

o    Visual Perception

o    Ability to focus and Pay Attention

  • Other symptoms include cognitive skills

o    The Ability to Reason

o    Problem Solving

The loss of your client’s normal brain function must be considered severe enough that they are no longer able to do normal everyday tasks. Additionally, emotional reasoning tends to accompany the physical symptoms and your client may not be able to control their emotions.

If you knew them before the diagnosis, you most likely would be able to tell that their personality changed. Depending on the Dementia diagnosis (as I have gone over thoroughly before), you clients may suffer from delusions (strong beliefs without proof). As an example, they may accuse you of stealing from them.

Your clients may also hallucinate; experiencing things that are not real. A lot of times this may include seeing people from their past that are no longer living. Sometimes the hallucinations are calming and other times they are downright scary causing your client to screech with fear.

You must be aware of these physical and emotional changes as they will tend to affect your everyday life inside the client’s home. If you cannot prove that With Age Comes Respect (and this includes handling the changes), then perhaps elderly caregiving is not the right choice for you.


About melissalstoneburner

Melissa is the proud mother of two boys. She also like to take care of all of her elderly clients as though they were her actual flesh and blood, too. Melissa began her elderly care business, Time to Care, in August, 2012. Since then, she has successfully seen several clients through life and onto the next life. She writes about what she knows, what she doesn't know, and reveals all the research in between. She believes that elderly care is the best thing she has ever done in life; second only to being a mother!
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One Response to Signs of Dementia

  1. My mother is 94 and moved in with me 2 years ago after hip replacement surgery and a few weeks in a nursing home. She has recurring hallucinations, as in Charles Bonnet Syndrome. She’ll sometimes see a small dog at her feet. There are also children and adults she sees, but does not identify them with anyone. She’ll ask me who is looking after them, and I explain that I can’t see them, so she’ll need to image them being taken care of.

    About a month ago, she had a bad spell of wandering around at night until she became exhausted. The doctor gave us a prescription for Reperon (mirtazapine) and that helped return her to her old self (still has hallucination, of course, but coping much better).

    Despite these issues, she gets around well enough to fix her own meals, attends the local Methodist church, and participates in a church small study group. I help with her shower (wash her back and hair, she does the rest) and so forth, but generally, as I tell my sisters, she’s pretty low maintenance. I also do some PT exercises with her twice a week. We play short scrabble each evening and watch an hour or so of TV recordings.

    But I’m thinking she might need some daytime activities to avoid sleeping all day. Not sure what I can do for that.

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