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 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.