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Dementia 360: Understanding Dementia Through Different Perspectives

As anyone with a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia knows, memory loss affects everyone involved. The adjustment to new routines and lifestyles can be overwhelming for the person with dementia as well as the family caregiver. By looking at dementia from different perspectives, one gains insight to the behaviors, actions and struggles each person faces on a daily basis.   

“The functional decline in communication and memory not only isolates the person with dementia, but the family caregiver as well,” says Sam Streater, Program Director of Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. “As the disease progresses, it can be difficult for the family caregiver to maintain balance in his or her life.”

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone involved is experiencing different challenges. Understanding their situations from their perspectives provides opportunities to find helpful ways to support them through this difficult time. It’s imperative that family caregivers know what’s happening to their loved ones so they can distinguish the behavior not as a reflection on themselves, but as a result of the dementia.

From the Perspective of a Person with Dementia

Dementia is the chronic impairment of mental processes and drastically changes people’s lives. While those with dementia undergo mental and physical deterioration, they also experience changes in their behavior and mood. Common aspects of this include:

  • Memory loss and confusion
  • Issues with keeping time and recognizing familiar places
  • Trouble with forming speech and communication
  • Reduced mobility and muscle function
  • Mood swings and irritable behavior
  • Depression

How to Help Your Loved One

From a family caregiver’s perspective, witnessing these changes can be painful. In order to help their loved one retain normal mental and physical faculties, a caregiver can make sure they have the following:

  • Social interaction with family and friends
  • Mentally stimulating activities
  • Well-lit rooms for visibility
  • Physical activity
  • Safe, secure and quiet environments
  • Plenty of rest

It is important for families and friends of caregivers to recognize the challenges and stresses that primary caregivers continually face. They need constant support, encouragement and help to successfully maintain their role as caregiver. 

From the Perspective of the Caregiver

Family caregivers have one of the most selfless and toughest jobs in the world. But, they need to take care of themselves, too. In order to avoid caregiver burnout, they should try to maintain:

  • A healthy diet and exercise
  • Consistent sleep schedule
  • Personal time to relax
  • A daily routine for the person with dementia
  • Help from family or paid staff
  • A caregiver support group

How Impressions Memory Care Can Help

Impressions Memory Care is dedicated to helping those with dementia as well as their families, providing a unique perspective and approach for all involved. With expert care delivered from a highly skilled and supportive staff, family members can rest assured knowing their loved ones are receiving the care they need and deserve. Impressions provides: 

  • A friendly and secure environment
  • An enriching and healthy lifestyle
  • Personalized care based on the person’s needs
  • Care from a kind, considerate and experienced staff
  • Private, individual suites for housing
  • A place where families can focus on being families

If the family as a whole can experience the challenges of dementia through the perspective of their loved one, they can begin to understand what he or she goes through every day and prepare for the appropriate levels of care that may be needed in the future.   

Just as those with dementia are undergoing major life changes, so are the family caregivers. The task of caring for a loved one with dementia is dynamic and demanding, and it can affect all aspects of the caregiver’s health. Mental, physical and emotional exhaustion takes its toll. When the time comes for professional care, Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr can help. 

“Intense care and compassion are necessary for those with dementia to live out dignified and full lives.” Says Sam Streater, “Impressions Memory Care delivers on these needs and is proud to not only be a safe, engaging community for those with dementia, but also a place of support, education and peace for the families.”

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.

Engaging Days. Meaningful Moments. 

Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comforts of home. Our community touches hearts and changes lives. 

Helping Families Be “Family” Again

Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.

If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.

If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.

For more information, please call Sharon at (484) 380-5400 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.