You’re worried about your parents and you think they could use more help.  You suggested home care, but they wouldn’t hear of it.  They told you: “we’ve managed just fine on our own this long, we don’t need any help.” What they're really saying is that they don't want to face change. That's because change is scary.

 

 

Change is scary for all of us, at some level. Each person has a different tolerance for change, and it might take a lot more change to scare some people than others. But if you introduce a drastic enough change, eventually, any of us would feel trepidation about that change.

 

It’s little wonder then, that for seniors in their 80’s or 90’s, the thought of even a small change can be quite scary. After eight or nine decades, they are likely pretty set in their ways. They want things done a certain way; they want to keep their environment the same. As long as everything remains the same, it feels more manageable. It might help your parents to understand that home care is all about reducing the amount of change that your parents will experience. 

 

Warm Embrace caregivers are trained to match each client's specific preferences. 

 

Caregivers DO NOT barge into a client’s home and just take over. Caregivers DO wait to be invited in, and they ASK permission to proceed. They ask how that particular client prefers the laundry or housekeeping to be done. They cook from the client’s recipes or directions to match their particular tastes.   They help to keep clients’ lives consistent.

 

Homecare is one of the best prevention strategies for one of the biggest possible life changes: admission to a long-term care home.  Moving to long term care is a HUGE change—absolutely every single element of someone’s routine is changed. From the time they get out of bed, to when they eat, and whether they wear pyjamas to breakfast—everything is adjusted to match the schedule of the long-term care home.

 

Homecare ensures that individual clients maintain their own personal routine, they maintain their home, they maintain familiar comforts.  Caregivers match clients, rather than clients matching caregivers.  It reduces the amount of change they must experience.

 

Since home care is completely client-focused, each client calls the shots. The client decides what they’re doing each day and how they want things done and in which order.  It is very empowering for seniors to get to make all the decisions that impact their own day-to-day living.  Homecare grants this level of autonomy and independence.

 

Help your parents see that home care will ensure the least amount of change and help to maintain the lifestyle that they know and love. 

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Mid-stage dementia or moderate Alzheimer’s is marked by increased communication challenges.  Language is increasingly affected; though speech remains quite clear.

 

In the mid-stages of dementia, the affected person is less self-aware of their communication challenges.  In the early stages, the person is highly aware that they cannot find the words they are seeking; but in the mid-stages, they don’t perceive their communication as problematic.  They may be inclined to blame others for not comprehending what they are saying.

 

old school telephone

 

Here is a list of 5 communication challenges

Circumlocution

This is your new word of the day!  Circumlocution is the fancy way of saying “talking around what you are trying to articulate.”  In the early stages, precise noun naming is difficult, in the mid-stages, nouns are frequently substituted with pronouns such as ‘he’, ‘she’, and ‘they’.  Instead of identifying an item, you might hear ‘thingy’ or ‘thingamajig’.  Sometimes, the person with dementia becomes frustrated when you don’t know what the ‘thingamajig’ is, and they become mad at you for not knowing.

 

Disinbited

Your sweet little granny who never so much as uttered “darn” her entire life is now swearing like a trooper.  She can’t tell you what she wants, but she can tell you off just fine!  She may be inclined to tell someone “I don’t like your hair. You should have left it the way it was before.” The part of her brain that tells her what is socially acceptable has been affected by dementia, and the language she is using reflects that. 

 

Repetition

In mid-stage you will hear more repetition.  The person with dementia may become set on a few words and repeats those words frequently, or they may be focused on a particular idea/question/worry and continue repeating those ideas incessantly. If repetition deters you from engaging in conversation with your loved one, try out our 5 conversation starter tips

 

Digress and Ramble

The conversation becomes more conceptually linked rather than following a linear pattern.  For someone with dementia, his conversation may not follow a specific ‘train of thought’.  Especially when word-finding becomes difficult, he may be inclined to substitute an unrelated word for the one he cannot find; he then rambles about the new word he has substituted.  The conversation can take a sudden leap in a different direction complete with a long rabbit trail rambling.

 

Multi-person Conversations

Group settings become increasingly difficult, and multi-person conversations are hard to follow for someone who has dementia. The mental stimulation of various conversations happening simultaneously can be too much to handle for someone with dementia.  You may notice that your loved one with dementia tends to sneak off during family visits or larger events, self-excusing from the crowd. 

 

 

Understanding the limitations of communication for someone with moderate Alzheimer’s or mid-stage dementia is important.  It is easier to set reasonable expectations and plan to be supportive.

 

Interested in learning more about Dementia and communication? Read our blog on the difference between speech and language.

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