Nothing will make caring for a person with dementia easy, but understanding that the disease is in charge and that your loved one is not intentionally doing things to upset you can help reduce a little stress.
Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases rob people of their executive function and their ability to retain memories. As the disease progresses, they will lose countless other skills and abilities. Depending on the area of the brain that is affected, they could lose the ability to understand what is and is not appropriate social behavior.
Some people with dementia develop a heightened interest in sex. It is not unusual for stroke survivors, people with Alzheimer’s, and individuals who are taking Dopamine to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s to display unexpected and inappropriate sexual behavior.
They may lose the ability to control their impulses and behavior. They may not be able to feel empathy for other people, make sound judgments, or perceive the potential consequences of their actions.
They often have a different perception of place and time and a different interpretation of reality from their caregivers. They can get agitated and frustrated when their caregivers don’t communicate with them effectively, and they often behave in ways that are disruptive and upsetting to both family members and professional healthcare workers.
You will not be able to control the progression of the disease, but learning as much as you can about the specific type of dementia your loved one is living with will help you understand their behavior.
I would like to invite you to visit the “Sex, Violence, and Other Dementia Issues” module on my website. The videos will help you understand the causes behind some challenging behaviors and will provide you with strategies for reducing stress and improving communication with a person who has dementia.
I would also encourage you to attend Alzheimer’s conferences, visit their website at https://www.alz.org, and get involved in a caregiver support group.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments can be a long and incredibly difficult journey. Learning everything you can and accepting all the help that is available to you, may make it a little more manageable.
I would love to hear from you. If you have a question or a comment, please type it in the “Comment Box” below, or send me an email at Elaine@EKSanchez.com.