Senior Care - Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Senior Care - Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

May 17, 2021 By Brooke Davis
Categories: Blog

When caring for loved ones, with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, it is important to understand their diagnosis and what care options they may need over time. Alzheimer’s disease is most common in people over the age of 65 and affects every 1 in 14 people who are over this age, while affecting 1 in every 6 people over the age of 80. Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency with around 50 million people being affected by dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.  Many aging American’s are being affected by these two diseases, it is important to understand the differences and how you can best help your loved one.

Alzheimer's disease is an irreparable, progressive brain disorder that slowly damages memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s and accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. Dementia is a chronic disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. There are many different forms of dementia and many different conditions that cause it, but it is not a normal part of aging.

Some causes of dementia include:

  • Infections, such as HIV
  • Vascular diseases
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Chronic drug use

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that begins with mild memory loss and possibly leading to the loss of ability to carry on a conversation or respond to their surrounding environment. Those with Alzheimer’s disease could also experience confusion with time or place, difficulty completing familiar tasks, changes in thinking skills, and decrease in focus and concentration.

There are many support systems that are there for you to help learn more about both of these diseases like The Alzheimer’s Association which is an organization that leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia. They do this by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support.

Senior Helpers is a national leader in non-medical in-home care and provides a unique approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia with our Senior Gems program that is based on GEMS techniques, strategies, and overall approach to care. Senior Gems was created and developed by Teepa Snow, Positive Approach, LLC to help us better understand which stage of dementia an individual is experiencing to select the best caregiver for them. This program is also useful for long-term care of individuals who are living with dementia.  Senior Gems highlights what is valuable and unique about each senior, while working with them to help them live a purposeful life at home.

The Gems classification system allows trained Senior Helpers caregivers to:

  • Identify the characteristics of different stages of dementia
  • Understand what a person can still do based on a gem level
  • Use specific strategies based on gem level to care for our seniors.
  • Create the best plan for caring for the individual long term.

This classification system helps to create and prepare comprehensive training programs for our caregivers around the country to ensure each senior receives the right kind of care for their unique situation. Senior Helpers provides our franchisees and their caregivers informational training videos to help understand these diseases more in depth as well as how to care for those who are living with them. One video recently presented by Teepa Snow was ‘How to Communicate With Someone Who is Living With Dementia’ to emphasize on the value of empathetic and supportive communication to help cope with seniors experiencing distress.

Senior Helpers understands how hard it can be for families when their loved ones are suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. We provide the senior community with a distinguished program that allows our franchisees and their caregivers to provide the highest quality of care. If you’re interested in being someone who provides for seniors and their loved ones with a unique and considerate approach that gives them the ability to comfortably age at home, then contact us today. We are available by phone at 1-877-376-7120 or complete a webform to start your seamless discovery process.