Personal & Attentive Dementia Care at the Pavilion of Ottawa
Caring for loved ones with dementia can be rewarding at times and draining during others. We understand the importance of coming alongside and helping provide professional care when you and your loved ones need it most. Whether it’s full-time care at our Memory Lane facility designed specifically for those in mind, or helping provide respite care for family members, Pavilion of Ottawa is here to help.
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What is Dementia?
Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not a specific disease, but a term describing a range of symptoms. These symptoms are most commonly related to a person’s memory or ability to perform daily activities. The vast majority (roughly 60 to 80 percent) of people suffering from dementia symptoms are because of Alzheimer’s disease. Usually progressive in nature, dementia symptoms tend to get worse as a person ages.
What is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a specific disease, where dementia is a series of symptoms; these symptoms could be because the person has Alzheimer’s disease, but isn’t a given. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are impaired thought, impaired speech, & confusion. Over time, memory loss may be increased and short-term memory problems become hindering to daily life. Recalling an event from 45 years ago becomes easier than recalling something from 45 minutes ago.
Tips for Communicating with a Loved One Who Has Dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia can feel overwhelming at times. Not knowing what to do in unique situations or how to meet their emotional needs makes the situation feel out of control. The Family Caregiver Alliance has put together a great resource for caregivers to better understand dementia behaviors for the ones they love. We have highlighted a few of their points below:
Be Positive & Speak Clearly
Setting a positive mood when both speaking and being around your loved one can help create a pleasant and comfortable atmosphere for them. Speaking in short, simple sentences helps your loved one communicate better. Be sure to use actual names of people & places rather than pronouns when communicating. When asking questions, make them simple & answerable, with not too many choices; yes/no questions & choice 1/choice 2 questions work great.
Get Their Attention
Minimizing distractions like turning off the TV or making constant eye contact help tremendously for people with dementia to focus on your conversation. Always introduce yourself by name & relation, never assume anything is remembered. Assuming your loved one has remembered something and pointing out that they have forgotten can cause stress with them and they may begin to shut down or become embarrassed.
Distract & Redirect
Oftentimes, those suffering from dementia symptoms become unconfident or confused, leading to outbursts of frustration. When this happens, be sure to acknowledge the feelings (they are real) and redirect to help change the conversation & environment. If your loved one become upset, tell them you’re sorry they are upset and suggest you go on a walk with them or eat dinner.
Recall Memories & Laugh
Ask your loved one about past vacations or other positive memories from years ago. Let them tell you stories of growing up or some of the funny things their kids did. People suffering from dementia symptoms often will retain their social skills, and lots of laughter can go a long way to helping their day be more enjoyable.
Diseases Leading to Dementia
There are four main diseases that lead to dementia symptoms. Each have their own unique challenges and treatments to try and reduce the symptoms. If you are unsure of how to best care for you loved one, we would recommend having a discussion with a trained member of the Pavilion of Ottawa staff to go over your options.
The most common disease leading to dementia - an irreversible disease that is progressive as it moves throughout the brain.
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
A relatively newer classification of disease leading to dementia symptoms, LBD is the 2nd leading cause of dementia symptoms.
Usually the result of stroke, proper treatment of the disease which caused the stroke can lead to stopping of furthering the progression of dementia symptoms.
The second leading cause of dementia in people younger than 65, this form of dementia affects a person’s social behavior & judgement.
Dementia Care Locations
We take caring for people suffering from dementia symptoms and their families very seriously. While the weight on families can feel unbearable, we have positioned ourselves to try and help as much as possible in the following communities: Ottawa, Peru, & Morris, IL. Meet with a member of the Pavilion of Ottawa team if you would like to learn more about the options for dementia care that are available.