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How can you care for elderly dementia patients?

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Quick Answer

Caring for elderly dementia patients involves medications to treat the symptoms and changes in environment, interpersonal interactions and tasks to accommodate those symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. There are several types of dementia, but all true dementia is both progressive and incurable, although its progress can be slowed.

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Full Answer

Medications that aid with the symptoms of dementia include cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, Mayo Clinic states. Both medications supplement the chemical messengers in the brain to aid with memory and cognition. Other medications may be prescribed for patients suffering sleep disorders or other symptoms. Occupational therapy is helpful to some dementia patients to help them cope with the changes brought on by dementia. Dementia patients tend to do better in environments with minimal clutter and noise.

Dementia often leads to several complications caregivers must be alert for, according to Mayo Clinic. People with dementia may forget to eat or think they have already eaten and can become malnourished over time. Those with moderate to severe dementia cannot tend to their own hygiene and other basic needs. Dementia often leads to changes in personality, both from the direct brain damage and the patient's reaction to its effects. Individuals with advanced dementia often have trouble communicating and forget the names of people and objects.

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