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Caregiving

Alzheimer’s and some of the other dementias are progressive diseases: over time the symptoms change and a person’s behavior frequently changes because certain parts of their brains have been damaged or atrophied.

Someone who has been pleasant and cooperative may become angry and disruptive, or may lose interest in things he used to do and get bored, or may repeat the same question every five minutes, or a wide variety of other unusual behaviors. Some people can get physically aggressive, fighting anyone who tries to intervene. Some develop a tendency to wander outside the building, especially at sundown, or try to go for a walk around the block and get lost.

In the early stage of the disease, these behaviors may not be particularly dangerous, but as the disease progresses, may pose more danger to the person or the caregiver. In the late middle stage, the person may develop bizarre behaviors, such as not wanting to shower or wash their hair for a week or more, or not wanting to wear any clothes. Toiletting may become a problem. Waking in the middle of the night and not being willing to go back to sleep, or sleeping for more than 9 hours at a time are not uncommon.

A person in the later stage of the disease may be even more difficult to control, with any or all of these behaviors and more. Most of these aberrant behaviors can be modified or controlled with certain prescription drugs. While Cognitas Health does not prescribe any pharmaceutical drugs, we are happy to recommend and work with your local geriatrician or neurologist, and pass along electronic health records to help with determining drug recommendations and other elements of the patient’s care.

Caregiving can range from simple supervision in the early stage to managing medication, helping with bathing and personal care, and devising activities and entertainment in the middle stage, to controlling physical behaviors and interaction with others in the later stage. Caregivers may become exhausted with the number and type of caregiving activities, particularly as the disease progresses.

What we offer...

Cognitas Health offers both care management planning, which includes determining the person’s wishes for care and end of life issues, as well as financial planning for the kinds of living arrangements and caregiving appropriate for the person. Family members can be included in the planning activities. For more information see our Care Management and Financial Care Planning section.

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Cognitas contact info - email: info at cognitas health dot com