Dementia in Care Homes

Dementia is an overarching syndrome defined by a group of thinking and social symptoms which interfere with daily functioning and activities. It is very common in ages 60+ to be diagnosed with some form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, which makes up 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer's, an estimated 5.2 million people are age 65 and older. It is thought that around nine million Americans live with some form of dementia today. The World Health Organization claims that a new case of dementia is diagnosed every 4 seconds, and it’s unfortunately on the rise: the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030 and to 135.5 million by 2050.

“It is common for individuals suffering from dementia to become disoriented in their surroundings,” Manchester owner Dean Krasovitsky said. “To better understand this, imagine you wake up from a nap while you are on an airplane, and in that moment, you can’t piece together where you are or why you are there. Individuals with dementia may feel this daily, which, if left unaddressed, can lead to anxiety and agitation. At Manchester, we understand the difficulties associated with dementia, and we actively engage with our residents to reinforce to them that this is their home and this is where they are meant to be. By proactively managing their agitation, we manage their anxiety and increase their happiness. The fact is that all of us show signs of dementia. At Manchester, it is crucial that we know how to handle it on an individual basis and how to come up with creative ways to keep the residents’ minds sharp.”

How to Help Prevent Progression

Activities play a large part in preventing the progression of this disease. It is important in choosing an activity to ensure that it is both fun and age-appropriate. Caring.com provides a host of suggested activities for caregivers working with adults affected by dementia, including:

● Puzzles & games

● Photo & scrapbooking activities

● Reading activities

● Reminiscing with memory books or slideshows

● Activities involving humor

● Housework

● Gardening activities

● Seasonal decorating

● Sorting & organizing activities

● Cooking

● Activities in the kitchen

What’s in The Box?

We want to be proactive in keeping our residents engaged, so we’ve come up with activities to do just that. For example, our supervisor, Erin, came up with an idea one night as she was thinking of fun activities to do with her daughter. It’s called, “What’s in the box?”

It’s pretty simple to create. Just take a shoebox, cut a hole in the top, and fill it with an assortment of unique items, whether it’s a small plastic horse, bouncy ball, or maybe a faux flower or rock from the nearby pond. The resident is then given the chance to reach into the box and pull out one of the items. Once they identify what it is, they can go for another turn and/or continue until the box is empty.

“We have patients who could play this game for hours,” Erin said. “It keeps them interested, engaged and guessing.”

Some residents play the game every day and love it. Not only is this game stimulating our residents’ minds and getting them thinking, but it is also a way for them to have fun and enjoy themselves with other residents.

A Caring Home

At Manchester Place, we care for the physical, emotional and mental well being of our residents, and we’re always open to new ideas that will allow each person in our care the ability to expand and grow.

Categories: Custodial Care, Elder Care