Working in the home care industry, many caregivers will encounter clients suffering from dementia in on form or another. Understanding how to deal with clients who suffer from dementia is very important for caregivers. There are several different types of dementia that a caregiver may encounter in their elderly clients.
Althizmers disease is by far the most common. The on set of Alzheimer’s can happen as quickly as a single year, or it can happen over the span of 20 or more years. Some of the effect of Alzheimer’s are delirium, delusions, depression, and disturbed behavior. Being alert for the signs of Alzheimer’s can help caregivers better help their client. If the home care worker notices lapses in memory, sudden difficulty with language, or decreased motor functions, they should consult with their clients doctor, and have the client checked for Alzheimer’s.
Delirium is another mental disorder that caregivers should watch out for in their clients. While delirium many be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, it can also act as a stand alone disorder, and should be treated as such. A reduced ability to focus, sudden onset of misconceptions, poor judgment, and reduced motor activity, that change over the course of a day, or an even longer period of time could be indicators of delirium. Delirium may also be a reaction to a new drug that the client has been prescribed, and signs of delirium should be reported to the clients doctor immediately.
Psychosis is a blanket term, often used to encompass a number of disorders such as bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. While many people suffering from some form of psychosis will show signs of the disorder when they are younger, it is still possible for psychosis to strike the elderly very suddenly. Some tell tales signs of psychosis that caregivers should look our for are sudden, erratic mood swings, and hallucinations. It can be very easy to mistake a psychotic disorder with delirium, so a careful psychological examination of the client is needed to make a proper diagnosis.
Caregivers should also be alert for signs of depression in their clients. While depression is much more common in women, it affects both genders. Depression can be triggered by a number of different factors, such as losing a loved one, or several loved ones in a short span of time, something many seniors will have to cope with.
People working in the home care industry should be alert for signs of any of these disorders. A caregiver who can catch these problems in their early stages can better help their client cope with them.