The focus of this article will be on the non-medical home care for vascular dementia, or vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). Care Mountain is an experienced non-medical provider of home care for vascular dementia in the Plano, TX and Dallas, TX area. The information presented here will be based upon this experience with vascular dementia.
Since the degree to which vascular dementia affects one’s cognition can vary significantly by each person, and it often coexists with other types of dementia, we will limit the scope of this article to those with mild to moderate vascular cognitive impairment. The progression of vascular dementia is often described as stair stepped, with a sudden change followed by stabilization for a period of time. It is that stabilization period where an experienced non-medical home health care provider can often make a significant impact.
During this stabilization period the home health caregiver can be very effective at helping their client maintain existing areas of strength, restore some of their lost physical skills, maintain skills and assist in making modifications and adaptions to cope with and compensate for loss of skill. An important backdrop the caregiver needs to provide to all this is as a source of encouragement and a sense of security. This is because we often see a sudden cognitive decline contribute to depression and a lack of confidence in oneself, which can lead to unwillingness to engage in activity that is needed in the aforementioned areas. An experienced caregiver will provide the client with the encouragement and sense of security needed to do this healthy activity that they would not otherwise do if alone.
A good client case to reference is when Ray’s daughter called us to provide him home care in Irving, Texas. At the time we started with Ray he had moderate vascular cognitive impairment diagnosed from multiple small strokes. Ray was 86 years old and spent most of his day time napping or watching TV. Our caregiver came in four hours daily. One of the first things our caregiver did was to work with Ray on physical and occupation therapy exercises that were left from this therapy after it had ended six months prior. As Ray’s strength built back up from this work, so did his self confidence to do other things. Ray had a workshop out back that he had not visited in months due to a fear of falling. With the caregiver he was encouraged and confident enough to go out there. This workshop was filled with so many of his handcrafted items that each of which seemed to have his own unique story. The caregiver made frequent visits with Ray to his workshop where he would stand, hold and explain the story behind his crafts. Getting a big smile on his face with a big conversation seemed to improve upon, or at least perk up, his communication skills. While telling his stories he was always standing and moving around a lot, which seemed to improve on his balance too.
Physical therapists, occupational therapists and neurologists are also an important part of the care team for vascular dementia care. As a policy we are not recommending anyone, but Texas Physical Therapy Specialists, North Texas Physical Therapy, 3D Physical Therapy, North Texas Therapy Inovations, Texas Neurology Consultants, Texas Neurology and Baylor Scott & White Neurology may be good places to start.CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
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