Care Mountain has experience since 1986 providing care at home for vascular dementia. It is primarily from this home health care experience that the following home care guide is based upon. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to the brain, depriving brain cells of vital oxygen and nutrients. From our extensive experience providing Dallas area home care for other types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s related dementia, we have found vascular dementia unique in expected results from home care efforts.
Vascular dementia takes on a stair step form of progression, unlike the progression of the other aforementioned types of dementia. While the sudden cognitive declines associated with this type of dementia are unfortunate, the often lengthy time that follows with a stable level of cognition provides a great opportunity to leverage the benefits of home care.
After the initial confusion experienced from a stair step cognitive decline associated with vascular dementia, those that tend to progress better are the ones best able to cope with their new level of cognition. With so much uncertainty and unfamiliarity at a lower cognitive level, many tend to compensate by significantly cutting back on their activity to a limited zone of comfort. The problem with this though, is that ole adage of if you don’t use it, you lose it. And since most of those with vascular dementia are older, the lose it can happen quickly and to a high degree.
An experienced Dallas area home health caregiver will be able to provide a comfortable level of security with the right type of motivation to ensure a client with vascular dementia continues to stay active and engaged. The caregiver will also help their client develop the coping skills needed to adapt at their new cognitive level.
Another coping challenge faced by a client at a suddenly lower cognitive level is in maintaining a healthy attitude, especially if they have been experiencing multiple recent cognitive declines. We come across so many in these situations and find them quite depressed, and as a result lacking the motivation to do the things needed to avoid further unnecessary declines. A really good and experienced caregiver will know how help turn these situations around to a more healthy, positive attitude. One thing I see many caregivers do in this regard is to get their clients out of their home, and out for an enjoyable drive or destination spot. These outings tend to redirect one’s mind into a more positive place, versus sitting at home where it is too easy to let angry thoughts fester and turn inward toward becoming depressed.
A good example we can offer related to a couple living in Bedford, TX named Don and Sally, who called Care Mountain for home health care in Bedford, TX. Don was 77 years old at the time and diagnosed with vascular dementia. While sitting in his living room talking to him, he kept repeating to me that he did not understand why he was having so many health issues the past year. As I listened more to Don it became apparent his biggest exercise during the day was changing the channels with his TV remote. He did not feel confident or safe engaging in a lot more activity, and did not want to be a burden to his children by asking them to assist.
Care Mountain placed a caregiver named Claudia with Don. Claudia was able to get Don engaged in many other activities other than viewing TV. One of Don’s favorite activities was shopping at Walmart. While he only got a a few things from there each trip, it did allow him to get a lot of exercise walking all around the store. After two months with Claudia, I met with Don again and he felt like he is now able to do more for himself since working with Claudia.
Some other good sources of local support and information are: Texas Vascular Associates, DFW Vascular Group, Complete Vascular Care, North Texas Vascular Specialists, Lam Vascular, Greater Dallas Alzheimer’s Association, and the North Central Texas Alzheimer’s Association.CLICK HERE FOR FAQ
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