Dementia Care

Why Seniors With Dementia Wander and What You Can Do About It

Why Seniors With Dementia Wander and What You Can Do About It

According to The Alzheimer’s Association, 6/10 people with Dementia will wander. Wandering is one of the least manageable and most emotionally draining behaviours that caregivers must address. You have a million tasks on your plate, and caring for an aging loved one is stressful enough without the worry that they will get lost when you look away. Even if a senior with dementia promises to you that they will not wander away, the sad reality is that they have no control over it. As the disease progresses, their memory and reasoning skills can be so affected that they become lost in familiar places and don’t think to ask for help.

Research has not been able to provide a definitive reason why people with dementia wander, and the main reasons could be related to the changes in their memory, but the tendency to wander is also linked to unmet needs and overstimulation.

Why Just Getting Any Caregiver Isn't Enough

Why Just Getting Any Caregiver Isn't Enough

Spending one's last years happily at home should be achievable by anyone who wants that, yourself and your elderly family, naturally, included. People generally want to live independently regardless of their age, but unfortunately that's not always possible. Age brings a decline in physical and cognitive abilities that can make it difficult to live without assistance.

Dementia Care - The Montessori Way

Dementia Care

Dr. Cameron Camp is the director of research and development at the Center of Applied Research in Dementia.  Thinking creatively, Dr. Camp has taken a teaching method traditionally used on younger children and applied it to help people who suffer from dementia.  Dementia care - the Montessori way has been studied and applied successfully over the last decade.

The 3 primary methods to achieve these goals are

1. Making connections

The idea that people living with dementia still have much to contribute to their families, friends and community members is forefront in Dr. Camp’s R&D.  The goal is to apply or translate findings from other areas of psychology to work with these patients who receive dementia care.  Dr. Camp states that “the focus is working with the strengths that remain: finding the person behind the memory problems, engaging the individual and letting everyone involved have a feeling of success and accomplishment.”

2. Creating Memories

Dr. Camp created an intervention called “space retrieval” which teaches Alzheimer’s patients how to recall information over increasingly longer periods of time using objects to help them remember.

Dr. Camp affirms that “by creating these cognitive prostheses, deficits in memory and executive function can be circumvented and hence boost people’s sense of accomplishment and self-esteem.”

3. Development Psychology

To focus on human growth and changes in the development of:

  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Perceptual
  • Personality
  • Emotional growth

Who is Dr. Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was a physician who lived between 1870-1952.  She had unique ideas that changed the way we think about children and learning.

Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy was to enable individuals to:

  • Be as independent as possible
  • To have a meaningful place in their community
  • To have high self-esteem
  • To have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to their community

Dr. Cameron Camp intertwined the Montessori philosophy and implemented as a philosophy of dementia care for individuals, in particular, seniors by:

  1. Placing an emphasis on the environment including activities designed for each individual’s level of ability, and;
  2. Placing emphasis on meaning and purpose which includes roles and routines

Below are Montessori based tasks

Use every day material

  • Provide structure and order
  • Immediate feedback
  • High probability of success
  • RepetitionTask breakdown
  • Task breakdown

Utilize Procedural Memory

  • Provide structure and order
  • Immediate feedback
  • High probability of success
  • Repetition

Below is a link to fantastic article on the Montessori Methods for Dementia (dementia care) used in a Toronto hospital

http://news.nationalpost.com/toronto/toronto-hospital-uses-new-method-to-calm-distressed-dementia-patients-in-the-er

Below is a heartfelt testimonial regarding Montessori based activities for an Alzheimer's patient who is receiving dementia care:

I wanted to express my gratitude to everyone for the amazing work that you are all doing with my mother. Given her diagnosis and lack of motivation to engage in any kind of activity, my brother and I sadly watched our mother withdraw into a shadow of who she really was. Since participating in the Montessori Methods for Dementia she has regained her confidence, is showing interest in the world around her, and, in general, seems much happier. This is dementia care at its best!

We now feel confident that thanks to your efforts we have extended her time in independent living. Of course safety is our first concern, however, we are happy to provide our mother with the added stimulation and enjoyment that offers her a better quality of life.
— Ruth F. Toronto

To find out more about Mavencare's Dementia Care services give us a call at 1-800-856-2836. We provide free consultation.