Building Resiliency in a Patient with Dementia

Dementia progresses at different rates in different people. Alzheimer’s can progress slowly for years, and then a person can experience a quick decline, for example, and he or she becomes unable to recognize loved ones or an environment. Parkinson’s has its own symptoms, which can cause dementia as well as tremors, inability to speak or physically function. While the progression of these diseases are unpredictable, new approaches to resiliency aim to build strengths where the weaknesses lie.

Sam Fazio, PhD. has written about a “person-centered” approach to caring for end-stages of Alzheimer’s. The key to this philosophy is knowing the individual and his or her unique characteristics and building upon those qualities. This approach emphasizes the need that an Alzheimer patient has for recognition as a human being, and for the consistent love, care and support that someone with Alzheimer’s requires when it feels like his or her world is falling apart. This theory states that people need to feel included, rather than put aside: involved in their own care, rather than being expected to comply passively.

A large aspect of the person-centered approach is the emphasis put by caregivers on the Alzheimer’s patient’s positive qualities, such as his or her ability to function, his strength and resilience, rather than the weaknesses or deficits he or she might have.

It’s impossible to know what is going on in the mind of someone with advanced dementia. A well-trained caregiver who is a constant, positive influence in a loved one’s life can ease worry and anxiety in that person who has dementia.

In Kansas City, Overland Park, Leawood, Mission Hills and Prairie Village, Thoughtful Healthcare is a leader in top quality in-home memory care. Let our skilled caregivers help build an environment of care and respect for your loved one with dementia. Call us today.