The Angry Dementia Patient

The Angry Dementia Patient

 

 

 

Seniors With Dementia are Easily Frustrated and Stressed

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it seems like seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia get angry at the drop of a hat. What’s most likely happening is that they suddenly reach a breaking point because of frustrations that build up.  Here are some ways to make everyday life easier and less stressful for seniors with dementia.

 

 

Why Dementia Patients Get Angry

 

When someone has dementia, their ability to function well in the world declines.

Tasks that we consider simple, like brushing teeth, are actually quite complex. To a person with dementia, it can be difficult to remember all the steps and sequence them properly.

 

 

For example, these are the major steps they need to take to brush their teeth:

 

  1. Enter the correct bathroom (the one with their toothbrush)
  2. Find switch and turn on light
  3. Locate correct toothbrush (theirs)
  4. Locate toothpaste
  5. Take cap off toothpaste
  6. Put an appropriate amount of toothpaste on toothbrush
  7. Put toothbrush (with toothpaste still on) in mouth and gently brush every tooth surface
  8. Spit out toothpaste
  9. Rinse mouth thoroughly with water – spit, don’t swallow

 

Once we break it down, brushing our teeth is far less simple than we might think. And, someone with dementia may also have trouble with the smaller steps that make up many of these major steps.

 

 

When even the most basic parts of the day are so difficult and overwhelming, it’s easy for the frustration to build up. When they’re expected to do yet another “simple” thing, they may erupt in anger.

For example, when you’ve had an extremely stressful day, someone coming to you with even a simple request can cause you to lose your temper – it’s the last straw, right?

That’s often what’s happening to seniors with dementia. Because their world is becoming more confusing and difficult to navigate, it doesn’t take much for them to reach that “last straw” feeling and react with anger.

 

 

Taking Steps to Reduce Anger in Dementia Patients

 

 

Accept Their Limitations

Avoid pushing seniors with dementia beyond their limits by expecting them to do things they’ve been struggling with. They aren’t refusing to do things because they’re lazy or refuse to remember.

Their brains are failing and they’re losing the knowledge and abilities they need to accomplish those once-easy tasks. Accept where they are now and work with the skills they have today.

 

 

Reduce Complex Decisions

Making choices about every part of their day isn’t necessary, but there are some decisions your older adult may still want to make.

The goal isn’t to take away their right to choose, but to simplify so making choices is easier – too many options are confusing and overwhelming.

For example, when changing, lay out all the clothes they need, but offer a choice between two shirts – the red shirt or the blue shirt? That way, they are still participating in the process. But they won’t have to find and select all the other clothing items they need.

Similarly, for lunch you could offer a choice between two entrees you know they enjoy – a ham sandwich or split pea soup? That decision is much easier to deal with than a broad question like “What do you want for lunch?”

 

 

Slow Down

We’re used to moving at a “normal” pace, but that’s because our brains are fully functional and can quickly process information and thoughts.

When someone has dementia, those cognitive processes slow down significantly. That’s why your older adult needs more time when thinking, speaking, or taking action.

To reduce stress and allow them to feel successful, don’t rush them through daily life. Take the pressure off and let them move at their own pace – even if it seems really slow.

 

 

Keep the Environment Calm and Quiet

Being in a noisy, bustling environment can overwhelm the senses and make it hard to think, especially when someone has dementia.

Have you noticed that we all need calm and quiet when we’re trying to think? For example, if you’re driving to an unfamiliar location, you automatically turn down the radio so you can concentrate. And, most students seek out quiet places like libraries when they need to learn complex new concepts.

For someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, everyday tasks have become difficult and require extra thought and concentration. When you add loud noise or lots of people, it’s natural for them to feel frustrated and stressed.

 

 

Treat Them With Respect

Everyone, no matter their age or abilities, wants to be treated with respect. Seniors with dementia are no different. Even if they struggle with decisions or everyday tasks, there are many ways to make things easier while still showing respect.

A good way to do this is to offer simplified choices, like with the red or blue shirt mentioned above. That way, you’re not giving orders and expecting them to follow. You’re helping your older adult make decisions in a way that suits their current abilities.

 

 

Rely on Routine

Routines reduce the amount of thinking and number of decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. We don’t have to remember what time to eat breakfast because we always eat around 9am, after getting up and brushing our teeth.

Routines are especially helpful for seniors with dementia because they reduce the number of things they need to remember or think about.

Having a steady, constant routine is comforting and far less stressful than if each day was unpredictable and they had to go hunting for their toothbrush every time they needed it. Putting objects in the same places and doing the same activities at the same time of day means they know where things are and what will be happening.

 

 

Speak Simply

Alzheimer’s and dementia affect the brain’s ability to process and retrieve information. Short, direct sentences with only one thought per sentence are easier for your senior to understand.

The goal is to give your older adult less to think about and less to remember. If you’re giving instructions, make it one step. If you’re sharing information, keep it to one thought.

Using fewer words and a warm and positive tone will be far less frustrating for your senior.

 

Recommended:

The Validation Breakthrough – Simple Techniques for Communicating with People with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias

 

 

 

Avoid Fatigue

Getting overtired isn’t good for anyone’s mood, but it can put even more pressure on an already frazzled senior with dementia.

 

 

Just like you’re more likely to snap when you’re exhausted, someone with dementia is more likely to have an angry outburst when they’re fatigued.

 

 

 

 

 

Modify Tasks to Help Them be Successful

When a task is too difficult, it’s frustrating and stressful. The answer isn’t to have your older adult stop doing things for themselves. That will only make them feel worse. Instead, find ways to modify activities so they will be successful.

For example, if they’re having trouble cutting meat at dinner, consider serving more foods where the meat is already in smaller pieces or getting a specialized knife that’s easier to use (like this one).

Or, if your older adult struggles to zip their pants, consider switching to elastic waist athletic-style pants or specialized pants with velcro fastening in place of a zipper (like these). Another idea is to switch to easy, slip-on shoes if they have trouble tying their shoes.

 

For further information, see

 

Bathing is another good example. Similar to brushing teeth, there are many steps involved in taking a bath or shower. It’s much easier to be successful if you help by laying out a towel, comb, and fresh clothes. Then, turn on a heater in the bathroom and start the water running at a comfortable temperature. Now there are less steps for your older adult to manage and bathing will be easier.

 

 

Recommended: The 36-Hour Day, 5th Edition

by Nancy L. Mace, M.A. and Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kidney Disease – Now What?

 

Kidney Disease: Early Detection and Treatment

 

Many Americans know nothing about kidney disease—until it’s too late.

 

“Unlike many diseases, kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced,” says Andrew Narva, M.D., Director of the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) a part of the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

 

“For this reason and others, it is important for people to not only become aware of their risk, but also to learn about the steps they can take to keep their kidneys healthier longer. An important step is to get tested.”

 

That testing is even more important for populations that are at higher risk for kidney disease, such as African Americans, adds Dr. Narva.

 

 

Your doctor can do very simple tests to check for kidney disease:

 

  • Measure the level of serum creatinine in your blood to estimate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR)

 

  • Measure the level of protein in your urine (increased levels of protein show your kidneys are not working right)

 

  • Check your blood pressure.

 

 

How can you tell if you are at risk for kidney disease?

 

 

  • Do you have diabetes (problems with your blood sugar)?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Do you have heart disease?
  • Did your mother, father, sister, or brother have kidney disease? (Kidney disease runs in families.)

 

 

 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are at risk for kidney disease.

 

Now is the time to get tested.

 

Your health care provider will order two simple tests to check your kidneys—a blood test to check your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and a urine test to check for protein.

 

 

GFR—A blood test measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute, which is known as your GFR (glomerular filtration rate). This shows how well your kidneys are working. A GFR of 60 or higher is in the normal range. A GFR below 60 may mean you have kidney disease. You can’t raise your GFR, but you can try to keep it from going lower.

 

Urine Protein—A urine test checks for protein in your urine, which can be a sign of kidney disease. Protein can leak into the urine when the filters in the kidneys are damaged.

 

This test has several different names, including a check for “proteinuria,” “albuminuria,” or “microalbuminuria.” It can also be called a “urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio.”

 

 

Treating Kidney Disease

 

Kidney disease is usually a progressive disease, which means that the damage in the kidneys tends to be permanent and can’t be undone. So it is important to identify kidney disease early before the damage is done.

 

 

The good news is that kidney disease can be treated very effectively if it is caught in the early stages. This is very important, since kidney disease also makes your risks for heart disease and stroke higher.

 

 

For people who have diabetes, monitoring blood glucose levels is very important. Your health care provider can help you find the right device for doing this if you are diagnosed with diabetes.

 

Controlling blood pressure is also very important for people with kidney disease. There are several types of medicine that help people keep their blood pressure in a healthy range. Two kinds of medicines, ACEi (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors) and ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) also help to protect the kidneys.

 

 

Kidney Failure: What Then?

 

If one or both kidneys fail completely and the damage can’t be reversed, the condition is called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). When this occurs, your kidneys can no longer filter wastes well enough to keep you healthy. The symptoms for ESRD include fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and itching.

 

Treatments for kidney failure include dialysis or transplantation.

 

There are two major types of dialysis:

 

In hemodialysis, blood is run through an external filter and the clean blood is returned to the body. Hemodialysis is usually done at a dialysis center three times a week.

 

Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of your abdominal cavity (the space in your body that holds organs like the stomach, intestines, and liver) to filter your blood. This kind of dialysis is needed daily but it can be performed at home, while you sleep.

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Dr._Ehtuish_Preforming_An_Organ_Transplant..jpg

 

 

A kidney transplant is an operation that places a healthy kidney in your body. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the two kidneys that failed, and you no longer need dialysis.

 

 

 

Research on Progression of Kidney Disease

 

 

Many researchers are studying kidney disease. They are looking for ways to improve diagnosis, make treatments more effective, and make dialysis and transplantation work better. Several areas of research supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) hold great potential.

 

NIDDK is sponsoring a major study—the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study—to learn more about how kidney disease progresses. CRIC is following 3,000 adults for seven years. All study participants have mild to moderate kidney disease, and about half have diabetes.

 

Researchers think that some CRIC study participants’ kidney function will decline more rapidly than others’, and that some will develop cardiovascular disease while others won’t. The goal of the study is to identify the factors linked to rapid decline of kidney function and development of cardiovascular disease.

 

A Personal Note to My Readers –

 

 

Are you struggling with impaired kidney function or kidney disease or even kidney dialysis?

It can come as a huge shock to you when the doctor says that your kidneys are not working properly … and even more shocking when they say that it isn’t possible to reverse kidney damage

You may have even been told that it is a downward slippery slide from here.

This is not true.

Duncan Capicchiano, 2nd generation Naturopath, Researcher and Author – was driven to find a solution to this problem when one of his close family members was diagnosed with severe impaired kidney function.

If you have experienced this … you, too, are probably hoping and praying that someone would find a real solution for you; one that delivers on its promises and you get the results of feeling better than you have for a long time.

Now, I hope you haven’t been given the dreaded news that it’s time to go onto dialysis … but in case you have … you need to read these inspirational stories of coming off dialysis. (And … yes, I have heard people say this isn’t possible! – but it is in some cases.)

 

“My kidney function was at 9% (stage 5) … I was dialyzing Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I didn’t want a kidney transplant … Within 7 weeks my kidney function went from 9% (stage 5) to 16% (stage 4) and … dialyze Tuesday and Saturday … [to] off dialysis [within months]!”

 

Charbel – Sydney, Australia

 

“… guy told me I had “End Stage Renal Failure” (ESRF) and set me up for either a kidney transplant or dialysis. I declined this at first but finally, because I could hardly walk any more – let alone able to do any exercise, I consented.

This is when I came across your Kidney Disease Solution. I was excited when I came to your statement that one could take your treatment even when undergoing dialysis. So I immediately purchased your eBook.

I was thrilled to notice I began to feel better within a couple of days. The nephrologist had never heard of anyone going off dialysis. I am getting set up for dialysis right away, but as soon as my blood work shows that my kidneys are up to par I am going to get the catheter removed. I am feeling considerably better today after only being on your course for only about ten days.”

 

Stephen Pepler – Ottawa, Canada

 

Take a chance today … and try this program … you won’t regret it when you reverse your kidney disease or impaired kidney function like Stephen and Charbel … and many other very happy people around the world.

 

Find out how to reverse your kidney disease here.

Regards

Laurie

PS – Don’t worry … contrary to medical belief – kidney disease and impaired kidney function can be reversed … when you know how.

 

 

 

 

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