Dementia is one of the most difficult diagnoses to face when caring for a loved one. It is progressive and the situation is likely to change all the time. One of the best ways to ensure you’re ready for the symptoms, behaviors, and challenges you may face in caring for someone with dementia is to learn about and prepare for what lies ahead. In an informative livestream, Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center has put together an invaluable resource to help you do just that.
To inform this discussion, we’ve put together some additional notes and statistics for you below. The challenges in caring for a loved one with dementia are great, but you don’t have to handle them alone. There are millions of caregivers around the country who have been in, or currently are in your shoes here to offer advice.
Caregivers and Dementia || Statistics and Information
Note: If your loved one shows a drastic or sudden change in behavior, it may be due to an infection, illness, injury, or another urgent pain/need that they aren’t able to articulate. To rule out these potential causes, all sudden behavioral changes should be discussed with and evaluated by a physician as soon as possible.
- 83% of the care and assistance provided to older adults comes from an unpaid family member or friend. (Source)
- 66% of caregivers who are caring for a loved one with dementia live within their community.
- 33% of caregivers providing unpaid care to a loved one with dementia are the care recipient’s daughter. (Source)
- 25% of caregivers providing unpaid care to a loved one with dementia are also responsible for a child under 18. (Source)
- One-third (33%) of family caregivers report having a disability of their own. (Source)
- 60% of caregivers show clinically significant signs of depression. This rate is higher for caregivers providing care for a loved one suffering from a cognitive impairment (such as dementia). (Source)
Dementia Symptoms, Behaviors & Challenges: The 3 Stages of Caregiving
There are three stages of caregiving when managing a loved one with dementia:
- Early-Stage Caregiving.
Early-Stage Caregiving is when most symptoms are mild (i.e., when your loved one is still able to function independently) and your role is primarily centered around preparation and support. This is when it’s best to arrange legal documents, financial affairs, advanced directives, etc.
- Middle-Stage Caregiving.
Middle-Stage Caregiving is where the bulk of your time together will be. This is when your loved one starts needing progressively more help accomplishing tasks, jumbling sentences/struggling to communicate, experiencing behavioral changes, etc. You will likely need both personal and professional support at some point during this stage of caregiving.
- Late-Stage Caregiving.
Late-Stage caregiving is the most intensive part of the experience. Here are some common experiences your loved one is likely to experience:
- Difficulty swallowing food or drinks.
- Struggling to walk without assistance (or completely unable to walk).
- In need of full-time help for daily care tasks.
- Vulnerability to infections, especially upper respiratory infections (like pneumonia).
For more information about the symptoms and behavioral challenges you may face when caring for a loved one with dementia, click here.
Keep Learning || Watch the Livestream
While a cognitive impairment (such as any form of dementia) is a devastating diagnosis, the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved one in the early stages is to learn and prepare. Check out the informative livestream by the Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center on this topic by clicking the link below:Share this post: