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Man and Father Sitting May 5, 2023

Middle Stage Dementia Care Tips from a Memory Care Facility

By: Country Meadows | Memory Care

Dementia is a progressive condition that affects cognitive function, memory and behaviors. The stages of dementia can vary depending on the specific type, but generally they are classified into early-stage, middle-stage and late-stage. At a memory care facility, the amount of care differs for each stage.

This post focuses on middle-stage dementia, which is a phase during which a person experiences significant cognitive and functional impairments with communication, problem solving and making decisions. At a memory care facility, programs focus on maintaining the current level of cognition in an effort to prevent individuals from entering the late stage.

Symptoms of middle-stage dementia include:

  • Increased memory loss and confusion
  • Trouble recognizing familiar people or places
  • Difficulty with daily activities such as dressing, eating or using the bathroom
  • Changes in personality and behavior such as becoming more anxious, agitated or withdrawn
  • Sleep disturbances or insomnia
  • Wandering or becoming lost

While middle-stage dementia can be challenging for both the person with the condition and their caregivers, there are strategies and interventions that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It is important to work with healthcare professionals such as those at a memory care facility to create a personalized plan for your loved one.

Tips to support a loved one living with middle-stage dementia

Supporting a person with middle stage dementia at home or living at a memory care facility can be challenging, but there are many ways to help them maintain quality of life.

  1. Create a safe, comfortable environment by keeping their living space safe, uncluttered and free of hazards. Label drawers and cupboards to make things easier to find and install grab bars and other assistive devices as necessary. A memory care facility conducts these assessments to create safe living areas when the senior moves in.
  2. Help your loved one with tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating and taking medication. Break tasks down into smaller steps and offer gentle reminders.
  3. Speak clearly and simply and avoid overwhelming the person with too much information as once. Country Meadows’ co-workers use the Validation method to successfully communicate with residents living with dementia in a memory care facility. The same method can be used by caregivers at home.
  4. Encourage social interaction by involving the individual in social activities such as group outings, visits with friends and family and playing games, keeping them comfortable and safe. A memory care facility offers activity programs to provide brain strengthening exercises, games, entertainment and crafting opportunities and social interaction.
  5. Provide mental and physical stimulation to help maintain cognitive function. Several studies show physical activity plays a role in helping maintain cognitive abilities. This is why a memory care facility provides opportunities to help residents gain or maintain fitness. For mental stimulation, engage the person in activities they enjoy such as music, puzzles or hobbies.
  6. If you are caring for your loved one at home rather than a memory care facility, remember to take care of yourself. Caring for a person living with dementia can be emotionally and physically demanding. It’s important to seek support from friends, family and others with similar experiences to help avoid caregiver burnout.
  7. Stay positive and practice patience. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia can be frustrating. Try and keep your cool by remembering that the person is not intentionally trying to be difficult, and the behavior is most likely a result of their condition.

A memory care facility can help

It is important to note that symptoms and progression of dementia can vary widely among seniors, and not everyone experiences all the symptoms in each stage. Physicians can provide a more accurate diagnosis, and professional staff at a memory care facility can help design a personalized treatment plan.

Providing support and care for a person living with middle-stage dementia requires patience, empathy and a willingness to adapt to changing needs. Working closely with professionals at a memory care facility or in the healthcare field will help ensure the individual receives the best possible care and support.

Country Meadows supports individuals at various stages of dementia in our memory care facilities. Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus in Frederick, Maryland. For more information about our compassionate memory care, please contact us today. We’re here to help.

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