If you or someone you love is diagnosed with one of over 50 forms of dementia, you may be struggling to accept this news. You may have noticed that your memory has changed; you’re unable to keep track of appointments or what day of the week it is. You probably compensate for this by pretending that you aren’t experiencing any symptoms of dementia. After being independent so long, you may be afraid of losing your independence and having to have your loved ones care for you. You may find it increasingly harder to perform tasks you’ve done thousands of times before – the steps are harder to remember, so you simply stop trying. Personal appearance and hygiene may have become a challenge to perform, and sometimes you simply forget that you haven’t been bathing. Life with dementia doesn’t have to be this way.
At Cedar Crest Hospital, we understand that you’re struggling with a diagnosis of dementia, and we’re ready to provide the full spectrum of care for you. The Generations™ program has helped many older adults get their symptoms of dementia under control and return to their highest possible level of functioning. If you or your loved one is struggling with dementia, it is time to seek the care of the compassionate treatment team at Cedar Crest Hospital.
How to Help a Family Member or Loved One Get Treatment
If your loved one or family member has dementia, you may be his or her caregiver, which can come with a whole set of challenges in addition to the emotions you’re dealing with. You may be frustrated when your loved one is unable to recall the answers to a question you’ve asked many times in a row. It may be devastating to watch someone you love slip away as his or her memory fades. You may be struggling with personality changes that include aggression, which can make you fearful for your safety. You know it’s time to get your loved one the help he or she needs, but may not know how to approach it. Here are some suggestions for gently guiding your loved one into treatment:
Take care of yourself: Being a caregiver to someone who has dementia is exhausting – it’s a 24/7 job without the luxury of breaks, and it can burn you out. You can avoid some aspects of caregiver burnout by seeking respite through community organizations. Join a support group for caregivers and listen to the suggestions they can provide you. Make sure you get some “me” time to focus on doing something nice for yourself.
Plan for the future: As dementia is a progressive, usually incurable condition, it’s extremely important that you sit down with your whole family and discuss how you will cope with each stage of this disorder. Having a plan in place can help ease some of the stress and worry about the future.
Look into inpatient centers that specialize in geriatrics: An inpatient program that specializes in the care of older adults who have dementia can be an excellent way to ensure for the safety of all involved, make sure your loved one is on the proper medications, and help you plan for the future.
Why Seek Inpatient Care at Cedar Crest Hospital
Perhaps your loved one has gotten out of control, aggressive to the point that they are hurting themselves or others, and you don’t know how to combat this behavior appropriately. Maybe your loved one has taken to wandering off when you’re not paying attention, and has put him or herself in dangerous situations. Perhaps your loved one needs a safe environment where he or she can be continually monitored while medications are adjusted for maximum benefit. Maybe your loved one has become dangerously unsteady while ambulating, suffering from frequent falls and accidents, and you’re afraid that one of these falls will lead to deadly consequences.
An inpatient program who employs a specialized staff that have been working with the geriatric population for many years can be extremely helpful for those who have dementia. It allows a person who has dementia the ability to become stabilized while ensuring safety and maximizing independence. By removing your loved one from your home, the whole family can focus upon recovering and achieving the best level of functioning for all involved. An inpatient program can also help you and your loved ones work toward planning for the future and connecting you with available community resources to ensure that all needs are met for all involved.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Cedar Crest Hospital, for over 25 years, we’ve successfully helped thousands of older adults and their families return to their maximum level of functioning and go on to live happy, healthy, lives. We understand that the decision to seek help for dementia can be very challenging for older adults, which is why we proudly offer a geriatric-specific unit called The Generations™ that is devoted to caring for the challenges many older adults face such as dementia. The Generations™ offers an environment that’s been designed specifically for seniors and individualized treatment plans for each client we see. Our compassionate care team is here for you and your family every step of the way – from admissions, to treatment, to the adjustment period when you return home.
Treatment Options Offered at Cedar Crest Hospital
When you first come to us for help, you’ll undergo a comprehensive set of evaluations to allow us to create the very best plan of care for you during your stay with us and for after you leave. Our medical examination will allow us to discover any medical problems you may be facing and determine the efficacy of your medications. The psychiatric evaluation will help us to understand how far your dementia has progressed and determine if you’re struggling with any co-occurring mental health disorders. Our multidisciplinary treatment team will then sit down with you and your family and create a plan of care for your stay with us.
Medication management may make all of the difference in the world in regards to your mood and overall stability. Many older adults are on a number of medications; some of these medications may cause unpleasant side effects or interact with another medication to cause unwanted medication interactions. Our staff will review your current medications for interactions, determine the efficacy of the medications you’re taking, and make any adjustments or additions as needed.
Individual therapy may or may not be used based upon whether or not it will be helpful for you. We’ll provide the time and space for you to talk one-on-one with a therapist who can help you best work through some of your emotions about dementia and offer tips for maintaining your independence as long as possible. We’ll also work with you to assess your ability to perform the skills of daily living.
Group therapy can be very helpful for people who have dementia as it allows you to socialize with other people who are struggling with different challenges. Groups may focus upon self-care, education, and recreation.
Family therapy is extremely important to older adults who have dementia as family is often the caregiver when you lose the ability to care for yourself. Family sessions will focus upon planning for the future, supporting you and your loved ones through this hard time, and educating your loved ones about the disease process.
In addition to traditional types of therapy, The Generations™ program at Cedar Crest Hospital is proud to offer a variety of experiential methods to help you heal. These may include:
- Art therapy
- Swimming therapy
- Nature walks
- Physical therapy to increase mobility
- Activities of daily living
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
As your time with us draws to a close, we’ll work with you and your family to create a plan of care that details your aftercare treatment. Our fully committed staff will be beside you every step of the way as you leave The Generations™ program – call us anytime, day or night, seven days a week – to offer a hand. Some of our clients will leave us to step down into a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which allow you to focus on your healing during the day while spending evenings at home. Other clients may require skilled care services in the home, an assisted living facility, or a skilled living facility to meet their needs. We’ll work with you and your family to ensure that whatever your next steps, you will be successful.