Dementia is a general term that refers to the loss of memory and thinking skills. Today, dementia is typically referred to as “neurocognitive disorder.” There are a number of different causes for dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause, but other causes include vascular dementia as a result of a stroke, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, and brain injury. While dementia is often disruptive, with proper care it is possible to learn to manage the symptoms of this painful disorder.
At Westend Hospital, we understand the pain and disruption that dementia can cause. With the help of our compassionate and experienced treatment team, it is possible to learn strategies for managing dementia and build your ability to live a healthier, more fulfilled life.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Standing by while a loved one struggles with dementia can cause you to feel overwhelmed, sad, frustrated, helpless, and a range of other emotions. Fortunately, however, you are in a prime position to be of assistance to your loved one. Consider taking the following steps to help your loved one:
- Because dementia can result from a number of different conditions, do your research and learn about your loved one’s form of dementia. For example, helping an older parent who has Alzheimer’s disease looks different from helping a spouse who has a traumatic brain injury, so learn as much as you can about the underlying cause of your loved one’s dementia and explore options for helping him or her.
- Often people with dementia can benefit from treatment, so research treatment centers and investigate what options for treatment are available for your loved one. Focus on treatment centers that have experience treating dementia, and when you have completed your research, make a short list of a few treatment centers that may be a good fit for your loved one’s needs.
- Make sure to have open and honest conversations with your loved one about the need for treatment. Your loved one might not be fully aware of his or her deficits, or may wish to ignore them, so by sharing your observations openly, patiently, and honestly, you can help him or her be more receptive to seeking treatment. Keep in mind that your loved one must agree to treatment, so remain patient and do not issue ultimatums. Instead, make yourself available to him or her and gently but firmly share what you have seen.
- When your loved decides to enter treatment, you can be of great help to your loved one by handling logistical issues. Making meals, arranging transportation, and setting up meetings with treatment center staff are all ways you can help your loved one transition into care.
- During your loved one’s time in treatment, make sure to actively support him or her. Also, take advantage of psychoeducation and family therapy that the treatment center may offer.
- It can be easy to neglect your own needs in favor of caring for your loved one, but it is important to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. Make sure to schedule time for your own hobbies and other activities that give you energy. In addition, bring family and close friends into the fold and ask for their help.
Why Consider Treatment at Westend Hospital
Dementia can cause ripples of disruption across nearly all domains of a person’s life if it is not properly addressed. By definition, dementia affects memory and cognition, so it can affect everything from work performance to social relationships and more. People with dementia may risk losing their jobs and experiencing financial strain as a result. They may also struggle to maintain relationships, possibly leaving them socially isolated and without support. Dementia can hinder a person’s ability to live independently and, depending on its severity and cause, may require a person to have live-in help or may necessitate a move to a 24-hour care center. There are few areas of a person’s life that dementia cannot touch, but fortunately, with proper treatment, it is possible for individuals with dementia to learn skills to help them better adapt and live to their fullest potential.
Types of Treatment Offered at Westend Hospital
Westend Hospital provides world-class care for individuals who are struggling with mental illness. By offering a full spectrum of care designed to treat a wide range of presenting concerns, Westend can help change lives for the better.
Westend Hospital is designed to provide care for men and women ages 18 and older with mental health diagnoses. We do not provide addiction treatment services, but we are able to care for individuals who are on dialysis, who use feeding tubes, and who use supplemental oxygen.
Every person who heals with us benefits from the support of our dedicated clinical team and is provided with a tailored treatment plan that addresses each individual’s unique needs and helps him or her manage the symptoms of dementia. Below are some of the interventions that may be included in each client’s personalized treatment plan:
Medication management: Many people find relief from the symptoms of their mental health conditions with the help of medications. At Westend, we provide effective, responsive medication management services. Clients who need medication management meet with our psychiatrist three times per week and benefit from 24-hour nursing care.
Individual therapy: A client’s relationship with his or her individual therapist can be a foundational component of his or her healing journey and can provide a chance for clients to receive the one-on-one support they need. At Westend, our social workers provide individual therapy sessions as often as necessary, as determined by our clients and our clients’ treatment teams.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions are in many ways the backbone of treatment at Westend. Led by social workers, nurses, and our activity therapist, groups allow individuals who are struggling with dementia to build skills and support and be supported by each other. Group topics at Westend may include:
- Coping skills
- Anger management
- Grief therapy
- Relapse prevention
- Stress management
- Medication compliance and management
Activity therapy: Developing healthy recreation patterns can substantially increase a person’s ability to manage the symptoms of dementia. At Westend, our dedicated activity therapist teaches clients how to effectively use downtime and leisure activities to benefit their overall physical and mental health.
Family therapy: Recognizing the key role that family members play in an individual’s health and wellbeing, Westend provides family therapy sessions led by our social workers as requested. During these sessions, family members have the opportunity to work through concerns they may have and can build and strengthen their relationships with each other.
Our dedicated staff members are eager to work with each client and customize his or her treatment plan to meet his or her unique needs. Once inpatient treatment is complete, we encourage clients to continue receiving care in our outpatient program before returning home so that they can solidify the progress they made in inpatient treatment and transition gradually back into their communities.
Westend’s treatment team is on-hand to answer any questions you may have about our programming and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for walk-in referrals. If you or one of your loved ones might benefit from our care, please do not hesitate to contact us.