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Stroke-Related Dementia (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

A person with vascular dementia should be under medical care. There are steps you can take, however, to reduce your risk of further vascular damage or stroke. The most important thing you can do is adopt healthy habits. You should maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise regularly, and not smoke.

You must develop a realistic attitude toward your limitations. You may require assistance with some everyday tasks, such as managing your finances. You may have to give up some of your independence (for example, driving a car). Your safety, and the safety of others, depends on it.

Many people with vascular dementia are eventually unable to live independently and care for themselves. Often, family members become responsible for their care. Your health care provider can discuss with you and your family how you should plan for future care.

Tips for the caregiver

Caregiving is best when it is structured, respectful, and friendly. This type of caregiving is the best way to approach the person's behavioral problems.

  • Your health care provider can give you advice on how to best care for your loved one and how to react to troubling behaviors and symptoms.
  • Use short, simple sentences when communicating with the person with dementia.
  • Simplify and create a routine for all self-care tasks such as bathing and dressing.
  • Establish a daily routine for all activities such as meals, medication administration, recreation, exercise, and sleep.
  • Use signs and pictures, clocks and calendars, family photos, and a list of daily activities to reorient the person when he or she gets confused.
  • Use distraction, not confrontation, to control irritable or socially inappropriate behaviors.

If the affected person is unable to cope in the community, the caregiver should initiate discussion about long-term care planning, including nursing home placement. Your health care provider can discuss issues regarding caregiver stress and respite care. Respite care is a community resource that gives the caregiver relief for a short time. Day programs can provide relief for families, particularly working families, and they provide structure and activities for the person with dementia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/1/2015
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