Dementia is not a single disorder, but instead a collection of symptoms that includes the progressive loss of mental functions such as memory, thinking, and reasoning abilities. The decline in mental functioning associated with dementia is so severe that it impacts an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis. Many men and women who have dementia lose control of their behaviors and emotions, develop personality changes, and have a diminished ability to solve problems. Certain forms of dementia may be treatable, but in most cases there is no cure.
At Highland Ridge Hospital, we understand the how terrifying it can be to hear that you have dementia. We know that while most forms of dementia are not curable, with the right combination of medication and therapies, we can help you maximize your life and maintain your independence for as long as possible. When you come to Highland Ridge, we can help you plan for the future and learn to enjoy your life.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment
Finding out that your loved one has dementia can be heartbreaking, causing a flood of emotions that can leave you feeling lost. You may be scared about what the future holds and unsure of what you can do to comfort your loved one and help them through this time in their life. You may also be thinking about the future, realizing that as this disease progresses your family member is going to need more help with daily tasks. Here are some things to consider when helping your loved one seek treatment for dementia and plan for the future:
Educate yourself: Even though there is currently no cure for dementia, taking the time to learn about this disorder can help you better understand the course dementia takes so that you know what to expect. The more you know about this disorder, the more prepared you will be to be there for your loved one.
Seek support: Caring for a loved one who has dementia can be overwhelming and draining. Constantly caring for someone takes up a great deal of your time and can take an emotional toll. It is important that you take time for yourself to process the emotions you are feeling and to have time to relax. There are many dementia support groups offered by area hospitals and churches that can be very helpful. A local therapist may also be able to provide self-care tips to prevent caregiver burnout.
Find an inpatient center: Find an inpatient center that specializes in care of adults who have dementia. Ask the intake staff questions you may have about treatment plans and the ways they handle the challenges associated with dementia. Take the time to discuss these options with your loved one so that they feel comfortable with the treatment process.
Why Seek Treatment at Highland Ridge
While many types of dementia are not curable, the sooner you get treatment, the more positive the outcomes. Today there are different medications and treatments that can prolong the symptom advancement, allowing you to be independent for a longer period of time. Additionally, if the type of dementia you have is curable, the faster it is treated, the less permanent the damage. It is important that those with dementia get the proper medications, develop a plan for the future, and engage in therapeutic treatments that will delay the onset of more serious symptoms.
An inpatient treatment center that has a treatment team with years of experience treating those with dementia is a good way for you to begin the treatment process. Additionally, an inpatient program can show you how to manage your symptoms, teach you how to deal with any emotions you’re struggling with, and put plans in place for the future. Through inpatient treatment you and your loved ones can get on the same page in regards to the treatment process, as well as sort out medication to ensure it is working properly.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Highland Ridge Hospital, we know that you are much more than the symptoms of your dementia. Every individual who comes to our hospital is treated like the unique person they are, and therefore is given a treatment plan designed specifically for their needs. Our multidisciplinary treatment team will work with you and your loved ones to make sure that all of your needs are met and that you feel as safe and comfortable as possible throughout your stay. We will do everything in our power to provide you with the tools needed to get the most out of life.
Treatment Options Offered at Highland Ridge
Upon arrival at Highland Ridge, you will complete a number of different assessments so that we can determine how to best help you manage the symptoms of your dementia. Additionally, our medical examination will let us know if you are experiencing other medical difficulties. The severity of your dementia and the results of your other evaluations will help us to develop an individualized treatment plan. During the treatment planning process we will make sure to include you and your family in all aspects of the care planning process.
Medication is often used to help manage some of the symptoms associated with dementia or to treat co-occurring disorders. The usage of medication will be based upon the recommendations of your treatment team and monitored on a daily basis.
Individual therapy can be an excellent way for you to speak one-on-one with a therapist to discuss some of the fears you may have about this disease and surrounding emotions. You may also discuss your wants and desires for the future with your therapist during your private sessions.
Group therapy is a helpful form of treatment for people with dementia because it allows you to interact with other older adults who are experiencing similar difficulties in life. There are a number of different groups offered at Highland Ridge including exercise groups, coping skills, and anger management.
Family support during this time in your life is critical since many individuals rely on their family members to help them with everyday tasks as the dementia progresses. Through family sessions loved ones can learn more about what dementia entails, the treatment process, and what they can do to be supportive during this difficult time. Additionally, time can be spent planning for the future so that things are not left unresolved.
In addition to traditional therapeutic approaches, we offer a number of experiential therapies. Some of these approaches include:
- Art therapy
- Pet therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Leisure time
- Craft time
- Movie nights
- Wii games
- Gym & exercise time
- Puzzles, cards, and board games
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
As your time for discharge approaches, you’ll work with our discharge planner to determine what the most appropriate next steps in your recovery will be. You may step down from inpatient care to our IOP or PHP programs, which will still provide you with a semi-structured environment while slowly integrating you back into your regular daily routine. Others may decide that they’ve made enough progress to transition back home with referrals to traditional outpatient therapy. Still others may be at a point in their disorder where they are no longer able to live on their own and require a more long-term placement. If this is the case, we will work with other centers to find an appropriate solution for your long term care needs.