Dementia Information

At Bayside Park, we are committed to helping family members understand the approach we take to our dementia care plans, whether they are being tailored to a resident with Alzheimer’s disease or to a resident requiring vascular dementia treatment.

Before we delve into caring for dementia, let’s first explore what it is.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting 60%-80% of dementia patients.

While Alzheimer’s disease is the most well-known disease associated with dementia, there are other types, such as vascular dementia. These are collectively known as Non-Alzheimer’s dementias (NADs). Symptoms of NADs are summarized below, along with the interventions that form the basis of caring for dementia.

Bayside Park’s memory care services put the care and treatment interventions below into practice. We work closely with family members to determine the best dementia care plans for their loved one. For questions about our approach to caring for dementia, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dementia Type

Symptoms

Interventions

Lewy Body Dementias: Parkinson Disease with Dementia (PDD) & Dementia with Lewy Bodies (LBD)
  • Progressive dementia
  • Visual spatial processing
  • Attention deficit
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Delusions and depression/anxiety are common
  • Confabulation
  • Parkinsonism and fall risk: slow movement, rigidity, tremors and gait difficulties
  • Day to day fluctuation, variable memory
  • Autonomic dysfunction
  • Daytime drowsiness, and difficulty staying asleep
  • REM sleep behavior disorder: acting out of dreams
  • Constipation
  • Loss of smell

PDD versus LBD symptoms:

  • PDD: dementia develops after motor disorder
  • LBD: dementia develops prior or at same time as motor disorder
  • Prescription medications
  • Mindfulness-based dementia care
  • Whole care team and family involvement
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies
  • Improve sensory impairment
  • Structure environment (safety issues)
  • Behavioral interventions

Dementia Type

Symptoms

Interventions

Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Symptoms start between 40–60
  • Poor planning
  • Disinhibition
  • Apathy
  • Emotional blunting
  • Euphoria
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Mental rigidity
  • Depression
  • Disease itself, not environment, is cause of behaviors

Specific FTD variations:

  • Behavioral variant (Pick’s Disease)
    • disinhibition
    • flattening of affect
    • distractibility
    • impulsiveness
    • poor planning and judgment
    • hyperorality
    • hypersexuality
    • memory intact
  • Primary progressive aphasia
    • nonfluent variant: loss of ability to produce language
    • semantic variant: loss of word/object meaning
    • logopenic aphasia: word finding problems, loss of language comprehension
    • for all 3, episodic memory is intact
  • Prescription medications
  • Mindfulness-based dementia care
  • Whole care team and family involvement
  • Replace difficult behaviors with more benign behaviors
  • Repetitive ritualistic behaviors may have to be tolerated
  • For apathy, structure day, help stick with task within capabilities
  • Small rewards for completing ADLs
  • Nutrition management, such as limiting overeating, serving limited amounts at mealtime, restricting foods or sweets, and monitoring intake
Vascular Dementia
  • Similar to Alzheimer’s
  • Memory loss
  • Organization, problem-solving, word finding challenges
  • Slowed thinking, distraction, absent-mindedness
  • Depression, irritability, apathy
  • Hallucinations, delusions
  • Balance and movement problems
  • Prescription medications
  • Vascular risk factor control
  • Mindfulness-based dementia care
  • Whole care team and family involvement

Dementia Type

Symptoms

Interventions

Alcohol-related Dementia (Wernicke-Korsakoff’s) Symptoms/acute:

  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Gait problems Confusion

Symptoms/chronic (if not treated):

  • Severe and persistent amnesia
  • Personality change
  • Apathy
  • Confabulation
  • Prescription medications
  • Mindfulness-based dementia care
  • Whole care team and family involvement
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapies
  • Improve sensory impairment
  • Structure environment (safety issues)
  • Behavioral interventions

Information courtesy of USCF. For more information on dementia, see their fact sheets.

Resources

There are a number of organizations which offer information on dementia. The dementia resources listed below can help connect you to research, facts, support and more. In addition, our community often hosts educational programs and events which provide family members with valuable support and information on dementia.