People all over the world have different needs and goals. Someone living in a high rent apartment in New York City necessarily will have a different set of goals, desires, needs, and wants than someone who is homeless on the streets of Miami. A young child has different needs than an older teenager, and a baby, although still fits in that same “child” category, has still different needs at hand.
So, when we say that seniors have different needs, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Different people have different things going on in their life depending on age, location, income status, and other life factors. Health also plays a big role in this. Although technically a “senior,” a healthy 68 year old might not have any pressing need for senior care looming on the horizon. An 82 year old in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s will have a very different set of needs at hand.
All senior care is not the same, and those that struggle with Alzheimer’s, or any other type of dementia, for that matter, tend to have very different needs. It’s not enough for a professional caregiver just to have training in providing care, but if someone is going to be working with individuals with dementia, it’s important that they have a very specialized type of training so that they can do their job as effectively and safely as possible.
Someone with dementia doesn’t have the same ability to advocate for themselves and their own care that they once had. Dementia slowly takes away someone’s memories, but it also inhibits an ability to think rationally and problem solve. It makes simple decisions become impossible to make. When someone has Alzheimer’s, they might need help remembering simple things like going to the bathroom or eating meals, but they might also need help remembering how to do these things. We take these things for granted most of the time, but a deeper understanding of dementia alerts the caregiver to the fact that nothing can be taken for granted.
This is why training for those in these positions is so important. Training gives us deeper awareness and reminds us of what dementia is. It equips us to help others.
It’s not just senior care employees that benefit from receiving increased training when it comes to dealing with dementia. Anyone that works or is around this population would grow from understanding dementia more fully and how it impacts their career or area of expertise of choice. Financial advisors, social workers, doctors, and even family members would all grow and be better in their role if they had a more complete understanding of how dementia might impact someone that they love or work with and the implications of this within their given role.
We’d love to speak with you more about this topic. It really is a big topic and one that requires an ongoing discussion. One blog piece isn’t going to begin to cover the nuances of working with those with dementia. Give us a call to start this discussion and find out how specialized memory care can benefit your family.