Dementia Diagnosis

Plan For Dementia Caregiving

Finding out that a loved one has dementia can be a vey scary experience. This fear is coupled with confusion and uncertainty. Oftentimes families do not know what to do in these situations, because they have never been in them before. Dealing with sickness can be unexpected and you may not already have a plan in place, this can quickly make life much more stressful. This article will explore the many ways you can plan and prepare if you are just learning that someone close to you has been diagnosed with dementia.

Noticing Signs Of Dementia

As people age, the way their brain functions also begins to change. It can be difficult to recognize when these changes are normal versus when these changes are abnormal. The earlier dementia is recognized in an individual, the better. Below are some resources doctors and physicians may use to help determine if someone is suffering from dementia.

  •  Getting a family history of medical issues
  • Asking for family members’ input
  • Conducting a series of tests (physical and mental)
  • Brain imaging

Next Steps After a Diagnosis

Once someone has been diagnosed, it’s time to start putting a plan in place. Your life and the patient’s life is going to drastically change over time. These next steps will help you and the person you care for transition over time.

  • Determine treatment options
  • Plan out living conditions
  • Coordinate care for the diagnosed individual
  • Take an active role in meaningful activities
  • Set aside time to connect with others who may be in your position
  •  Educate yourself on the disease
  • Create a plan for the future (care, finances, etc.)

Even if you don’t stick to your plan or do all of the mentioned steps, that is okay. It is important to at least be proactive in this situation. Thinking ahead and being as involved as possible will make this situation much more manageable.

There are over 5.8 million Americans living with dementia. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is projected to reach 7.1 million. You are not alone in your search for answers. Orchard at Athens is qualified and ready to help you find solutions in your time of crisis. When you are ready for help taking care of your loved one, please contact us.

Frontal Temporal Dementia

Frontal Temporal Dementia

Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD) is quite different from Alzheimer’s disease as new learning and memory problems are usually not the first symptom or challenge a person will experience. Since the condition predominantly starts with either behavior or language problems, it is frequently mis-diagnosed as a psychiatric condition instead of a dementia related illness.

Signs of Frontal Temporal Dementia

Here are some facts and points about FTD:

  • Progression of FTDs may look very different than other forms of dementia
  • It is possible to have a mixed picture diagnosis that will include a combination of FTD and another dementia.  Most common is FTD plus Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • FTD symptoms will often begin at a much younger age than a typical Alzheimer’s diagnosis (40-55 versus over 70).
  • Some forms of FTD will have characteristics similar to that of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • The use of typical Alzheimer’s medications may have little or no effect, and in some cases may make behaviors worse in the early stages of some FTDs

What Is Frontal Temporal Dementia?

FTDs are a group of neurological conditions that progressively damages brain tissue, starting at the front part (frontal lobe) of the brain.

Early detection and diagnosis combined with the appropriate support and careful use of certain medications can make a difference in well-being.

Who Does Frontal Temporal Dementia Affect?

  • At this time, more men than women diagnosed with FTD.
  • Risk is higher, if there are close blood relatives with FTD, but a clear genetic link has not been identified.

There are multiple forms of this dementia, which will discuss in more detail below.

Frontal Lobe Dementia (FvFTD or FLD)

These individuals will have changes first in their left frontal lobe and may include:

  • Behavior or expressions that are not socially acceptable. For example, a person may sing loudly in a quiet or public space, eat off another person’s plate in a restaurant, urinate on an artificial tree in a mall, or make derogatory or judgmental comments directly to someone.
  • Impulsivity.  Persons living with FTD will take risks and have poor judgment about safety. They may drive fast or risky, shop lift, mis-handle money, use weapons, over-eat, drink excessive alcohol, damage existing relationships, and be over-active sexually or aggressive.
  • Shows dis-inhibition, be overly friendly, or try to be humorous.
  • Inability to begin tasks or activities.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Will become fixated on ideas or actions.
  • Unable to stay focused or complete activities.
  • Not know how to behave in various social situations.
  • Unable to see how their behavior or words affect others.
  • Lack of personal hygiene.
  • Unable to change how a problem is approached or considered.
  • Repeat the same movement or action over and over (pulls hair, taps a finger, claps, smacks lips, etc.)
  • Manipulative actions such as picking up and handling or fidgeting with objects and items they find.
  • Putting things in their mouth or eating excessive amounts of salt, fat, and sugar foods.  It is common for people to experience weight gain due to compulsive eating or drinking.
  • Language may be impulsive but not lost.

Temporal Lobe Dementia

These individuals will present with speaking and comprehension of language problems. Damage is first noted in the left temporal lobe of the brain.

Primary-Progressive Aphasia

Non-Fluent Aphasia symptoms include:

  • Difficulty finding the names of objects
  • Hesitant production of words – slowed speech or stuttering
  • Not speaking or speaking very little
  • Worsening of speech production over time
  • Repetition of words that are heard over and over
  • Saying the wrong words sometimes known as ‘word salad’
  • There may also be problems understanding spoken and written words as well change in speaking ability
  • Non-language skills are often NOT affected at first and the person may be able to perform most other personal activity without difficulty at first

Semantic Dementia

Fluent Aphasia symptoms include:

  • Problems with naming items and with understanding the meaning of words
  • Continued ability to produce the rhythm of speech so it will sound like the person is saying something, but the words will not make sense
  • There may be pauses in speech to find a specific word, otherwise speech is smooth and seems like it should have more content
  • The person may repeat their phrases and ‘important’ words over and over during conversations without being aware of the repeats
  • Facial expressions and gestures may continue to occur during speech

Frontal-Temporal Dementia – (FTD, FTLD, Pick’s Disease)

This condition includes brain change in the frontal and temporal lobes and can include Pick’s bodies found in microscopic inspection of brain tissue after death.  Symptoms can include:

  • Change in impulsivity, dis-inhibition, hyper-orality, decreased attention, perseveration of speech and action, stereotypical actions and words, loss of empathy and social awareness
  • Decreased speech production, struggles with language and comprehension, outbursts of song or inappropriate words or phrases, or echolalia; the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person
  • Difficulty thinking things through, concentrating on tasks, loss of problem solving
  • As the disease progresses, symptoms worsen and then other problems develop that present more like Alzheimer’s disease.

Contact Orchard at Athens if you have questions about Frontal Temporal Dementia. The clinical team at Athens is specifically trained to support people living with this type of dementia.

Orchard’s “Communities within a Community” Spectrum of Care model includes small neighborhoods that will allow residents to have support and services based on differing acuity’s that reside within an assisted living and memory care setting.

The Cypress Grove (a dementia support and assistance neighborhood) has 17 apartments and was specifically designed to care for someone living with a Rare Dementia such as FTD. The staff’s comprehensive training will include nonjudgmental and empathic approaches to the unique behavioral expressions that most often accompany conditions described.

Additional Resources on Fronto-Temporal Dementias:

Indicators Of Brain Change

Indicators Of Brain Change

When things begin to change in the brain, it can be difficult to identify the root of the cause or if it is something of concern. You may find yourself asking, “Is this a symptom of normal aging?” or  “Is it something of concern?” This article will discuss different ways to identify  brain change so that can decipher the difference between normal ages and cause for concern.

Often families and loved ones notice changes in a person but because the changes are incremental, the changes can go unnoticed. This can lead to more severe situations. Below are some examples that may be helpful in alerting you to an important sign.

Indicators Of Brain Change

There are several indicators of the brain changing. Each indicator affects the brain in different ways, so it is important to pay close attention to an individual if you think they may be experiencing significant alterations in their brain.


  • Forgetting simple tasks
  • Repeating a story, action or tasks
  • Looking to others to answer questions
  • Forgetting directions

Challenges with planning or problem solving

  • Refusal to use technology
  • Lack of motivation
  • Failure to understand simple mistakes

Difficulty starting, taking the appropriate steps, and/or completing a task

  • Unable to count change or handing the cashier a handful of bills to pay for a small item
  • Mistaking a location for something that it is not

Confusion of time and place

  • Thinking it is time to go to work in the middle of the night
  • Wanting to go home when they are already at home
  • Being confused about the building they are in, for example; thinking the hospital is a prison
  • Thinking they are at home while actually in a restaurant

Trouble understanding visual signs and spatial relationships

  • Not understanding which direction an arrow is pointing
  • Difficulty with traffic lights
  • Difficulty placing items safely on a counter, table, or self

New problems with words in speaking or writing

  • Difficulty finding a specific word
  • Using vague words like “the thing”
  • Talking around a word “you go down there then turn it on and go”

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

  • Going into a building and not being able to find their way out.
  • Putting car keys in the freezer
  • Going to church and not knowing why they are there

Decreased or poor judgement

  • Driving when they have had several accidents
  • Spending money on unnecessary large purchases
  • Contributing to online scams

Withdrawal from work or social activities

  • Not going to choir practice because “no one knows how to sing”
  • Not letting anyone in the house because people are stealing
  • Withdrawing from a social or work group because “it’s boring”

Changes in mood and personality

  • Becoming angry too often
  • Dramatic swings in mood
  • Laughing or crying for apparently “no reason”
  • If sad, not being able to be comforted
  • Speaking out at inappropriate times

All these are possible indicators of brain change. If you or your loved notice several of these indicators, we’d recommend you consult a doctor for further evaluation.

Orchard at Athens is Senior Living Community in Athens Georgia that is here to help families and loved ones when they notice changes. We have a trained staff and consultants that will help provide the support and guidance needed for people experiencing brain change. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a tour, please contact us.

Dementia & Music Benefits

Dementia & Benefits Of Music

When someone is living we dementia we tend to look at how they are declining and where they are having difficulty. Orchard at Athens is a new and dynamic senior living community in Athens Georgia that is focused on what people can do, and helps support people living with dementia or in need of assistance continue to be as active and in control of their lives as possible. In order for the staff to understand what someone can do, and how best to support them in their life, they must be trained and educated. The staff at Orchard will have intentional and directed on-going training to ensure that the residents in our community are supported and live a full life.

Many communities say they provide a rich engagement program, but, with a closer look, one may find the activities provided look more like being on a cruise ship rather than living a fully engaged life. There are four categories of engagement to look for in senior living. Below is a short list to help determine if a community has a full engagement program.

Productive Engagement

Most people have been productive all their lives whether going to work, raising a family, volunteering, etc. Are there opportunities to be productive and do these opportunities suit your interests and abilities?

Health and Wellness

Examples for health and wellness include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Spirituality
  • Brain fitness
  • Educational opportunities

Rest and Restoration

This area covers opportunities and spaces to relax.


Examples of leisure include:

  • Social activities
  • Games
  • Outings
  • Concerts
  • Performances/ guest entertainers

Music can be included in each one of these categories because music is often a big part of our lives. Music can remind us of special days or events. It connects us with emotions, helps us energize and also reduces stress.

Music Benefits For Dementia

One of the specific things that Orchard will provide to the residents are specific music programs. Why music? Because music has many benefits.

  • The part of the brain that involves music is less affected by dementia.
  • Music stimulates memory
  • People living with dementia are able to connect to music.
  • People living with dementia are able to sing even when they are unable to speak.
  • Music is a way to stay engaged and connected
  • Rhythm is used to help people move and communicate.
  • Music is connected to emotional memories.
  • Music has been proven to reduce stress.

Read more about how music boosts brain activity here

Best Types Of Music For Dementia

Not just any music will do. Music is individual.

Most people have strong connections to music from their teenage years and young adulthood because this is the time in life when big events happen and when our hormones are changing. So even if the events were not really big, they felt like big events.

  • If someone was born in the 40’s, the music that they may resonate with the most will be music of the 50’s and 60’s.
  • If someone has been part of a religious community, this music can be a significant part of their life.
  • Music is individual and finding out which music a person likes is important.

An April 2018 study reports that “objective evidence from brain imaging shows personally meaningful music is an alternative route for communicating with patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.”

Orchard at Athens believes it’s important to incorporate music for dementia care, and will incorporate the Music and Memory program. Music and Memory is an individual program designed to promote memories, engagement and a sense of well-being. Please contact us for more information about our programs.

Challenging Situations & Dementia

Challenging Situations & Dementia Part 2

The changes that happen in neurocognitive disorders can create challenging situations for both the individual undergoing change and those who care for them. Frustrating situations are common and can cause loved ones to feel confused. Below are four of the most common situations that can be difficult for caregivers.

Orchard at Athens understands situations such as these and takes the time to ensure that care partners are trained and skilled in supporting people when confronted with unexpected surprises. We choose to acknowledge persons are doing the best they can with what they have, at any moment, and we understand that as people change, they navigate difficulties to the best of their ability.

#1 Wandering

Some people living with a neurocognitive change will wander. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that 6 out of 10 people living with dementia will wander. Programs designed to assist in the monitoring and return of those who wander include MedicAlert® and Safe Return.®

Anyone who has trouble with memory is at risk of becoming lost even if they are in the early stages of a condition that causes dementia. This happens because people can get disoriented and confused about time and/or place.

The area in the brain that helps with wayfinding, navigating direction, and awareness of time (time of day, time of life, time of year) becomes affected by dementia and may no longer work as it used to.

Signs to look for that increase someone’s risk of wandering or becoming lost include:

  • Returning from a regular walk or drive later than usual
  • Forgetting how to get to familiar places
  • Talking about fulfilling former obligations, such as going to work
  • Wanting to “go home,” even when they are already at home
  • Having feelings of restlessness or physically pacing
  • Having difficulty locating familiar places inside their home
  • Looking for friends or family who live elsewhere
  • Acting as if they are doing a hobby or chore, but nothing gets accomplished
  • Becoming nervous or anxious in crowded areas, such as shopping malls or restaurants

#2 Paranoia

The medical dictionary defines paranoia as an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions. If a person is feeling paranoid, they will constantly speculate at the motives of others around them and may believe certain individuals or others in general are, “out to get them.”

Some probable causes of paranoia due to conditions of dementia include:

  • Attempting to fill in “story” for short term memory details that are no longer able to be remembered
  • Mistaking information that wasn’t comprehended accurately
  • Misidentifying people that I think I know or don’t know
  • Creating reasonable and rational conclusions to mistaken information or misidentified people
  • Forgetting where items have placed or hidden
  • Experiencing a generalized anxiety due to changes in cognitive ability

#3 Shadowing

Often, shadowing appears to be driven by the person’s anxiety and uncertainty. They may feel like their caregiver is the one safe and known aspect of their life; like a physical “life line” or “security blanket.” The minute a caregiver walks into a different ​room, or goes outside, or shuts a door to use the bathroom for example, the person with dementia may become afraid, unsure and upset.

Things that may help if you are someone’s lifeline:

  • Remember you provide a sense of safety and security
  • Provide a routine and structure for the day
  • Bring in other support people early on so it is normal to have other people around
  • Provide meaningful things to do that create give a sense of purpose and importance for a person throughout their day

#4 Sun-downing

Sun-downing is a symptom of many forms of dementia. It is also known as “late-day confusion.” If someone you care for has dementia, confusion and agitation may get worse in the late afternoon and evening often because a person is more tired and the brain is having difficulty with this transitional time of the day.

Reasons for sun-downing can include:

  • A feeling that I am supposed to go somewhere or change locations
  • A need for increased activity during the day
  • Observing or seeing other people leaving or ending work and going home
  • A change in diet –eating lighter evening meals can help
  • A need to reduce stress I might be experiencing throughout my day

Our approach to care considers what is underneath behavioral expressions that can create challenging situations as described above. To find support or learn more about helpful approaches to these and other situations contact us.

Challenging Situations & Dementia

Challenging Situations & Dementia Part 1

Chronic health issues and dementia bring unique challenges for many reasons. Body and brain change create frustrations that often present in behavior expressions that confuse or surprise us. Taking the time to assess what might be underneath a challenging situation can help.

The staff of Orchard at Athens are both knowledgeable and trained with skills to minimize challenging situations and create a more supportive environment. The following 7 factors are key considerations to take when working to problem solve an unexpected behavioral expression. Often there is more to the situation than meets the eye.

#1 Think About Who A Person Has Been Throughout Their Life

  • What type of personality do they have?
  • What are some of their personal preferences?
  • What family, friends, or kind of people do they feel most comfortable with?
  • Is the person an introvert or an extrovert?
  • What is their social history?
  • What is their professional history?
  • Are they early risers or do they prefer to stay up late?
  • What sort of activities do they like or dislike?

Knowing who the person has been throughout their life is essential in supporting a person and discovering how to best meet their needs.

#2 Remember The Body & Brain Are Changing

Part 2 of this blog will explore what could be happening suddenly, unknowingly, to a person’s physiology and causing unexpected change or challenges.

#3 Assessing The Living Space

  • Is a person set up for success in their living area?
  • Is it functional and safe at the same time?
  • Can they move around simply and safely?
  • Is there signage and is it easy to understand and follow?
  • Is the space adequate for multiple people?
  • Are the sound, light, surfaces or sitting areas, calming and supportive?
  • Are there unnecessary distractions?
  • Does the furniture and décor match the needs and abilities of the people living there?
  • Are there corridors or corners where someone may get lost or stuck?
  • Does the flow of space allow people to walk and move freely without getting terribly lost or confused?

#4 Review The Daily Routine & Planned Use Of Personal Time

  • Is there a flow or routine to a person’s day?
  • Are there opportunities for novel and new experiences?
  • Is there planned time for rest and relaxation?
  • Is there an emphasis on health and wellness
  • Are leisure and fun activities included?
  • Is there an execution of productive and meaningful work/activities?
  • Are there opportunities seven days a week and outside of 9-5 business hours?
  • How many support persons or staff members are participating?

#5 Care Partners & Family

  • Is continuing education provided for care partners or families who need to learn more?
  • Are there therapeutic support group opportunities for the person, family, or care partners?
  • What is the experience or skill level of those helping with a challenging situation?

#6 Healthcare & Wellness

  • What is the current status of the health condition?
  • Is the person in pain?
  • Are they taking new medications?
  • Are side effects developing due to long use of a medication or changing conditions?
  • Could vision, hearing, mouth or foot care be creating agitation or affecting quality of life?

#7 Type Of Dementia Or Changing Stage Of A Medical Condition’s Progression

  • Different conditions present different challenges.
  • Could there be something new developing?
  • Progression of a current condition can trigger new challenges.
  • Remember while diagnosis may be the same, experiences are always unique.
  • Solutions for one person may not work for another.

There are a lot of factors that come into play and need to be tuned into when someone is living with a chronic or progressive condition. There are senior living communities and professionals dedicated to problem solving and helping people thrive and have a wonderful quality of life no matter their health challenges or physical condition.

Orchard at Athens is one such community. If you or someone you know is struggling with a challenging situation due to aging or a chronic condition such as dementia, Orchard at Athens can help. Please contact us for more information.

Signs of Early Stage Dementia

Signs of Early Stage Dementia

Early stage dementia is often difficult to assess or recognize. Many people mistakenly assume that the changes they see are a part of normal aging. Symptoms may also go unnoticed because they develop gradually over a long period of time. When it is determined that someone has early stage dementia, finding the right support is essential. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the signs and symptoms of early stage dementia.

Early Stage Dementia Symptoms

Common early symptoms of dementia include:

  • memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
  • increasing confusion
  • reduced concentration
  • personality or behavior changes
  • apathy and withdrawal or depression
  • loss of ability to do daily tasks.

Top 10 of Early Stage Dementia

Below we have included the top ten early signs of dementia. If you or your loved one has several of these symptoms, consult your physician.

  1. Memory Loss – It is normal to occasionally forget appointments, names or information. Someone with normal aging will remember them later. A person with dementia may forget things more often or not remember them at all.
  2. Difficulty with tasks – While it is common to become distracted during a task and forget part of that task, someone living with dementia will have difficulty either initiating, stopping, or doing all of the steps of a task.
  3. Disorientation – A person with dementia may have difficulty finding their way to a familiar place or feel confused about where they are, or think they are back in some past time of their life.
  4. Language – We all forget words and names, but usually we can remember them later. Someone living with dementia may have difficulty finding words or understanding words leaving them feeling confused and frustrated.
  5. Abstract thinking – A person with dementia may have trouble knowing what the numbers mean or what to do with them. They may also have difficulty taking in information and coming up with a rational conclusion about that information making others think they are being paranoid.
  6. Changes in judgement – When this ability is affected by dementia, the person may have difficulty making appropriate decisions, such as what to wear in cold weather or determining whether it is still safe to drive.
  7. Spatial skills – A person with dementia may have difficulty judging distance or direction when driving a car. This can happen because peripheral vision is decreased with dementia and therefore depth perception becomes challenging.
  8. Misplacing things and not knowing what things are for – A person with dementia may not know what their keys are for. They may put the keys in the refrigerator or attempt to start the car with a screwdriver.
  9. Personality changes – Someone with dementia can have rapid mood swings, for no apparent reason. (The reason is that they are experiencing dementia.) They can become confused, suspicious or withdrawn. Some can become disinhibited or more outgoing.
  10. Loss of initiative – Dementia may cause a person to lose interest in previously enjoyed activities or require cues prompting them to become involved.

Supporting Someone With Early Stage Dementia

Orchard at Athens is a senior living community in Athens Georgia that has specialized programming and opportunities for fully engaged life for people with all stages of dementia. Our programming for each stage is developed and implemented by a dedicated staff member. If you or someone you know are experiencing changes in life, please feel to contact us to learn more about or programs and community.

What is moderate dementia

What Is Moderate Dementia?

Many people don’t have a true understanding of what dementia is. This brain disease can be defined as “the acquired deterioration of the brain from a previously higher level of functioning that impairs the successful completion of daily tasks.” Because the change happens over a longer period of time, there are many stages of dementia that some one can be in. The middle stage of this process is called moderate dementia and also has been found to last the longest. This stage of dementia is most commonly characterized by difficulties completing daily tasks such as cooking or cleaning and needing some assistance with living. 

What to Expect With Moderate Stage Dementia

During the moderate stage of dementia, the disease spreads to the frontal lobe of the brain. This section of the brain helps us with our higher level thinking. It controls our abilities to problem solve, think logically, speak, plan, take initiative and control impulses. When this portion of the brain begins to become affected by dementia, it becomes more difficult to make judgments and pay attention for extended periods of time.  Other common symptoms include:

  • Forgetting names
  • Forgetting faces
  • Unclear communication
  • Not knowing the time
  • Unsafety at home
  • Wandering
  • Unexpected anger 
  • Trouble with daily tasks 

Treatments for Moderate Dementia

Unfortunately there is no way to actually cure dementia, but there are ways to reduce the symptoms shown during the process.

  • Memantine- A drug that targets specific functions in the brain.
  • Medication- medicinal remedies can reduce symptoms by adjusting chemicals that carry signals to the brain. 
  • Therapy- There are a number of therapies that exist (occupational, physical, music) that can improve an individual’s quality of life. As the disease progresses, a medical professional would be able to assess the need for such treatments on a case by case situation. 

Dementia can pose many challenges and obstacles for people. As symptoms progress, more steps have to be taken to ensure proper care for individuals. Orchard at Athens is here to provide you and/or your loved one with the assistance you may need. Our community offers a multitude of amenities that will help you feel right at home. If you are interested in finding out more about us, please contact us

Telemedicine For Dementia

Telemedicine For Dementia

As a direct result of the recent global pandemic, telemedicine has become more and more popular. This innovative way of treating patients has helped to keep the healthcare industry growing. Telemedicine requires the use of an interactive audio and video telecommunications system that permits real-time communication between a patient and physician. (i.e Zoom, Skype, or Google Duo) Telemedicine involves transmitting medical information to a physician or practitioner who is able to review or diagnose on the spot. There are many benefits of this type of care and below are listed a few.

Benefits Of Telemedicine For Dementia Care

No transportation time or costs – Telemedicine saves money on gas, parking, or other kinds of transportation. You also won’t waste time sitting in traffic.

On-demand options – If your regular physician is unavailable, there are plenty of on-demand options to explore.

Access to Specialist – Telemedicine makes it possible for you and your primary care physician to leverage the expertise of specialists who are not nearby.

Less Chance of Catching a New Illness – Telemedicine eliminates these dangers and risks to exposure. Staying home ensures that you are not contracting anything new or passing on what you might already have.

Less Time in the Waiting Room – If you choose a video visit via telemedicine technology, you’ll eliminate all that time spent waiting in a room at the office.

Better Health – When you are able to see your doctor as often as you need to, without the challenges of getting into the office, you can practice better management of your medication, lifestyle, and any chronic conditions you might have.

These are just some of the reasons why telemedicine can be a great option for the elderly who have dementia. Telemedicine offers convenience and safety during this time of global pandemic. Orchard at Athens is grateful to walk alongside you through your health journey. If you would like more information about our community, please contact us today.

Why People With Dementia Wander

Why People With Dementia Wander

Have you ever wondered why people living with dementia wander and get lost? This behavior can be attributed to multiple things and in this article we look to cover a few of them.

Brain Change Impacting Navigation

One reason that adults with dementia tend to wander is because the part of the brain that sends signals related to navigation starts to have difficulty. People can find themselves in a position where they are unable to find their way from a familiar place to an unfamiliar place. They can also have directional challenges that cause confusion and disorientation.

Brain Change Impacting Assessment of Time

Difficulty with understanding, recognizing and measuring time can be another reason why someone wanders. If a change occurs in the ability to measure time, someone may not know how much time has passed since they left the house, or may think that their loved one has been away for a long time when in fact it could only be that they just left the house. They might also have trouble knowing the time of day and think it is time to go to work, the store, club, or church when it is the middle of the night. They also might think that they are in a different time of their life and think they need to pick up their children from school or go to work, or think they are on vacation and set out to go to the beach.

Unfilled Relationship Need

Someone living with dementia may wander and get lost because they are looking for someone or something to do. We all have a desire for connectedness and to be engaged in different kinds of activities throughout our day. If someone is lonely, sad or scared they may begin to look for someone to fill that need. If someone is bored, or is looking for something to engage them, they may set out to fulfill that need.

Wandering happens for a reason and it is important to try and find out what the person is thinking and or looking for in order to be able to help them stay safe and in the home. If you have someone who has wandered away from the home, it is time to call a professional to help make the assessment of whether that person is still safe in the home before a crisis happens. Orchard at Athens can help you make this assessment. Please contact us to learn more.