There are three stages for dementia:
Early stage - memory loss with decreased ability to think
Intermediate stage - easily get lost, mood changes and behavioral problems, need assistance with daily activities
Late stage - language impairment, cannot recognize relatives, may become incontinent and totally dependent
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Besides affecting one’s memory , dementia also affects one’s awareness of the environment. Modification of the environment can make life easier for the elder and help them maintain their self-care ability, and also reduce behavioural problems. Common ways to enhance the environment include:
1. Ensuring adequate ventilation
2. Improving lighting
3. Posting up signages for rooms
4. Posting cues for personal hygiene
5. Repeating instruction
With poor memory, elderly with dementia often have difficulties in taking medication. Assistive devices, such as a calendar or medication box with labels may serve as useful reminders.