People with dementia still know what they want and caregivers should respect that

Lisa Wurth

August 11, 2011

People who suffer from dementia often experience difficulty with finding the right words to express themselves, and this can make it hard for them to communicate their needs and desires to their caregivers.

Rarely is anyone under the age of 60 diagnosed with dementia, and once this age is reached, the risk of developing the disease doubles every five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A medical alert system can be useful in cases where dementia patients fall or are otherwise injured while their caregivers are not around.

Dementia patients are often cared for by loved ones, and a recent study conducted by scientists at Penn State found that they easily grow frustrated with their caregivers. This is due, majorly, to caregivers assuming that people with dementia are incapable of making their own decisions, which is not always the truth.

"Family caregivers often become the surrogate decision-makers of relatives who have dementia, so the two groups need to communicate well and to understand each other," Steven Zarit, the lead researcher, told Third Age.

Open communication is important for any healthy relationship, and seniors and their caregivers should try to be understanding of each other's needs.