Dementia Care Specialist (Advice)

Certified dementia practitioner

Dementia is a serious neurological disorder that requires expert knowledge and compassion for countering it properly. A dementia care specialist’s role in providing support, not just to the patient but to the families of the patient as well is a crucial one.  In this brief, we will analyze the qualities of a good dementia care specialist and see which parameters you must keep in mind when searching for a professional in dementia care.

Furthermore, we will also talk about the importance of dementia care specialist’s role in the management of this neurological disorder. So, without further ado, let us begin!

Who are Dementia Care Specialists?

Dementia care professional

Let us start by defining their role. Dementia care specialists are professionals who have completed special training, as well as certifications in taking care of dementia patients. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of all the challenges that come with dementia.

Taking care of the challenges that arise from this condition using a wide array of behavioral management techniques is a part of their profession. Their knowledge about strategies which can enhance the quality of life of dementia patients is excellent. This makes them so important in this whole discussion.

3 Roles of a Dementia Care Specialist

Find a dementia care specialist

Care plan

Primary role of a dementia care specialist is to create a specific individualized care plan for their patient. While creating such a plan, they consider the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of the patient they are taking care of.

The critical elements in such a plan include medical interventions, cognitive exercises and recommendations for creating an environment that caters to the needs of a dementia patient.

Diet plan

These professionals also ensure that their patients are following a very specific diet plan, one that is all about diet for dementia patients.

Family support

A dementia care specialist also brings an overall sense of relief and calm to the family of a dementia patient. They are good at spotting the early signs of dementia in women and men in the family and can provide solutions for vascular dementia and eating problems with ease.

Boxes to Check When Seeking a Dementia Care Specialist

Dementia Care Specialist

Here are the boxes that you will need to check:

  • For hiring a dementia caregiver, you can start your search by seeking dementia caregivers who have adequate credentials and certifications. The certification you are searching for is called Certified Dementia Practitioners, i.e. CDP certificates. A CDP, is someone with a certification demonstrating achievement and specialized training in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care.
  • The abilities of a CDP certified expert are often reflected by their referrals and recommendations, look at them closely as well.
  • Healthcare professionals, support groups or other caregivers in your vicinity can be a great source for finding reputable dementia care specialists. Interestingly enough, women provide 70% of care hours for people living with dementia!

Dementia Care Services at a Glance

Dementia care services

Here are the different types of dementia care services:

In-Home Dementia Care

Dementia care specialists can provide in-home service. Providing a support system within the familiar surroundings of the individual’s home can do wonders for their mental health.

In-home dementia care services can enhance comfort and reduce stress for dementia patients greatly. They are considered a valuable tool in combatting dementia.

Memory Care Facilities

Dementia care specialists often provide their services in memory care facilities. They are also a regular feature in assisted living communities that are specifically designed to meet the needs of dementia patients.

The purpose of these facilities is to offer a very safe and supportive environment with trained staff, usually operating all hours, all week.

Behavioral Management

Taking care of the challenging behaviors that often feature in dementia requires specialized knowledge coupled with a lot of patience.

A dementia care professional can employ behavior management techniques to minimize agitation, aggression, and anxiety. They are very good for specific conditions such as Sundowning dementia treatment.

Caregiver Education and Support

A dementia care expert also gives education and support to dementia patients. They equip them with the necessary tools that can help them take care of their loved ones effectively.

Dementia Care Specialist – Final Thoughts

Well then, that would be all from this brief. It goes without saying that when a loved one suffers from such a life-changing condition as dementia, things become quite challenging for the family.

However, if the search for a dementia caregiver is a successful one, a lot of burden is off the shoulders very early.

Before we sign off, we will say this again: don’t compromise on the requirements we have shared in this brief, and you shall be alright!


Why see a Dementia Neurologist?

Dementia Neurologist for diagnosis

The first step for most people who have growing concerns about the changes in the memory and behaviour of their loved one is to see their family GP, but as they are not specialists in neurology, the next step is usually a referral to a Dementia Neurologist.

This stage, can be quite an emotional time for the family as it feels that so much is at stake. Some query the necessity of seeing a Dementia doctor at all, but to do so can bring you the answers you crave and the support you will need.

Release in your mind, who your loved one used to be and accept who they are today… J Rusknak Phd

Neurologist for dementia evaluation

Neurologist for dementia evaluationA Neurologist is a doctor who specializes in disorders of the brain, diseases of the spinal cord and the body’s nervous system. They are highly trained doctors who know how to spot the subtle changes in the brain that could be causing memory problems.

It is important to take this next step so that you can get a firm diagnosis and can fully understand the options available for your loved one.

Although research into dementia is moving at a swift pace, there is no cure – as yet – but there are a variety of treatments that can reduce the symptoms. This is important because it will help your loved one maintain the best possible quality of life.

As Carol Thatcher, daughter of ex UK Prime minister, Margaret explained –

‘ Sufferers look and act the same, but beneath the familiar exterior, something quite different is going on. They are in another world and you cannot enter it’…                    Carol Thatcher

It is for this reason, that it can be so beneficial to spend time with a dementia neurologist who can give you a firm diagnosis, guide you with choosing the best treatment plan and also be there to answer your questions so that you can learn and understand more about this increasingly common brain disorder.

The World Health Organisation has stated that 55 million people worldwide have dementia and that Alzheimer disease may contribute to 60-70% of cases.

Dementia neurologist expert.

Dementia assessmentAlthough all neurologists can evaluate and diagnose your loved one, if you can be referred to a Dementia neurology, this is even better.

These doctors (who are usually Consultants) specialise in dementia and are really interested in all the latest trials taking place and the new treatments being offered. As well as conducting the necessary tests to confirm the medical condition, the neurology expert can then give some good advice and guide you to make the right decision regarding your loved one.

Importantly, they also fully understand that the diagnosis of dementia will affect all the family and the different emotions involved.

Find a dementia specialist

Dementia care neurologistIf you can arrange through your GP to see a dementia specialist, this will be a huge advantage. These specialists are well aware of what is currently being learnt about dementia.

Scientists have uncovered so much valuable information recently, and because of their specialisation in this field, the dementia specialist will be keeping abreast of all the latest research and the many medical trials.

This is truly invaluable, and something that the family doctor cannot possibly do. General neurologists can certainly perform the medical evaluation, but they too are not ideal as they do not specialise in dementia.

If you have a friend with dementia, it is well worth asking their partner to recommend their dementia neurology expert so that you can make a little research and ask your GP to refer your loved one to them.

Dementia Neurologist for diagnosis

Dementia NeurologistIt is crucial to have someone experienced to conduct the tests on your loved one. The dementia Consultants are experienced in a variety of different cognitive disorders. The most common, is dementia which is a group of diseases that affect memory, thinking skills and ability to complete normal daily tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type, but other disorders include frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s, mild cognitive impairment and primary progressive aphasia – amongst others.


Dementia assessment

The dementia neurologist will spend time talking with you to establish a detailed history of your loved one’s problems – the more in-depth with information you can provide, the better. A number of cognitive functions change in a person with dementia over a period of time and the specialist will be asking you about your loved one’s –

  • The importance of using a dementia neurologistMemory
  • Language
  • Numerical skills
  • Thinking and problem solving
  • Visual perception
  • Any personality changes

Although this may seem very daunting, this appointment can be made much easier if you make notes for each of the above headings to take with you to the appointment.

Sometimes, there may be enough material provided, but usually the dementia specialist will want to conduct some brain scans, a lumbar puncture or neuropsychological assessment so they can make an accurate diagnosis.

Although these all sound quite scary, each of these will be explained to you fully in advance and a follow up appointment will be arranged. It also comes as a relief to the various challenges and changes explained to you by an experienced doctor, who very understanding and will answer all your questions.

Dementia care neurologist

Following the diagnosis, the dementia neurologist may well want to see your loved one on a regular basis. Alternatively, you will be put in contact with the dementia specialist nurse. Although this is an extremely difficult time for you and your family, you will find that there is a great deal of support.

You will be given plenty of information, practical advice and local support groups to contact either by your dementia specialist or their nurse.

In addition,  it is a comforting feeling to know that they are at the end of the telephone, should you have any queries. As the disease progresses, you will also be given practical support too, which is invaluable.

Dementia Neurologist – Final Thoughts

Caring for a loved one with dementia is certainly challenging and comes with a feeling of loss, but how you approach these changes in your loved one makes all the difference and it is essential to work with an experienced dementia care neurologist who specialises in this brain disorder as this really can make all the difference.

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