MyRide Volunteer Advanced Training - Working with Riders with Dementia and Memory Loss
Introduction - Dementia 101
Dementia is an umbrella term that includes many different symptoms. Riders may experience any of these symptoms of Dementia:
A person with dementia may find it difficult to recall information they have recently learned, such as dates or events, or new information.
Difficulty Planning or Solving Problems
A person with dementia may find it difficult to follow a plan, such as a recipe when cooking, or directions when driving.
Difficulty Doing Familiar Tasks
A person with dementia may find it difficult to complete tasks they regularly do, such as changing settings on a television, operating a computer, making a cup of tea, or getting to a familiar location.
Being Confused about Time or Place
Dementia can make it hard to judge the passing of time. People may also forget where they are at any time. They may find it hard to understand events in the future or the past and may struggle with dates.
Challenges Understanding Visual Information
Visual information can be challenging for a person with dementia. It can be hard to read, to judge distances, or work out the differences between colors.
Problems Speaking or Writing
A person with dementia may find it hard to engage in conversations. They may forget what they are saying or what somebody else has said. It can be difficult to enter a conversation. People may also find their spelling, punctuation, grammar, or handwriting get worse.
A person with dementia may not be able to remember where they leave everyday objects, such as a remote control, important documents, cash, or their keys.
Misplacing possessions can be frustrating and may mean they accuse other people of stealing.
Poor Judgment or Decision-Making
It can be hard for someone with dementia to understand what is fair and reasonable. This may mean they pay too much for things, or become easily sure about buying things they do not need.
Some people with dementia also pay less attention to keeping themselves clean and presentable.
Withdrawal from Socializing
A person with dementia may become uninterested in socializing with other people, whether in their home life or at work. They may become withdrawn and not talk to others, or not pay attention when others are speaking to them. They may stop doing hobbies or sports that involve other people.
Changes in Personality or Mood
A person with dementia may experience mood swings or personality changes. For example, they may become irritable, depressed, fearful, or anxious. They may also become more disinhibited or act inappropriately.