On its own, an amputation is a life-altering event. It completely changes how you use your body and can impact your quality of life, your physical abilities, and your daily existence. Unfortunately, amputations have also been correlated with increased rates of dementia. Pain management and care can become increasingly difficult in these cases. If you or a loved one has undergone an amputation and are afflicted with dementia, here are some tips to keep pain low and help with daily care.
Invest in quality prosthetic socks
If you’ve been fitted with prosthesis after your amputation, you likely know the discomfort that it can provide from time to time. While a prosthetic limb can improve your mobility and increase your physical ability, many amputees find it difficult to keep their prostheses on for large spreads of time without experiencing pain. Luckily, prosthetic socks are an excellent way to provide some cushioning between the prosthesis and the amputated limb. While this won’t completely eliminate discomfort, it makes it easier for patients to wear their prosthetic for longer periods without immense discomfort.
For amputees, suffering from dementia prosthetic socks made by Knit-Rite and several other companies are designed to be easier to manage while still providing the maximum benefit. Prosthetic socks can be difficult to put on from time to time without the limitations caused by dementia so these streamlined sock models are an excellent option to make clothing yourself and getting on with your day that much easier.
Considered assisted care
It’s an unfortunate reality that the general public often associates assisted living with patients suffering from senile dementia. There’s undoubtedly a stigma against care homes but, with the public perception towards mental health slowly shifting, dementia patients with an amputation are also noticing the value that assisted care can provide. People suffering from dementia tend to thrive more in environments where they can be surrounded by people. While one-on-one environments, such as in-home care, are feasible, the stimulation afforded by assisted living can be invaluable. On top of this, dementia patients that have undergone an amputation don’t ever need to worry about misplacing prosthesis or struggling to put on clothing.
On top of this, there is the pain management to consider. In one-on-one or more independent living situations, it can be difficult at times for dementia patients to remember to take pain medications. There’s also the risk of forgetfulness causing the patient to take too much medication within too short a time. Since pain management is a key component of the post-amputation process, residing in a care facility with monitored medication is a smarter, safer choice for many patients.
With an assisted living situation, it’s important to do a fair amount of research before committing to a facility. Do they offer specialized treatments? What about group sessions and counseling? How well is the facility rated? Another excellent choice is to take a tour of the facility with the prospective resident. Do they like their surroundings? Is there access to ever-important outdoor space? Sometimes, choosing a care facility is as simple as making a pros and cons list. Other times, you’re going to need to start splitting hairs to determine which assisted care space is best. Assisted living can greatly improve the quality of living for dementia patients with amputations.
At the end of the day, you’re not defined by either your amputation or your diagnosis of dementia. You’re still undeniably, completely yourself. That’s why self-care and pain management are more important than ever. Consult with friends, family, and your physician to determine what course of action is best for you. Not every solution fits every patient and sometimes, you need one that as unique as you.