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21 Sep 2020

Ruby Gem: Mid-Stage to Late Dementia


Topics: Alzheimers, Dementia

Ruby represents mid-to late-stage dementia. A ruby was chosen to because of its colour. In the stoplight sequence, red means “stop.” During this stage, fine motor in the mouth, eyes, fingers, and feet stop.

When interacting with those who are at this stage, we must remember to stop or slow down with our actions.

Some basic characteristics of a Ruby include:

  • Loss in fine motor skills in their mouth, fingers, and soles of their feet
  • More frequent falls because of the loss of fine motor skills
  • Weight loss and skin problems due to difficulties eating
  • Struggle with going from walking to sitting
  • Vision has become monocular
  • No longer get into things, but like to carry things
  • Sleep/wake cycle is destroyed
  • May seem as though they are “lost in the world”

Both for you and your loved one, communication and understanding can become extremely difficult.

It's difficult for a Ruby to understand or comprehend what you are saying to them as they can only understand about every fourth word you're saying.

A Ruby is losing fine motor skills in their mouth so their speech will become very difficult to understand; automatic social chitchat is the exception. Due to the right side of the brain being preserved, social chitchat, rhythm and music will be very easy to understand.

When you are trying to communicate with a Ruby, there are a few important things to remember:

  1. Slow down: Slow down your words and directions when talking to a Ruby.
  2. Speech: Be careful not to talk too loudly; Rubies have a comprehension problem, not a hearing problem. Talking too loudly tends to make them turn away from you and not work with you. Using rhythm in your speech will also help for better understanding.
  3. Use showing & demonstrating: Due to the brain not being able to comprehend what you are saying, you need to show or demonstrate what you want them to do. Be sure they are paying attention to you, be at their side and show them what you want them to do.
  4. Don’t be confrontational: Being at their side, rather than in front of them, will help a Ruby feel at ease. Since their vision is monocular, standing in front of them may feel confrontational or as if they are being trapped.

For more information call Senior Helpers today to get the help your loved one and family need today.

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Don't forget to learn more in this series by reading parts one though three below:

Part l: Senior Gems: Sapphire and Diamond

Part ll: Emerald Gem:Early to Mid-Stage Dementia

Part lll: Amber Gem: Mid-Stage Dementia