With some disease processes, dementia symptoms (and other symptoms,
too) can evolve slowly over time. It is important to look for patterns
in an individual's work history to determine whether support and
intervention is needed.
- Are there changes in work habits (getting to work on time,
appropriate dress/appearance, etc.)?
- Is the individual switching jobs frequently as the mis-match between
cognitive abilities and job demands become apparent (“That computer
is always messing me up; it’s easier to do it by hand”)?
- Are there consistent complaints about co-workers' behaviors (“Joe
is always telling me what to do, he’s so pushy”)?
What you can do:
- Be honest with the employer about the medical condition and ask
for some accommodations, ways to make the job simpler, or
reassignment to a new position.
- Pursue Vocational Rehabilitation services provided through a
state agency. Find a local listing in the yellow pages.
- As a spouse or caregiver, discuss the changes you see with the
individual and let them know you will help provide the support
needed or find someone who can.
- As the dementia progresses, look into day treatment services for
individuals with dementia or brain injury that have some type of
supportive work component.
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