Caring for someone with dementia requires patience and a determined attitude. Your decision to step up and be a family caregiver allows you to make sure your senior loved one has what he or she needs through each stage. You can use these tips to provide excellent dementia care while deepening your relationship.
1. Don’t Try to Argue
The changes in the brain that happen with dementia could cause your loved one to think differently. Your loved one may say something that’s simply untrue, or he or she may recall something that seems impossible. When this happens, arguing your point becomes futile, since your loved one’s brain is causing him or her to think he or she is right. Instead of arguing, simply switch to a different subject or activity when there’s no real reason to try to convince your loved one of the truth.
Ask for Help from the Beginning
Asking for help is one of those skills many caregivers find challenging. At times, it just feels easier to do things yourself rather than have someone else do it. However, dementia care entails having your responsibilities increase over time. Plan now for who you can turn to for help so you don’t have to wait long to get a break. Having a professional caregiver meet your loved one now and provide lower levels of care may make it easier for your loved one to adjust to having assistance later on as well.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Hot Springs seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
3. Educate Yourself About the Condition
Dementia care is influenced by major advances in the medical field. New treatments, including medication, are available today that can slow the progression of the disorder. In addition to learning about new types of treatments, you can also learn strategies that help with the later stages of dementia care, such as painting the bathroom door a special color to prevent wandering.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Start or Maintain an Exercise Program
Your loved one needs to exercise to get the blood flowing to the brain. You can also benefit from having a regular exercise program that relieves stress and keeps you in shape for your caregiving duties. Consider working out with your loved one or arrange for respite care so you can go for a jog.
5. Watch for Reactions to New Medications
New dementia symptoms are sometimes related to medication side effects. While your loved one may need to take medicine to treat various health conditions, there may be other options. Talk to the doctor as soon as possible if you see new symptoms shortly after your loved one takes a medication to determine if he or she may need a different drug or a revised dosing schedule.
6. Be Willing to Adapt Quickly to Changes
Although dementia tends to progress slowly, your loved one’s health could take a sudden turn that requires you to take prompt action. For instance, a fall-related brain injury could make the symptoms get worse overnight, or your loved one could suddenly decide to wander away from home. Have a plan in place to address changes quickly so your loved one is always safe.
7. Find Ways to Bond with Your Loved One
Caregiving often makes it feel like there’s not enough time in the day for fun. However, that growing pile of laundry can be handed off to someone else. Choose to find time in your day to enjoy activities with your loved one. After all, spending time together is what makes all your hard work worth it.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Conway senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (501) 764-1312 to learn more about our customized care plans.