If your senior loved one is living with dementia, it is vital to provide them with extra support and care to ensure they have the best quality of life possible. Typically, any type of dementia will lead to significant cognitive and behavioral changes that should be well managed to make daily living easier. Here, we look at six tips for taking care of a loved one with dementia at home.
Focus on individualized care
Each individual’s experience with dementia tends to be different, and you need to pay attention to how the condition progresses and changes it impacts. You will have more responsibilities as the dementia symptoms advance, calling for professional assistance in offering individualized care. An excellent way to guarantee this is by hiring live-in care from specialized caregivers such as Husky Senior Care.
Establish consistent daily routines
Make it easier for your loved ones to stay alert and conscious about their daily lifestyle by establishing routines and sticking to them. While this does not mean being rigid, you need to have periods for activities such as eating, taking medication, bathing, and doctor appointments. This will help create an enhanced level of awareness that your loved one can keep up with despite having memory problems.
Create a safe home environment
Since dementia impairs judgment, you need to ensure your loved one stays in a safe environment. To do this, you will need to:
- Prevent falls by avoiding scatter rugs, installing handrails in critical areas, reducing clutter, and making the bathroom/toilet safer
- Keep the house well-lit, secure doors, and keep dangerous items out of reach
- Take fire safety and medical emergency precautions
Be patient when communicating
Communication tends to be challenging when handling a loved one with dementia, but you can communicate better by better understanding their current state. It is critical to be patient with your loved one by learning how to cope with changes in their communication while maintaining respect. Always speak slowly and clearly, and if necessary, get them a hearing aid after consulting with the doctor.
Develop and stick to meaningful engagements
Finding ways to develop meaningful engagements with your senior loved ones will help them cope with dementia better. Help them remain active and feel in charge by:
- Encouraging them to try exercises to keep fit
- Giving them choices such as what they want to wear, do during the day, and eat
- Allowing them to help around the house whenever they want to
- Providing simple instructions and having more activities that bring laughter to the home
Avoid emotional triggers
Strive to learn your loved one’s upsetting triggers and limit exposure to such items. It could be a specific TV channel, the noise or buzz of some machinery, or a particular environment. Regardless of what it is, your best option is to avoid exposing them to these triggers to avoid extreme mood swings, aggressive behavior, or mental breakdown.
It takes a lot of patience, attention to detail, and readiness to cope with new behavior to offer the best care to a loved one with dementia. These tips will help you formulate a better plan and cope with changes during caregiving.