Are you looking for tips on how to care for the elderly love one with dementia? Dementia is not a specific disease, but a non-specific syndrome. It is characterized by a decline of mental abilities like thinking, reasoning and memory. It usually occurs in the elderly. However, dementia can also occur before the person reaches the age of 65, in this case, it is termed as “early onset dementia”.
This syndrome affects the elderly in so many ways that it is often difficult to ascertain specific ways to care for them. They can be forgetful, sad and sometimes violent. It is important that you find ways to make them feel loved and comfortable as possible. Here are effective tips on taking care of an elderly with dementia:
Keep Tasks And Activities As Short As Possible
Since dementia affects the person’s thinking and reasoning, avoid information overload. Forgetfulness is a common problem in dementia and if a task or activity is not done, it can easily become a root of frustration. You can give simple, but clear instructions one at a time like take a shower.
Help with Personal Care
A person with dementia can easily get frustrated with simple everyday tasks like putting on a shirt or socks. If possible, allow your loved one to continue as much personal care as he can while you stay close by. You can help with dressing by giving clothes to your loved one in the order in which they need to be put on. You can verbally encourage him or give simple instructions like “here is your shirt”, or “Here is your other sock”.
Prepare Healthy and Nutritious Meals
Dementia can affect a person’s perception to food and eating. If you are in charge to care for the elderly with Dementia, make sure that you prepare food that are appetizing and healthy. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables because these foods can provide the person enough energy to last for the day.
Avoid Situations that Can Increase Aggravation
When caring for someone with dementia, know the activities that can trigger his agitation. Steer away from these situations and circumstances because agitation can bring about dementia symptoms. If you notice that he easily becomes agitated in populated areas, avoid taking him there. Instead take him someplace quieter where he can relax.
Hazard-Proof Your Home
When your loved one is dealing with dementia, make sure that the home environment is not cluttered. This will eliminate tripping hazards and distractions, which may add to the person’s confusion. Also, keep away razors and harmful medications. Since memory and forgetfulness is an issue, you can apply special devices to be used on faucets to control water temperature. This will help prevent burns.
To care for the elderly with dementia is not easy. Your loved one may struggle to perform familiar tasks and remember recent events. It can also progressively get worse as memory deteriorates. In the advanced stages, round-the-clock care is usually required. Planning ahead for these possibilities can help make decisions easier. Knowing your options for long term care can help you make an informed decision.