Essential Dementia Care Notes Every Caregiver Should Know
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a guidebook that provided all the answers to dementia care, rather than the guessing game so many of us are dealing with? The various periods of the disease that have to be worked through cause it to become increasingly complicated; as soon as we begin to feel moderately adept at handling one phase, we’re on to the next.
At Independence-4-Seniors Home Care, we know firsthand just how difficult dementia care can be, and provide the following suggestions to keep in mind that may help:
- It is ok to make mistakes. Being human means being imperfect. Expect that there will be moments you wish you could do over and other moments when you have sufficient patience to make wise decisions. Don't forget to take care of yourself; and be sure to remind yourself often that you are doing the best you can.
- Redirection works better than correction. When a person with dementia is disoriented, using reasoning to attempt to reorient the person may end up in stress for both of you. For example, if the individual is looking for a childhood friend, rather than explaining that this friend passed away many years ago, ask the person to tell you a little more about the friend or to talk about a fun experience they shared.
- Accept alternate realities. In our society, we have been taught that honesty is the best policy, and being dishonest with a senior family member often just feels very wrong. Nevertheless, if the person truly is convinced he’s the author of the novel you’re reading, it’s often a wise decision to simply play along and keep the peace.
- Be reasonable about what activities or tasks the senior can and cannot do. Although our temptation may be to take charge and take over everything for a person with dementia, it’s far better to stop and see what he or she is still able to do independently. Likewise, if the senior begins to experience frustration over a task, it’s time for you to step up and help.
- Physicians can learn from your information. Be sure you talk about everything you’re seeing in your loved one with the doctor during medical visits. He or she can only provide you with the most beneficial treatment plan when all of the details are on the table.
Above all, it’s necessary for family members providing dementia care to create a solid system of support. Independence-4-Seniors Home Care is available to partner with you in supplying customized dementia and Alzheimer’s care; contact us for more details.
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