If you have a loved one suffering from dementia, chances are high that you may find it extremely difficult to provide them adequate care at home.
Your loved one’s health is important to you, and you want to do everything you can to help them stay on track. When they are struggling with dementia, it can be difficult to know what to do, but several practical strategies that can help.
How to Help a Loved One Suffering From Dementia
Understand & Confront
The most important aspect of treating any illness is understanding the disease and confronting the stigma.
Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that creates an imbalance in the brain and can hinder many of the brain functions.
It affects different people in different ways. Some people may be able to function normally even years after the diagnosis, while others may face severe symptoms soon after the diagnosis.
A person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s requires constant care as the symptoms increase and they may face difficulty performing normal life functions, like thinking, problem-solving, remembering things, and more.
Dementia, unfortunately, is also one such illness that has a stigma attached to it. People sometimes treat dementia patients as mentally retarded, which can result in social isolation, self-abusive behavior, and feelings of depression and worthlessness.
So, to help a loved one dealing with dementia, ensure that your loved one doesn’t feel isolated or ridiculed in any social gathering. Involve them in conversations, keep them up to date with any news or information, and encourage them to speak their mind while discouraging negative perceptions regarding the illness.
Finding Dementia Care for Your Loved One
You can learn about managing dementia and finding care for your loved one through various methods.
You can get books on Dementia Care, listen to podcasts, connect with others who are in the same situation as you, watch online videos regarding the illness, or even by consulting medical practitioners to learn more about the disease.
Get a Professional Onboard
A trained specialist can give your loved one the attention and care that they deserve while allowing you to focus on your work. Additionally, a professional caregiver would know proper techniques to manage and guide a dementia patient.
However, before you hire someone, make sure they are well-aware of the changes that dementia can cause and are ready to deal with any situation that may arise.
Consult A Caregiving Center
Caregiving Centers for Dementia can offer you consultants to create a specialized plan for your loved one according to their preferences and needs.
Often, a person with dementia may not even realize what they’re doing. Moreover, as the disease progresses, their level of frustration may increase as even doing minor tasks could become tedious. A caregiving center could give them the appropriate attention and medications to stabilize their condition.
You can also take care of your loved one at home. However, remember that you’ll need a lot of patience to deal with them.
· Establish a Routine
A fixed schedule can make it easier for your loved one to carry out some regular tasks. Configure their sleeping times to help them keep a healthy routine. Fix their meal and bathing times so it becomes easier for both you and them to get those done.
· Maintain Space
You may think that you need to offer your assistance to your loved one 24/7 but the truth is that they need space to maintain their own individuality. Let the individual do some things on his own. For instance, cleaning their living space, setting the bed, laying out a table, etc.
· Offer a Safe Environment
Remove any possible hazardous item from the environment to reduce the chances of your loved one suffering any sort of injury. Before you leave them alone anywhere, make sure there’s nothing around that could harm them at all. Pay special attention to what you’re keeping in their room
· Uncomplicate Matters
A person suffering from dementia can find it extremely difficult to understand complex situations or instructions. For instance, don’t give them too many choices for meals or outfits to keep away from confusion.
Give them the simplest directions to get things done. Speak to them as you would to children with easy instructions and a calm tone to help them feel comfortable
· Keep an Open Heart
For a person with dementia, anything and everything could change in a nanosecond. So, keep an open heart for your loved one. They might frustrate you to no end. Somedays they might not even recognize you, and they might also get mad at you for trying to help them but understand that they’re dependent on you and need you the most during this time.
Dementia could be hard to tackle for both the caregiver and the patient. Understand the needs of your loved ones, help them address their condition by keeping patience and offering care. Whether you seek the help of one of your local Alzheimer’s caregiving facilities or offer in-home care to your loved one, remember what they need most is understanding and love in this tough time.