5 Tips for Caring for Elders With Dementia
Caring for an elderly person with dementia can be a large challenge. If it Is someone you know, this experience may be devastating and emotional. It is important though that as a caregiver, you give this person the best quality of life and quality of care possible to keep them safe, calm and happy. Here are some helpful tips for caring for elders with dementia.
- The best and most important way to care for an elder with dementia is to do your research. It is essential that you truly understand the illness so that you can care for this person appropriately and compassionately. Be sure to understand what causes dementia, treatment options and more so that you can grasp the situation. Having the facts can make dealing with the day to day care processes much easier. Also, never hesitate to ask a doctor for specific information or advice.
- Develop a daily routine. Those with dementia are often disturbed by changes in their routine. Giving them normal rituals and the same time frame each day with give them consistency and predictability they need. Realize that simple tasks may take them much more time or be a larger process than they would be for an average individual without dementia, so be patients and plan accordingly.
- Make sure the environment the person is in is safe at all times. Just like you would with a child, it is important that you keep all sharp or dangerous items out of reach so that the elderly person in your care does not accidentally harm his or herself or others.
- Reach out to local support groups. Caring for a person with dementia can be extremely draining and exhausting, especially if you provide 24/7 care! It is necessary that you reach out to other who can relate or are going through the same thing as you. Here you can vent your frustrations, learn about how others are coping and learn more information about dementia. Support groups can help you care for your elderly loved one, but they will also ensure that you are not forgetting to care for yourself as well!
- Help to keep the person calm and learn to manage problem behaviors that may arise due to frustration and confusion. Console your loved one with dementia when distraught. Also, try to identify triggers that may agitate the individual and avoid them when possible. Finally, be patient and try to break things down for the person so that they can understand a situation. Talk slow, and compartmentalize ideas to make grasping information or what is going on easier and more accessible.
Caring for an elderly individual with dementia is a daily struggle. While it is definitely a challenge, if you are educated, connected, patient and organized you can make the situation much more manageable and you can identify senior care management solutions. Be sure to learn as much as you can about dementia, develop daily routines, reach out to a support group, keep the environment safe, and calm the person you are caring for by consoling them, identifying triggers, and simplifying your words.