Caring for your loved one or a patient who has dementia is challenging. The physical, cognitive, and functional abilities of an individual with dementia are lesser. Their brain disorder worsens with the time that causes challenges in remembering things and communicating. Dementia also causes personality changes and mood swings.
So, caring becomes stressful and overwhelming. The burden of caregiving becomes bigger and bigger as the symptoms increase. You also need help and guidance in providing care to the patients.
This dementia blog will discuss dementia care tips that you should know and follow.
Create a daily routine for the dementia patient. Having a fixed routine will help them understand the tasks that need to be performed daily. Try to allow your loved one with dementia to do as many jobs as they can without least assistance.
Activities like bathing, dressing, and setting the table are easy to do with a bit of support.
Allow flexibility for tasks that need more time. Do not schedule all activities one after the other without breaks. The patient needs a break between tasks.
Provide simple and clear instructions for completing routine activities. Note the works that the patient will take a longer time to complete. Schedule and provide more time for completing such tasks.
A dementia patient suffers from attention issues. So, try to reduce the distractions around them. Turn off the TV and other audio interruptions during conversations and mealtime. Try to maintain a quiet environment with minimal outside noise.
Stand in front of the patient and address them by their names to get attention. Avoid long naps during the daytime. It will minimize the risk of getting up at night and increase focus during the day.
As dementia progresses, your loved one will find it challenging to communicate. They will become confused, repeat the same things, and have trouble finding words. So, you need to maintain proper and clear communication with them. You need to be patient while your loved one takes time in recalling words or trying to speak.
Give only one direction at a time and use short sentences. Give the patient time to understand what you were saying. Use body languages like facial expression, voice tone, and non-verbal cues. Make eye contact while talking to them.
Try not to ask them questions that challenge their short-term memory. Please do not ask questions about whether they remember something from last night or not.
Promote safe surroundings
Dementia patients have less capability of making judgments and problem-solving. It increases their risk of injury. As a caretaker, you have to create a safer environment for dementia patients. Prevent falls by avoiding extension cords, scatter rugs, and clutter.
Install handrails for the patients to hold and maintain balance. Install locks on cupboards containing medicines, alcohol, tools, and toxic cleaning substances. Keep lighters and match sticks away from your loved ones.
Make a fire extinguisher accessible to you in the house. Ensure checking water temperature before the person with dementia uses it. Reduce the thermostat on the heater to avoid skin burns.
You can install home security systems cameras to watch out for their activities. New digital devices like watches with GPS are available to track their movement. It will ensure their safety in the house.
Exercise and in-house activities
People with dementia walk several times a day without any specific reason. It may be because of boredom, medicine side-effects, or frequent need to use the toilet. To reduce unnecessary movement, fix a time for physical activity in a day.
Simple exercises or walking in the surroundings will reduce restlessness. Dementia patients can also practice yoga or meditation. It will keep their minds and body active.
Apart from exercise, you can involve dementia patients in several in-house activities. Make them play games like Ludo, scrabble, and cards to make their brain sharp. It will reduce their boredom to an extent. Dementia patients can listen to soothing music to relax their minds during the day.
People who have dementia face different challenges. Be it difficulty remembering things, expressing thoughts, and performing daily chores. Amidst this, caring for your loved one with such symptoms is tedious. You need to be patient and control your agitation at all times. The above dementia care tips will help you give appropriate support to the loved ones.