As a carer for a senior loved one with dementia, you may face numerous challenges. Those with dementia have memory impairment and communication deficits and may be unable to take care of themselves. Here are some practical tips for managing the challenges of caring for a senior loved one living with dementia.
1. Avoid Open-Ended Questions
Seniors with dementia are sometimes unable to communicate effectively. Avoid asking open-ended questions. In addition, avoid giving your loved one multiple choices. Instead, simply ask questions such as “Would you like coffee or tea?” or “Do you want to go for a walk or take a nap?” People with dementia may have an easier time communicating their preferences when closed-ended questions rather than open-ended questions are asked.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Sydney seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
2. Make Your Message Known
Ageing people with dementia not only have cognitive deficits, but they also may have hearing problems. When talking to your loved one, speak clearly, make sure you’re loud enough to be heard, and position yourself in front of him or her. This way, your loved one can read your lips if he or she is having difficulty hearing or understanding your message.
3. Look Happy
Never appear irritated or impatient in front of your loved one. While people with cognitive deficits may not be able to understand everything, they can still sense hostility or displeasure in their carers. Staying positive when providing care to your loved one may also prevent aggressive behaviour if he or she is in the combative stage of the disease.
4. Take Your Time
When bathing, dressing, grooming, or feeding your loved one, break down the tasks into easy-to-perform steps. People with dementia become overwhelmed easily, and if activities take too long, your parent may become tired or anxious. Breaking down tasks into manageable steps may even help your loved one remember things he or she has forgotten. When seniors with cognitive deficits aren’t rushed, they’re less anxious, and their thinking skills may increase.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caring duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Sydney home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
5. Go for a Stroll
Exercise is important for everyone, including people with diminished cognitive or physical function. It promotes circulation to the brain, boosts memory, eases pain, and promotes optimal sleep patterns. Taking a leisurely walk after dinner may brighten your loved one’s mood and prepare him or her for a restful slumber. Make sure to avoid exercise too close to bedtime because it may overexcite your loved one.
6. Offer Healthy Foods
Nutrition plays an important role in brain function and may slow the progression of dementia. Encourage your loved one to eat fresh fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients can prevent anxiety and depression and may even increase blood flow to the brain. Consuming a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can also prevent nutritional deficiencies.
7. Maintain a Quiet Environment
Avoid overstimulating your loved one. If the volume on the television or radio is too high, it can cause agitation and aggressive behaviour in some people with dementia. Also, if there are multiple conversations going on around your loved one, ask people to speak in lower tones or move to another room to continue their conversations.
Having a professional care worker nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s safety and comfort. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same in-home care services. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of ageing. Call us today at (02) 9158 3880 to learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services.