Taking care of a person with dementia may be an exhausting and emotionally draining experience. However, you’re not the only one experiencing this. More than 16 million individuals in the United States and many more across the globe are caring for someone with dementia.
Despite the lack of a cure for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, your care and support may significantly influence the quality of your loved one’s life. However, people might quickly get discouraged and overwhelmed by the progressive decline in their loved one’s cognitive, physical, and functional skills.
The caring experience might vary significantly from person to person, just as each person with dementia develops differently. So, here are 6 tips to make your caring experience more joyful and less challenging.
1. Be Well-versed In Your Loved One’s Condition
The more you study Alzheimer’s and how it’s likely to advance, the better prepared you’ll be to deal with the inevitable problems, lessen your irritation, and cultivate appropriate expectations. Generally, caregiving skills may be learned via various mediums, including books, aged care courses, and the internet.
2. Be Patient and Keep Things Simple
When ordinary chores become more difficult for someone with dementia, they may get irritated. Keeping things simple and manageable is essential to relieving the burden on yourself and others.
Here are some ways to help you simplify your tasks:
- Organize your time effectively
- Do not rush
- Be sure to include the individual
- Provide a range of options
- Provide easy-to-follow guidance
- Restrain yourself from taking too many naps
- Cut off loud noises or any distractions
3. Adapt to the Situation
A person with dementia will grow more reliant on others over time. Adapting your expectations and routine might help alleviate some of the stress that comes with it. So, consider purchasing a few similar clothes if, for example, they want to dress the same way every day. If taking a bath is a chore, cutting down on how frequently you do it could help.
4. Create a Safe Atmosphere
People with dementia are more likely to be hurt because their reasoning and problem-solving abilities are impaired. To ensure the well-being of others:
- Prevent Fall
Clutter, like carpets and cables, should be kept to a minimum. Handrails and grab bars should be installed in high-risk situations.
- Lock Doors
By installing locks on the doors, secure cabinets contain potentially hazardous items, such as medicines, alcohol, firearms, poisonous cleaning agents, and potentially dangerous utensils and equipment.
- Make Sure the Water Temperature Is Correct
Make sure that the water is at the correct temperature. Avoid being burnt by adjusting the water heater’s thermostat temperature.
- Take Precautionary Procedures In Case of Fire
Keep lighters and matches out of reach. Always oversee smoking if the person with dementia is a smoker. A fire extinguisher should be readily available, as should smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and both should have new batteries.
5. Emphasize Tailored Treatment Options
Dementia uniquely affects each individual, and no two cases are identical. Adapt these helpful hints to fit the specific requirements of your family member.
With patience and flexibility, combined with self-care and the support of friends and family, you can handle the obstacles and disappointments ahead of you.
6. Relieve Short-term Memory Problems
In the early stages, your loved one may require reminders to help them remember appointments, recollect words or names, keep track of prescriptions, or handle bills and money, for example.
A relationship with your loved ones is the best way to keep them from losing their freedom. Your loved one may need your aid in remembering a term or agreeing to double-check their finances before paying their bills. Encourage them to write reminders in a notepad or on their phone and have them close to reach.
As your loved one’s dementia worsens, learning about the condition can help you understand what to anticipate and what you can do to assist. It’s easy to disregard your own needs as you focus on meeting theirs. The best way to prevent being overwhelmed and suffering burnout is to acquire the support you need physically and emotionally. Forbes Pro Magazine has a wealth of information and resources for caregivers, including tips on managing stress and accessing support networks. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it.