Dementia is something that impacts not only the person diagnosed, but their loved ones. It can be extremely difficult trying to navigate through the physical challenges that caring for someone with dementia entails, as well as the emotional impact that it inevitably will have.
Dementia affects people in different ways. Those with dementia may lose track of time, mix day and night up, slowly lose their memories or their ability to eat and talk. They may also become depressed or agitated and aggressive.
The changes to a person with dementia can make it difficult to know how to give them support.
Here are some ways on how to care for someone with dementia.
Therapeutic lying is okay sometimes
People with dementia may lose track of reality. It is okay to sometimes go along with his or her version of reality, as long as it is not hurting anyone. It may be less stressful for both parties.
Don’t ask questions
While it is understandable that you would want to know their opinion and give them what they want, – such as asking them what they want for dinner – people with dementia may not have the capabilities to answer. Instead, telling them that it is dinner time and sitting them down at the table to eat will encourage them more to eat rather than putting them in a position to make a decision.
Use clothing with elastic lining or Velcro
As the dementia worsens, they may become incontinence (lose control of their bladder/bowel). To make it easier for the caregiver to manage their continence needs, use clothing that has Velcro or an elastic waistband. This makes it easier to care for someone with dementia as it enables the caregiver to easily remove and put clothing back on again.
Change the way you communicate
Often, communicating with someone with dementia may be difficult as they could lose the ability to communicate clearly with others. In this case, use short and simple sentences in order to help them understand what you are trying to say. Body language and touch is also a major factor in communicating and caring for someone with dementia so use positive body language in to convey your message.
Try to remember that it will take them a lot longer to understand what you are saying so give them time to respond.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are thinking about asking for professional help in caring for a loved one with dementia, it is a common feeling to feel inadequate or that you have left them down. This is not the case. Dementia is a difficult to navigate through and so looking for support is completely okay.
Care1 offers professional support in caring for the elderly, including those with dementia. We are not only experienced in this area of care, but we are sensitive to their changing needs as well as to their family and friends.
If you are looking for support, please get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you.