Dementia can be related to Alzheimer’s disease, but in many cases, the cause is unknown. Cognitive deficits related to dementia can range from mild to profound. Seniors with dementia may be at higher risk for accidents and injuries in the home as a result of cognitive decline. The following tips can help you be a more effective caregiver for your senior loved one with dementia.
1. Anticipate Needs
Caring for a senior with dementia means you’ll need to anticipate his or her needs. Dementia can sometimes make it difficult or even impossible for your loved one to express his or her needs, and your parent may be unable to tell you if he or she is hungry, thirsty, or sick. Make sure to always serve meals at the same time every day, offer plenty of fluids, and monitor your loved one for changes in his or her health.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Families looking for top-rated home care service providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
2. Provide Choices
Many people with dementia still want to maintain their independence, so it’s important to give your loved one choices, such as choosing which foods to eat and which clothes to wear. Give your parent plenty of time to decide because being rushed into making a choice could induce anxiety.
3. Monitor Hygiene
Dementia can make it difficult to meet daily hygiene needs. To ensure your loved one is clean and well-groomed, monitor his or her appearance and be aware of any pervasive odors that may be lingering around him or her. If you notice your loved one’s hygiene needs improvement, gently mention this to him or her.
If your parent is unable to perform his or her hygiene routine because of dementia, provide assistance. Even though your loved one may not understand what you’re doing, let him or her know what task you’re going to perform before you begin. For example, if you’re going to brush your parent’s hair, simply say so before you start.
Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Fort Lauderdale elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
4. Provide Emotional Support
Dementia can lead to uncertainty, anxiety, and fear in some individuals. One of the most important things you can do for your loved one is provide emotional support. Whether this means simply sitting quietly together or engaging your loved one in a favorite activity such as singing or watching a funny movie, simply knowing you’re near may give your loved one confidence and provide a sense of peace.
5. Assess Behavior Patterns
Behaviors in people with dementia can be unpredictable. This means one minute they can be quiet and calm, and then the next minute they may act out and become combative. Monitor your loved one for signs of agitation, such as fidgeting, pacing, and cursing. If you notice these types of behavior, gently redirect your parent and provide reassurance in a calming manner, as this may deescalate a potentially tense situation.
6. Maintain Health Routines
Your loved one may have cognitive challenges that make it difficult to keep up with health routines such as using prescribed eye drops to treat glaucoma. Your loved one may also be unable to remember to take prescribed medications due to dementia. Maintaining your loved one’s healthcare routines will ensure he or she stays healthy and early symptoms can be brought to the attention of his or her physician.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Fort Lauderdale families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. If you need professional care for your loved one, Assisting Hands Home Care is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (754) 432-8760.