We know that providing care to loved ones with dementia can be challenging, and often isolating, for family caregivers. We understand that you may be frustrated and unsure of how to handle the day-to-day challenges of caring for someone with dementia. As your partner in care, we encourage you to try some of our most effective dementia care tips today.
Maintain Structure and Routine
Research shows a daily routine allows people with dementia to function better, experience better moods and less anxiety. Develop a sense of structure by maintaining consistent wake, sleep and meal times. Communicate the daily routine and what to expect next, even if they may not completely understand.
Maintaining hydration is critical to good health. Dehydration can cause medical destabilization, confusion, agitation and promote infection. Offer water in a small, rather than large, glass of water. Make it a social activity by also drinking your own glass of water at the same time.
Enter your Loved one's Reality
Don’t argue with people with dementia when something they say is obviously incorrect. Arguing will make them feel angry and that you do not respect them. Instead of arguing, join them in their personal reality when talking about the present or the past.
Focus on Feelings not Facts
Make increasing their positive feelings a daily goal. This can be achieved by engaging them in activities they enjoy. By accommodating their personal preferences, you’ll have better results and help them experience positive feelings. Look into family dynamics Family tensions can deeply affect people with dementia and can cause difficult behavior – even refusal of care. Be sensitive to family dynamics and recognize that tension and negative feelings can impact acceptance of care.
Don’t be a Hero
You can’t do it alone. Often, as a family caregiver, feelings of being overwhelmed make caregiving an emotional experience. It is important to remember that as a caregiver you need not, nor should you try to, travel this road alone. Seek help and avoid burnout.
Remember the adage “your actions speak louder than words.” With dementia, nonverbal skills become all important as their verbal skill start to fail. Other tips include: keep it simple, ask one question at a time, use yes/no questions, simplify but don’t eliminate choices, and avoid asking questions that require factual answers. Avoid using the words and phrases: “don’t,” “you can’t” and “I told you.”
Please contact us for more information.