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7 Ways to Approach Caring for a Senior Loved One Who Has Dementia

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Caring for a parent with dementia can mean helping with many challenges, such as disorientation and memory loss. These challenges can also be stressful for family caregivers, increasing the risk of burnout. However, the strategies mentioned below can make daily tasks less stressful and enhance daily life for seniors and their family caregivers.

1. Be Open to a Variety of Caregiving Methods

Accepting help from others and trying new caregiving techniques aren’t signs of failure. If you maintain a receptive attitude, it could encourage more family members to help out, freeing up time for you to handle personal errands and various self-care activities. It’s okay to question some caregiving strategies, especially if your loved one’s safety is at risk. However, if the tips other caregivers offer can alleviate dementia symptoms and simplify daily life for you and your loved one, you should consider accepting the alternative methods.

Having a professional caregiver 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 senior home care. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized 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.

2. Show Empathy

Dementia caregivers need to have compassion and empathy for their loved ones. Seniors living with dementia are more likely to become forgetful and confused, even about simple things like names and directions. Show empathy to your loved one instead of becoming upset and lecturing him or her. Expressions of empathy can often alleviate agitation and prevent many of the behavioral challenges older adults with dementia experience.

3. Set Realistic Goals

There’s currently no cure for dementia, but there are ways to boost your loved one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Healthy lifestyle choices can slow the progression of the disorder and enhance your parent’s mood. However, you need to be realistic when setting goals to prevent you and your loved one from becoming upset if things don’t go as planned. Setting realistic goals could give you both the motivation to go on as the condition progresses.

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 caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Colorado Springs 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.

4. Remove Clutter from the Home

A disorganized environment could be stressful for seniors living with dementia because clutter can lead to sensory overload. Remove all unused items from rooms and hallways. A calm and clutter-free home can soothe your loved one and provide him or her with a peaceful atmosphere.

5. Learn about Dementia

Dementia is more than memory impairment. The chronic disorder can also impact physical and higher-level mental abilities. Learn as much as possible about the condition and develop a proper care plan. Understanding the symptoms of dementia and developing care management strategies could make caregiving less stressful for you and your family.

6. Use Effective Communication Techniques

Comprehension challenges are typical in seniors with dementia, but if you speak clearly, your loved one’s ability to follow along and carry on a conversation may increase. Refrain from asking multiple questions when speaking, and give your loved one plenty of time to answer before moving on with the discussion. You should also use simple words and avoid using a negative tone of voice when talking to your loved one.

7. Distract and Redirect

Combative behavior is a common symptom of dementia, but distracting your loved one’s attention can calm the situation and prevent a violent outburst. When you notice your loved one becoming upset, try to change the subject and choose a more relaxing topic. Redirecting your loved one’s attention to a new topic or activity may be the best strategy.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Colorado Springs 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional dementia care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (719) 822-1229.