Dementia is characterized by progressive symptoms—such as memory loss, disorientation, and aggression—that can make caregiving difficult. Learning about the issues that can arise for family caregivers can help you develop strategies to combat those problems without compromising your senior loved one’s health and safety. Below are some tips to use when caring for a loved one with dementia at home.
1. Don’t Correct Your Loved One
Remembering who people are or where various items were placed can be challenging for aging adults with dementia due to the condition’s effect on the brain. Avoid correcting your loved one, because it could cause guilt and embarrassment and lead to aggressive behavior. Instead, help your loved one find the misplaced items or show him or her pictures to trigger memories.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Colorado Springs 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.
2. Provide a Consistent Routine
Although your parent may find it difficult to remember certain people and things, having a daily schedule in place can provide a sense of normalcy. The consistency can be reassuring, especially as it becomes difficult to learn new things. If you need to make changes to the routine, do so gradually to prevent your loved one from becoming frustrated, confused, and combative.
3. Promote Exercise
Staying physically active can help seniors with dementia maintain adequate blood flow to the brain, which stimulates cell growth and boosts cognitive health. Encourage your loved one to work out as often as possible. The best exercises are those that can be altered based on your loved one’s cognitive and physical abilities. Activities such as walking, swimming, dancing, and yoga can boost brain function in older adults with dementia.
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 Colorado Springs senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. 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.
4. Show Affection
Holding your parent’s hand, gently stroking his or her face, or brushing his or her hair could enhance your loved one’s mood and increase positive behaviors. Such displays of affection can send a message of love, support, and encouragement, which is what older adults with dementia need as they lose control of their cognitive abilities and motor skills. If you notice your loved one becoming worried or agitated, merely holding his or her hand could provide a feeling of safety.
5. Remain Calm
Sympathy and patience are key when caring for seniors with dementia. Failing to remain calm in even the most challenging situations could cause a combative episode to escalate and pose a safety risk for both you and your loved one. However, staying calm allows you to reduce the tension in the room while you distract and redirect your loved one’s attention.
6. Get Help
Many caregivers are reluctant to let others step in and offer assistance because they feel like they’d be letting their loved ones down. Failing to accept help from others could increase your odds of exhaustion and caregiver burnout. To provide adequate care for your parent, you’ll need to take time away to recharge and regroup.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services, give us a call at (719) 822-1229 today.