It can be confusing to know how best to care for your loved one with dementia. There are many resources available to facilitate the care of elderly people with dementia, but not all of them are suitable for your situation. This is especially true if you are going to provide your loved one with home care.
You do not need to feel helpless and frustrated if you decide to be a home caregiver. Caregivers are trained and dedicated to strategies to help people who are new to home care who are struggling. The most important part for you, as a home caregiver, is to choose a strategy that works for your adult loved one.
No two adult patients with dementia respond in the same way to a home care strategy. That’s why we’ve put together some of the most effective home care strategies to help loved ones with dementia, because we know that figuring out the right strategy takes time and effort. Read on to find the most beneficial care methods you can use to give your loved one the quality of home care they deserve.
Establish routine communication
Clear, consistent communication with a loved one can be difficult to achieve if he or she has dementia. A good strategy to adopt at the beginning of the life cycle of home care is to take advantage of it when you are the loved one is the most communicative. This can be at certain times of the day, before or after meals, or even when they are engaged in a favorite activity or activity.
Once you know when it’s easiest to communicate with your loved one, you can begin to engage them in important topics such as personal hygiene, exercise, and medical appointments to attend. These topics can be difficult to talk to if you feel confused or frustrated. However, it is important to maintain a consistent dialogue with your loved one as often as possible.
Always be calm and patient
Your loved one with dementia is experiencing moments of considerable confusion, fear and anger. When you notice that they get aroused, it is up to you to stay calm and be patient with them. One of the most common challenges faced by home caregivers is to let their emotions take the best of them.
As a home caregiver, you never want your loved one to feel like they can’t accept your help. But if you react angrily when they start to be stubborn, you will only make the problem worse. You can start working on this by paying more attention to your body language and the words you say when your loved one refuses or just can’t listen to you.
Sometimes, especially when your loved one just refuses to accept your help, the best thing you can do is just listen. Listening to an adult with dementia when he or she feels upset or scared can help you understand why he or she is resisting your help. This will help you stay calm and patient with your loved one, even when he is stubbornly reacting to your worries.
Listen more than you talk
Many home caregivers want to be clear with their words. They believe that having the last word with a loved one will make it easier for them to cooperate and communicate. But many times when that happens, your loved one is actually the one trying to get the word out.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to let your loved one talk when he’s annoyed with you during a discussion. You may not realize what is causing them unless you stop talking and listening. Something as simple as the middle or the time of day can make your loved one confused and disappointed.
Learn to listen more to your loved one words and body language. It is not always the case that they are obvious about what is bothering them, so you should make an effort to listen to both their words and their body. Listening more is also an effective way to improve your patience and ability as a home caregiver.
[highlight color=”yellow”]Also read: Dementia: A symptom rather than a disease[/highlight]
Learn more about dementia and how it affects your loved one
Dementia can be as scary for your loved one as it is for you. It is a neurological disease that affects different parts of the brain. This means that the way dementia manifests in your loved one can affect their personality as well as their memory.
Although it is difficult and almost always emotionally draining, you need to be aware of the different ways in which dementia can affect your loved one. Dementia always leads to a permanent decrease in brain function, so changes in behavior, mood and memory are likely. Many new home caregivers expect dementia to affect only the memories of their loved one, and unfortunately this is not usually the case.
You can better deal with the different ways your loved one will behave by understanding the different symptoms of dementia. Quality home care considers changes in temperament and personality as part of the stages of dementia. As your loved one’s dementia progresses to later stages, pay attention to how his or her personality changes and how you can react empathetically.
A little flexibility is a long way
As home care for a loved one with dementia, some days will always be easier than others. That’s why you need to allow yourself to be flexible and learn to meet your loved one halfway through things. This will save you much needed mental and emotional strength.
You can lose too much energy by arguing with your loved one and getting frustrated when you don’t remember things. Understand that older people with dementia will not always be able to complete the tasks you assign them to or function the way you expect. In these cases, show empathy and remain gentle with them to keep them happy.
Flexibility and simple empathy form the basis of good home care habits. You will become emotionally and mentally exhausted if you do not remain flexible with your loved one as his or her behavior continues to change. Remember to always put compassion first as you learn how to become a better home caregiver.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are those of individual authors and contributors only, not those of Credihealth and the editor (s).
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