Caring for a loved one with dementia can be demanding and stressful. Dementia-related illnesses can impair a person’s ability to think clearly, remember, or communicate coherently. As dementia progresses, your loved one’s needs will increase, and each day brings new challenges.
Helping someone with dementia to feel as comfortable, happy, and safe as possible is the biggest difference to their quality of life. The following are a few dementia caregiver tips can help with your day-to-day overall care:
Clearly communicate one step at a time with your loved one. Use simple words and short sentences, avoiding open ended questions or using complex language to limit confusion. Watch the tone of your voice, speaking calmly to the person.
Set a daily routine
A person with dementia is likely to feel frustrated and confused due to memory loss and uncertainty. Try to stick to a routine as much as possible, this provides your loved one with structure and familiarity. Keep consistent meals, wake up, and sleeping times each day.
Make their home as comfortable as possible
Someone with dementia will find clutter around the home more stressing. You may need to make some changes in the home to reduce unwanted clutter and put things away. Minimize background noise such as TV and try calming music instead. Keep lighting at comforting levels. Also, keep the house temperature suitable.
People with dementia often feel confused and anxious. Holding hands, touching, and hugging can provide them with comfort that everything’s okay. Stay focused on their feelings, respond with affection, and speak in a calm manner help them feel safe.
Laughter is the best medicine is for most people. It has been shown to be beneficial to those with memory loss; it can help them reduce stress, blood pressure, and make them – and you – feel better (since it lowers their stress levels). Laughter can help reduces the pressure you’re under as the caretaker.
Being active can slow down brain aging. Exercising regularly can stimulate blood circulation to the brain. Encourage the person you care for to workout for 20 – 30 minutes a day depending on their physical abilities, like walking outside or yoga. Another way to get the person you care for to stay active is to engage him or her in the daily activities they can help in, that make them feel useful and good about themselves. This can be done with activities such as helping in preparing a meal, folding laundry, or watering the flowers.