Here are the things to know about when caring for a person with Dementia. It is a general term for loss of memory, thinking, and reasoning skills that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. A person affected by Dementia may have problems with language, memory, behavior, and emotions.
Different Kinds of Dimentia:
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
Normal pressure hydrocephalus
Caring for a person with Dementia can have many challenges. Listed below are some tips on how to overcome the challenges or barriers that are associated with caring for someone with Dementia.
Communicating with someone who has Dementia can be one of the most challenging parts of their care because they may have difficulty with language, memory, and emotions. They may have trouble expressing themselves and communicating clearly.
Tips in communicating with someone with Dementia:
1. Limit distractions:
Turn the TV and the radio off or move to a quiet setting before speaking. Make sure you have their attention. Identify yourself by name and relation, call them by their name, and maintain eye contact.
2. Ask simple questions:
Close-ended questions where a simple “yes” or “no” answer will suffice. Ask one question at a time and avoid giving too many options.
3. Be patient:
Be patient with the seniors and give them time to respond. You can help prompt them with words if they are having trouble finding the right ones.
4. Be affectionate:
Help keep them encouraged. Respond with physical expressions such as holding hands, touching, hugging, and praising.
5. Give step-by-step instructions:
You can make tasks more manageable by breaking down directions into simple steps.
Communication Tip: Be affectionate
When communicating with someone with Dementia, respond with physical expressions such as holding hands, touching, hugging, and praise to help keep them encouraged.
Here are some ways to help make sure that individuals with Dementia get the nutrition they need.
Serve foods that are familiar to them.
Offer snacks and small meals regularly.
Give one course at a time so they are not overwhelmed.
Serve food on plain dishes. Avoid dishes that have patterns.
• Some individuals may have difficulty chewing or swallowing. Serve them foods that are easy to swallow. Eat with them so they can see you chewing.
• Set an alarm to remind them about mealtimes.
People with Dementia may have lost interest in maintaining their personal hygiene. Follow these tips to help them:
Play calming music during bath time.
Once they are calmer during parts of the day, use that time to do their hygiene routine.
Give simple step-by-step instructions and be patient and encouraging.
Pay attention to the environment, such as water temperature and lighting, and make it comfortable for the senior.
AGGRESSION, CONFUSION and AGITATION
Here are some ways caregivers can help when a person with Dementia become angry, confused, and agitated:
If the person you care for becomes aggressive:
• Try to see what triggers the aggression.
• Remove any items in the house that could be used to cause harm. You can put locks on cupboards containing knives and sharp objects.
• Make sure that doctors and family members know about a senior’s aggressive behavior.
• Protect yourself. Plan safe places in the house that you can go to in case there is an outburst.
If the person you care for becomes confused:
Avoid making changes to their environment such as rearranging furniture or adding new items to the home.
Post notes and reminders on bulletin boards as a way for them to know upcoming events or important reminders.
Put nightlights in hallways and bathrooms so they can find their way in the dark.
Keep some large clocks and calendars throughout the house so they can reference the day and time.
If the person you care for becomes agitated:
Reduce intake of foods that cause spikes in energy such as sugar and caffeine.
Use gentle music, touch, walking or reading to help stop agitation.
Keep the same routine each day to avoid confusion. Keep photos and familiar objects throughout the house to offer a sense of security.
.Distract the senior with an activity or a snack. This can help them forget the incident.
Home Care Tip: It can be extremely frustrating for seniors living with Dementia. Help them maintain their dignity and safety by continuing to treat them as individuals and being patient with their unique needs.
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