How To Care For A Loved One With Dementia
Dementia refers to a wide range of conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, that alter brain function. Sufferers are known to endure memory loss as well as problems with speech, thoughts, and physical activity. As well, dementia is known to cause mood swings. Understandably, caregivers of people with dementia face uphill battles.
Because dementia can change a person’s personality and behavior, it’s important to exhibit a lot of patience and understanding. Let’s discuss a few key ways to care for a loved one with dementia adequately.
Establish a Daily Routine
Because memory loss is such a common symptom of dementia, it’s important to create a routine. Each day should involve some planned repetition to help the dementia patient in your life recall their daily requirements. This involves the morning routine, of course. Making breakfast together might be a great way to indicate the beginning of each day. Mayo Clinic encourages caregivers to schedule wisely.
“Some tasks, such as bathing or medical appointments, are easier when the person is most alert and refreshed,” says the site, “Allow some flexibility for spontaneous activities or particularly difficult days.”
Get the Family Involved in Group Activities
People who have dementia often bear the brunt of loneliness. This is because they tend to isolate themselves by either keeping to themselves or shutting others out. Remember that mood swings result from dementia. Do your best to lighten the mood and boost the morale of your care recipient. Naturally, you may need a little help with this. Encourage your family members to engage in activities that everyone can enjoy, including those with dementia.
“Help get an activity started or join in to make the activity more fun,” suggests Alzheimers.gov, “People with dementia may lack interest or initiative and can have trouble starting activities. But, if others do the planning, they may join in.”
Set a Positive Mood for Interaction
Your tone of voice can go a long way in making or breaking the mood of an individual with dementia. It’s important to remember that the sufferer’s brain function is impaired. As a result, they may not adequately understand what you’re saying. This is why slow, soft and gentle is the appropriate approach when speaking.
“Your attitude and body language communicate your feelings and thoughts more strongly than your words do,” informs Caregiver.org, “Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner. Use facial expressions, tone of voice, and physical touch to help convey your message and show your feelings of affection.”
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