Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

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Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

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It can be quite challenging to care for a loved one suffering from dementia. People with dementia have to battle with a progressive brain disorder which makes it harder to think clearly, remember things, communicate and care for themselves. Additionally, dementia can lead to mood swings. It can even change the behavior and personality of a person. This article will provide some tips to help you handle the task of caring for a loved one with dementia.

How To Care for Someone with Dementia

Dementia affects the ability to communicate emotions and thoughts. This means that they might find it hard to tell you what they need. They also might not understand you when you ask them a question. It can be frustrating when this happens. Hopefully, the following tips can help to improve communication and reduce stress:

1. Try your best to remain positive. Keep your body language and your tone of voice calm. Ensure that facial expression is controlled. Speak in a tone that is pleasant and touch your loved one to keep their attention.

2. Make sure that you're clear in your communication. Speak calmly and slowly. Make use of simple words and sentences. Be ready to repeat a question or information multiple times. You shouldn't become frustrated if this occurs. Try to ask closed-ended questions that require only yes or no answers.

3. When your loved one becomes angry, upset or sad, you shouldn't ignore it. Make them understand that you acknowledge their feelings while doing your best to calm them.

Take Care of Yourself

Even though you're taking care of someone that needs your help, you still need to take time out to care for yourself. If you're fatigued, you will not be able to help your loved one in the right manner. If you feel like taking a break, you should perhaps try these:

1. Seek assistance from friends, relatives and community organizations.
2. Find caregiver support groups. There are other people dealing with most of what you have encountered. They may have more experience and may even suggest some solutions that you may not have thought of.
3. You can consider respite care. This is short-term care given to people with dementia. This will give the caregiver a much-needed break. Since they are experienced in this department, they will most likely have a detailed nursing care plan for dementia meant to help your loved one.
4. You can also consider daycare centers for adults. They provide a consistent environment for your loved one and it will also give him or her the opportunity to socialize.

Agitation

Your family member might become agitated. This could be because of several reasons. A change in surroundings could lead to this. This could include moving to a new home, hospital or nursing home. Other causes include answering questions incorrectly, getting dressed, being challenged about their confusion, etc. To reduce agitation, try these tips:

1. Avoid overstimulation and loud noises. A calm environment with familiar properties will ease anxiety and fear.

2. Don't set unrealistic expectations of your loved one as you could end up getting frustrated if or when they cannot be fulfilled.

3. Reduce the number of hard tasks. Try to plan these tasks during periods where they're not agitated.



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