Caring for a parent with dementia
Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's requires a great deal of patience and time commitment. As the condition progresses there will be frustration and agitation when simple tasks become difficult for your parent to manage.
Here are some tips that will enable you to encourage and communicate more effectively with your loved one:
Speak clearly using short sentences and give them time to respond. Don't try to speed up their answers.
Maintain eye contact and offer reassurance.
Ask one question at a time.
Understand and allow the time to complete daily tasks. Know that the tasks may take longer than they did in the past.
Keep cherished photos and objects on display. Familiar items that produce good memories can help your loved one feel more secure.
Reduce clutter and noise. Overstimulation from loud noise, an overactive environment, and clutter can cause irritation and aggression.
Having and maintaining a routine is very important. Keeping task such as bathing, dressing, grooming and appointments are easier for your loved one when they are most alert and energized.
Assist your loved one with putting together a daily to-do list. Include appointments, events, and activities that they enjoy doing. Incorporate looking at photo albums, listening to music, and taking a walk.
Allow your parent to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance.
Keep in mind that they are still your parent. Offer support and encouragement, engage them in conversation. Don't contradict answers but stay focused on the feelings they are demonstrating through verbal and physical expression.
Offer choices and keep clear, one-step instructions.
Avoid prolonged naps to minimize the risk of reversing night and day time.
Create a safe environment. Use locks, lower the hot-water heater temperature, have fire safety precautions, remove and items that could cause falls, install grab bars and safety rails.
Each person experiences symptoms and progression differently. Many people with dementia and Alzheimer's live at home successfully by making simple adjustments and with having the support of In Home Care services. A skilled caregiver can help minimize stress and anxiety and create a calm, peaceful environment where loved ones can thrive from early to end stages.
At Easy Living Services we have helped to support Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones safe and fulfilled at home since 1994. Call to explore whether Home Care is a good option for your loved one. 770-442-8664.