The Alzheimer’s Association reports that approximately 15 million people in the United States care for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Most family caregivers likely agree the task is quite challenging, and there are several factors they must consider to ensure they’re providing effective care.
Caregivers must continually gain information about care techniques as well as the type of dementia their loved one was diagnosed with. Knowing how dementia affects behaviors prevents family members from taking it personally when their loved one acts out unusually or displays unpleasant behaviors. By staying informed, caregivers have a better idea of what they might expect while also learning how to manage different situations.
Take a Proper Approach
Addressing seniors with dementia from behind can frighten them. They may react by simply appearing startled, or they may become agitated and angry. When you want to have a conversation or convey a request, approach your loved one slowly from the front. Call him or her by name, and speak softly and calmly.
Depending on the stage of dementia, your loved one may not be able to process long sentences. Keep the conversation simple. Ask questions that might be answered with a “yes” or “no.” Wait for your loved one to respond, and repeat the question if necessary. If your loved one has difficulty finding the words to answer, offer responses that might be appropriate to the situation. This way, he or she can simply answer “yes” or “no.”
The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care San Antonio, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
If your loved one becomes agitated, nervous, or angry, determine the underlying cause. For instance, your loved one might be in pain or need to use the bathroom, or he or she might be hungry or thirsty or feel confused by an environment that’s too noisy. At night, when seniors with dementia tend to wander, they’re often trying to fulfill a need. Take the time to calmly learn the reason behind wandering behaviors.
Wandering, confusion, anger, and frustration are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. San Antonio seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Seniors with dementia often repeat words and phrases constantly. Your loved one may have difficulty understanding what you’re trying to convey, and there may be times when his or her behavior seems irrational. Whatever the situation, you need to understand that your loved one cannot control his or her thought processes or feelings at the moment. They are all part of the disease process that prevents the brain from receiving and interpreting information. Be patient. Show compassion and understanding, and offer loving encouragement and support.
Have a Plan in Place
Dementia often progresses to the point where care is needed 24 hours a day. Caregivers and family members must have a plan in place for when that day comes. Perhaps other family members will assist at certain times during the day or night. Families might also consider working with a respite caregiver. Respite care services employ professional staff who have the training and experience needed to provide proper care for with seniors with dementia.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted San Antonio In-Home Care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (210) 495-6300 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.