Caring for a senior with dementia can strengthen your bond, but the role can also be overwhelming. You need to find ways to alleviate caregiver stress without compromising your parent’s care. Here are some tips to help you provide great at-home care for an aging loved one with dementia.
1. Make the Home Safer
Environmental factors are often the reason seniors with dementia become fearful, angry, and aggressive. However, you can make simple changes to the home to ease your loved one’s fear and make him or her feel more secure within the environment. For instance, installing night-lights throughout the home can help your loved one move around without hallucinating, and adding grab bars in the bathroom can reduce his or her fear of falling when taking a bath.
2. Promote Independence
Learn as much as possible about your parent’s condition. Dementia is a progressive disorder, so your loved one will maintain most of his or her cognitive abilities during the early stages. Allowing your loved one to take on daily tasks at home could slow the progression of the condition and boost his or her confidence levels. When you educate yourself on the disorder and its different stages, you can gain an understanding of what you should step in to help with and what daily tasks your loved one should continue doing alone.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Vancouver 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.
3. Get Support
Even if you have experience providing at-home care to a loved one with dementia, you’ll likely need additional help from family members or a professional caregiver. The extra support gives you time away to handle your personal needs, which could include going to the gym, attending social outings with friends, catching up on rest, or working on your personal goals. Taking on too much decreases your self-care time, which can be detrimental to your health and your parent’s safety.
Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s wellbeing. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Use Communication Devices
Due to the verbal, visual, and memory impairment dementia causes, it may be difficult to communicate with your loved one. Poor communication is one of the causes of combative behavior, and it could disrupt the atmosphere. Use communication devices that allow your loved one to relay his or her wants and needs to you and others. Some of the tools you should use include:
• Communication boards
• Emotion cards
• Pens and notepads
• Smartphone apps
• Photo telephones
5. Make the Most of the Bad Days
It can be difficult to watch your loved one’s health deteriorate over time, and these challenges can be difficult to accept. Make the most of every moment, and celebrate the good and bad days. For instance, if you’re interacting with your loved one, he or she may be enjoying the activity but might not remember who you are. Celebrate the moment and remember your loved one isn’t in full control of his or her memory.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for family members. 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 Vancouver elderly 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. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to learn more about our customized dementia care plans.