Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Whether you’re providing occasional assistance or more involved care, being aware of certain aspects of this type of care can help you be a more effective and less stressed caregiver. Below, you’ll find some of the best practices associated with dementia care to keep in mind.
Learning about Your Loved One’s Dementia
Get into the habit of learning as much as you can about your loved one’s type of dementia. As a caregiver, taking this initial step can help you prepare for some of the challenges you may encounter as your loved one’s condition advances.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. 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 home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Repeating questions, becoming easily confused about surroundings, and sudden agitation, moodiness, and aggression are some of the dementia-related issues your loved one may experience and cause unintentional frustration on your part. With situations like these, get into the practice of being empathetic and putting yourself in your loved one’s shoes. Also, realize your loved one is doing his or her best to manage the changes dementia is causing.
Having Realistic Expectations
Most long-term dementia caregivers understand there are good days and bad days in terms of symptoms, behaviors, and care demands. If you’re just getting started providing this type of care, keep your expectations and goals realistic. This typically means understanding that:
- Maintaining comfort and safety should be your top goals
- Some types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are irreversible and progressive
- Home-based therapies may not be entirely successful, but that’s okay
Realizing Dementia Isn’t Just Memory Loss
Whether your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, or another dementia-related condition, be prepared for more than just memory loss. Changes within the brain can also contribute to personality changes, delusions, hallucinations, difficulty with concentration and focus, and behavioral issues. Dementia, especially during the later stages, can also affect the ability to take care of grooming, toileting, bathing, and other activities of daily living.
You’re not going to be a fully effective dementia caregiver if accepting help and support isn’t one of your care-related practices. Support can include turning to neighbors, friends, and other family members for assistance whenever possible and acknowledging the fact that you can’t do everything yourself. Support can also involve:
- Joining an online or in-person support group
- Having a friend or family member to confide in
- Using respite care when you need a break to recharge physically and mentally
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Families looking for top-rated Columbus home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Planning for the Future
Another best practice for dementia care is to plan for the future, which includes attending to financial concerns, thinking about what will happen when your parent’s care needs become more demanding, and considering what’s ultimately best for your loved one. These decisions won’t have to be made all at once. Still, it can be helpful to discuss care-related preferences for the future with your loved one while he or she is still able to provide input.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Columbus live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.