Dementia is a common illness among adults aged 65 and above. In the United States, around 5.7 million Americans live with the disorder characterized by an impaired ability to remember and think.
Dementia is a difficult condition not only for those who are afflicted but also for their loved ones. If your loved ones have been diagnosed with dementia, here are some tips that can help you cope with it:
A primary concern among the families of patients who have dementia is providing care. While, right now, they may seem healthy, at some point, their cognitive abilities will decline. They will be unable to perform day-to-day tasks.
Talk to your loved one about getting help. You and other family members, who cannot be around all the time due to school or work, can ask help from companion care services. Professionals can come to a senior’s home for a few hours every day or once a week to complete regular chores such as tidying and cooking. They may also aid your loved one in taking a bath or getting dressed, taking their medicines on time, etc.
You may also want to look into adult daycares. They offer a range of activities to keep your loved one entertained, happy, and healthy while you are away at work. These sorts of facilities also provide seniors opportunities to socialize with other people who are in their age range. Older adults are prone to loneliness due to isolation which can lead to a myriad of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
Finally, when things go south and you are no longer confident that they can be safe inside their home, you need to transfer them to a nursing home. A nursing home provides regular assistance and long-term care for seniors. Aside from skilled caregivers, other medical professionals will also be on-call to respond to health concerns.
It is important to discuss these decisions with an aging parent. They might turn it down and think that they can still do things on their own. Explain your concerns and how these changes can help them live a better life.
Develop New Routines
People with dementia can benefit from having a daily routine. As a caregiver, try to stick with a strict schedule to help orientate them.
For example, every morning, wake them up, serve their meals, bathe and dress them, and take them out for walks at the same time and in the same places. You should also try to involve them in activities as much as possible. Let them pick and put on their clothes or brush their teeth on their own.
Brace for Changes in Communication
As the disease progresses, your loved one will forget names and words, would be easily confused, and may experience inappropriate outbursts. It will be frustrating but do not be angry at them. They do not have control over their behavior.
Talk to them calmly and slowly. Keep your sentences short, clear, and concise. If you feel like your patience is about to run out, cut the conversation and take a break.
There are treatments available to address symptoms of dementia, but there currently is no cure for the disorder. You can make their lives easier and happier by providing them the care that they need.