5 Strategies for Assisting an Elderly Loved One Who Has Dementia

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Dementia affects every senior differently, and the rate of progression will also vary. Therefore, all family caregivers need to do is their best. Below are some tips you can use when caring for a senior loved one with dementia and the benefits of each tip.

1. Encourage Independence

Becoming more reliant on family caregivers is normal, and it can be stressful for seniors. You must determine when to step in and assist your loved one and when to back away. When you overstep, you might lower your loved one’s confidence levels and make him or her feel less dignified. You don’t want your loved one to feel worthless, so always ask before helping. A good strategy is to break daily tasks down into simple steps and adapt activities based on your loved one’s mental and physical capabilities.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Roseville 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.

2. Use Effective Communication Strategies

The cognitive challenges seniors with dementia experience can make it difficult to understand what they’re saying or how they feel. The good news is there are tools and therapies you can use to enhance communication, making daily life easier for both of you. When speaking with your loved one, encourage the use of communication boards, note cards, text messages and emails, emotion cards, and speech apps.

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 Roseville elder 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.

3. Promote Socialization

Maintaining a sense of involvement and inclusion is essential because it enhances mood and reduces the risk of depression. Interacting with others can also stimulate the senses and make it easier to connect. When choosing social activities, pick outings and tasks your loved one can do regardless of cognitive limitations. The more comfortable your loved one feels, the less likely he or she will be to withdraw from family and friends. Staying socially active can help your loved one maintain focus and slow the progression of memory loss.

4. Keep Routines Consistent

Losing their cognitive abilities can be overwhelming for older adults, which makes consistency vital to their wellbeing. Frequent changes to your loved one’s schedule could be confusing and cause behavioral challenges. You need to keep bath, meal, and bedtime routines as consistent as possible and only make changes when there’s no other option or when following orders from your loved one’s primary care physician. Although your loved one may not remember the names of people, places, and objects, following a consistent routine can provide a sense of stability.

5. Avoid Confrontation

When your parent is unreasonable, you’ll need to remain patient. Confronting your loved one could make him or her feel threatened and cause the situation to escalate. Instead of trying to explain what your loved one did wrong, try to make him or her feel safe and secure. Keep in mind the dementia is causing him or her to act out. You can calm your parent by distracting him or her with a new hobby, a healthy snack, or words of encouragement.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same senior home care. 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. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at 916.226.3737.