Caring for a senior with dementia can be a challenge, but the only thing you can do is keep trying to maintain your aging loved one’s wellbeing. There are some standard healthcare guidelines most dementia care providers follow, and being aware of them can help you do what’s best for your loved one. Here are some of the most important care practice recommendations to keep in mind if someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia.
Continue to Respect Your Loved One’s Personality
One of the central tenets of the Alzheimer’s Association’s care guidelines is the idea of person-centered care. Essentially, caregivers often quit seeing seniors with dementia as their former selves, and this loss of identity causes a lot of stress and discomfort. It’s important to always speak to your loved one like a mature adult and refer to him or her respectfully by name. When possible, interact with your loved one in a way that reflects your original relationship instead of treating him or her like a child.
Include Your Loved One in Decision-Making
Best care practices emphasize focusing on the senior’s needs at all times, so it’s very important to include your loved one in decisions about his or her care. Instead of treating your loved one like a child, discuss his or her medical situation and ask for his or her input. Even if your loved one doesn’t seem to understand what’s happening, you may be surprised to find that he or she has opinions. Even asking simple questions like “Cheese or peanut butter sandwich for lunch?” can provide a sense of independence and control.
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 elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Prioritize Your Loved One’s Preferences
Many family caregivers make the mistake of insisting their loved ones behave “normally” at all times, which can lead to seniors developing depression, anxiety, and anger. Things like forcing your loved one to eat with a fork instead of his or her fingers, making him or her sleep in a bed instead of on the couch, or correcting your parent every time he or she uses the wrong name could cause a lot of unnecessary tension. Dementia care professionals often find it’s best to step back and let seniors with dementia do things their own way unless they’re hurting themselves.
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 Kennebunk 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.
Provide a Familiar Environment & Stable Routine
One thing many dementia experts have noticed is that seniors with dementia have better long-term memory than short-term memory. They tend to function better when they can follow old habits and remain in areas that are familiar to them. Therefore, the best care option can often be having a caregiver move into the senior’s home. If this isn’t possible, setting up furniture in a familiar layout and sticking to the same sleeping and eating patterns can prevent confusion or frustration.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Kennebunk families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Call us today at (207) 835-4849 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.