Dos & Don’ts of Dementia Care for Family Caregivers

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Dementia care is often new territory for families who are not certain of the best ways to ensure their elderly loved one’s wellbeing. Here are a few dos and don’ts that can help you address some of the most common complications of dementia.

Do: Use Visual Cues

The symptoms of dementia often affect a senior’s ability to comprehend a complicated set of instructions. For this reason, it is best to give your loved one a visual demonstration of new procedures. Providing visuals can ease frustration and put your loved one in a better mood.

Dementia and other types of cognitive issues can adversely impact your senior loved one’s health, making it difficult to provide care for him or her. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Safety Harbor Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Don’t: Take Things Personally

Agitation is a common symptom of dementia that families sometimes find difficult to handle. When your loved one lashes out at you, try to remember it is just the dementia speaking. If necessary, step away for a little bit until you have regained your sense of calm, then move on to another activity your loved one enjoys.

Do: Encourage Independence

Years ago, people with dementia were relegated to simply living out the rest of their lives with little hope for doing better. Fortunately, those days have changed, and it is now understood that seniors with dementia can keep their independence for far longer than anyone used to think was possible. Doing tasks independently starts a positive cycle of events because it increases the neural connections that help seniors retain their mental abilities.

Don’t: Avoid Directly Speaking to Your Loved One

When dementia affects speech, it is too easy to forget seniors can still listen and comprehend. Avoid talking about your loved one as if he or she is not in the room. Instead, ask physicians and other caregivers to speak directly to him or her. Even if your aging loved one can no longer respond to you, he or she may still appreciate the social contact.

Do: Discuss Long-Term Care Options Early

Bring up the topic of long-term care early on when your loved one is still able to provide his or her best level of input. Planning ahead also gives you time to explore options for care if your loved one decides to age in place.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Safety Harbor, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Don’t: Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help

Your loved one’s care needs will continue to change as the disease advances. Remember that what may have worked in the past might suddenly feel overwhelming. When this happens, have a list of people you can turn to for help. From calling your siblings to arranging for professional respite care, taking a break now and then allows you to be the best caregiver possible to your loved one.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need help caring for a senior loved one living with dementia. In Safety Harbor, FL, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family. Call Home Care Assistance at (727) 330-7862 to create a customized home care plan for your senior loved one.