Strategies for Caring for a Parent with Dementia at Home

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Most family caregivers take on the role without any experience or training, which can make it more challenging to care for a loved one with an age-related condition such as dementia. Caregivers often don’t know what type of tasks to take on, which foods their loved ones should avoid, or the choices they need to make in emergencies. However, you can use the tips below to provide at-home care for an aging loved one with dementia. 

Don’t Argue

Logical thinking can be challenging for older adults with dementia, and they can experience delusions and hallucinations. They may see things that aren’t there or falsely accuse their caregivers and loved ones. The disorder is causing brain damage that prevents them from thinking logically, and trying to make them see things clearly can be an even more significant challenge. 

Instead of arguing with your loved one, make him or her feel secure. Offer verbal reassurance, letting your loved one know you’re there to keep him or her safe and that everything will be okay. Arguing can cause seniors with dementia to become aggressive and violent. 

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

Use Lying Techniques

Being honest with your loved one is important, but there may be situations that require you to withhold information. For example, if you’ve promised to take your loved one on a social outing, it’s okay to schedule the activity on the same day as a doctor appointment. While you’re out, you can stop and take your loved one to the doctor. Saying it’s a coincidence may not be truthful, but if your parent doesn’t like going to the doctor, the lie could help you avoid a negative situation. Scheduling the appointment on the same day as a fun outing could make your loved one less resistant to seeing the doctor. 

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in dementia care can be a tremendous asset. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan 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.

Do Your Best

Even the best dementia caregivers fail to achieve some of their goals, which is why you need to give your all and learn to accept the bad days with the good moments. There’s no such thing as a perfect caregiver, and trying to be one can lead to stressful situations and a full range of negative emotions. Accepting your best can prevent you from being let down when things don’t go as planned regarding your loved one’s treatment and quality of life. All you can do is follow the recommendations of your parent’s primary care physician and provide adequate at-home care. 

Take Charge

Giving your loved one too many options may confuse and agitate him or her, especially as dementia progresses and he or she is unable to comprehend things as well as in the past. Therefore, you should tell your loved one what you’re eating for dinner instead of asking what he or she would like. It’s okay to have your loved one help out in the kitchen, but try to take charge when doing physical and social activities together. 

Keep in mind dementia destroys brain cells and may prevent your loved one from communicating. In these instances, your loved one may have difficulty saying what he or she wants, causing combative behavior. Instead, you can make things less chaotic by telling your loved one, in a respectful manner, what needs to be done. 

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 Clearwater homecare services 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. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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