Providing care for a person with dementia can feel as complicated as trying to wrap your mind around quantum physics. It entails trying to make sense of what seems nonsensical, and reacting in ways that seem counterintuitive to everything you have learned up to now. Yet with just a few basic strategies in your dementia care toolbox, you can feel more confident and effective in your role, and help the senior you love feel content, accepted, and understood.
How Can I Provide Better Alzheimer’s Care?
Following these tips from our Manchester caregivers and senior care providers throughout the surrounding areas is a wonderful starting place to overcome the common hurdles to providing the best dementia care.
- Accept imperfection. First and most importantly, give yourself the grace to be human. There will be plenty of times you wish you had dealt with a scenario in a different way, and that’s okay. Try not to blame yourself, and use the experience as a learning opportunity.
- Let go of reason. With dementia, typical logic and reasoning are frequently completely unproductive. As opposed to engaging in an argument over something you don’t agree on, such as the need to see the doctor, pivot to using simple, straightforward, and short statements, such as: “Let’s take a nice drive.”
- Sometimes, a little white lie is needed. With dementia, honesty is not always the best policy. It can trigger confusion, agitation, and a meltdown. If the individual believes she is an employee of the doctor’s office, play along with this alternate reality, possibly by providing a briefcase and some “paperwork” to take along to the next appointment.
- Leave extra time and space for self-sufficiency. You may find it easier to take charge of most of the day-to-day responsibilities the senior can no longer do easily or quickly. However, in trying to decrease the senior’s frustration, you could end up hampering their sense of self-worth. If getting dressed alone takes twice as long, plan for that additional time so neither of you feels rushed.
- Simplify questions. It may seem completely reasonable to ask the person what they would like for lunch, or what they want to do that evening. However, if the person is not able to articulate a response, it can lead to frustration that may rapidly escalate. A yes or no question may be more effective: “Would you like a salad for lunch?” Or, simply say to the person: “Let’s go to the park after dinner!”
- Remind yourself that it is ok to ask for assistance. Caring for a person with dementia is not a solo task. Dementia care, especially as the disease progresses, is a 24/7 endeavor, and trying to do it all yourself is a guaranteed way to experience burnout. When someone offers support, take it, and provide specific tasks you need help with. If no one offers, don’t hesitate to ask.
Can Home Care Help Someone With Dementia?
Absolutely! One of the best ways to provide the best care for a person you love with dementia is by partnering with a dementia care expert. At Home With You Senior Care, our Manchester caregivers are fully trained and experienced in creative, effective approaches to dementia care, and we’re here for you with as much or as little support as you need. Call us at 410-756-0959 and let us know how we can help. Visit our Locations Served page to view our full service area.