Dementia Care: 5 Tips You Need To Know

Living with dementia, dementia care tips

Dementia care tips.

Expert Advice

As Fort Myer’s best source for private caregivers, Abby Services knows the impact sound dementia care can have on an individual and those trying to assist them. With the support of a private caregiver, patients, and their loved ones, can get the support they need. The following is adapted from alzheimers.net and reviews 5 fundamentals for someone providing care for a dementia patient.

Dementia care is challenging, but may not be as daunting as you would expect. Whether you care for a parent or senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, or are a senior care professional approaching your role with some knowledge — the right attitude is crucial to success.

Educating yourself about dementia and maintaining a positive but realistic attitude allows you to maintain an element of control as a caregiver. It can take the sting out of surprising challenges you encounter and also improve the care that you provide. 

Important points to consider when providing dementia care.

1. Accept support.

Whether you are caregiving for someone in your family, or whether you provide dementia care professionally, never be afraid to ask for help. Many family caregivers find support groups immensely helpful. Support groups allow caregivers to vent in a group setting with people who understand what one another is going through. It also allows caregivers to hear what is working for other caregivers and learn about local Alzheimer’s and dementia resources. Similarly, professional caregivers shouldn’t be reluctant to ask a colleague for support when facing an exceptional challenge or difficult time. Caregiving for someone with dementia is not easy and there will certainly be moments when professional caregivers need a hand or someone to talk to. Locally The Alvin A Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center is an amazing resource that anyone managing dementia should check out.

2. Actively empathize.

Dementia care starts with compassion and empathy. This holds true in all human relationships but may be especially important for dementia caregivers. People with dementia are prone to becoming confused about their whereabouts and even the time period in which they are living. Imagine how you felt and would want to be treated if you suddenly found yourself disoriented in an unfamiliar place, not even sure of the year or even your own identity.

3. Be a realistic caregiver.

Be realistic about what constitutes success during the progression of the disease. Success is helping to assure that the person you are caring for is as comfortable, happy, and safe as possible. Most experienced dementia caregivers will tell you that the person they care for has good days and bad days. Try your best to foster the good days and even the good moments for the person with dementia, don’t try to force them. Also, be realistic about the course of the disease. Remember that most types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, are irreversible and progressive. Dementia will tend to get worse over time and there is no known cure.

4. Dementia is more than memory loss.

Memory loss is a classic dementia symptom. But some types of dementia, particularly frontotemporal dementia, Louis Body Dementia, and Pick’s disease, manifest themselves as personality changes rather than memory loss. The symptoms depend on the areas of the brain that is affected by the disease. Even when memory loss is the most apparent symptom, the person with dementia is experiencing a neurological decline that can lead to a host of other issues. A patient may develop difficult behaviors and moods making dementia care challenging.

For example, a prim and proper grandmother may begin to curse like a sailor. Or a formally trusting gentleman may come to believe that his family is plotting against him or experience other delusions and hallucinations. In the latest stages of most types of dementia, patients become unable to attend to activities of daily living (such as dressing and toileting) independently. They may become non-communicative, unable to recognize loved ones, and even unable to move about.

5. Plan for the future.

The only inevitable is change when you are caring for someone with dementia. Never get too used to the status quo. That means that family caregivers should prepare for a time when their loved one may need professional memory care in a residential setting. Often this can be avoided or delayed through the support of a professional private caregiver such as those available through Abby Services. Unfortunately, the support required for care is not cheap and involves both financial planning and identifying the most appropriate care options in your area. Professional caregivers and memory care providers also need to plan ahead. They should be mindful to continually reassess the care needs and health status of clients and residents with dementia. Remember that care needs will inevitably increase and plan ahead for any transitions that the resident may require in the future, such as a move to a skilled nursing provider or hospice care.demen

No matter what stage your loved one’s Dementia is you should call Abby Services today to discuss how having a private caregiver can help you and your loved one. Dementia care professionals are available in Fort Myers and Cape Coral for short and long-term needs. Call today! 239-590-0861!

You may find the following resources helpful when managing your dementia home care:

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