It takes patience and flexibility to take care of an aging parent with dementia, and the process can be overwhelming and frustrating for many. In this article, we’ve outlined tips for caring for a loved one with dementia at home:
1. Create a safe home environment
Dementia patients can easily get in harm’s way, and the best way to reduce these risks is by creating a safe home environment. Some of the best ways to senior proof your home is by:
- Getting rid of fall hazards
- Making the kitchen and bathroom safer
- Improving your exterior and interior lighting
- Keeping unused doors and windows locked
- Ensuring everyday items are easily within reach
- Installing security and fire alarm systems
- Tack down or remove all moveable rugs
- Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Make sure stair rails are sturdy
- Install a monitoring device
2. Know when to bring in professional help
Dementia starts with a hard to notice preclinical stage and gradually takes a toll on the brain, starting with mild forgetfulness to severe declines in cognitive function. As the state of your loved one deteriorates, it will become difficult to attend to all their needs alone, given the special care and attention they will need. In home-care professionals from reputable organizations like Husky Senior Care have the necessary skills and experience of taking care of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Keep an eye on behavior patterns
Be sure to pay attention to the changing needs and behavioral patterns of your loved one. This will make it easier for you to know when they have new requirements or an underlying issue that should be looked into. You will also have ease while developing an individualized care plan that suits their unique demands.
4. Eliminate elements that cause frustrations
People with dementia can quickly become agitated, and it is advisable to eliminate elements that cause frustrations. Some of the best practices to adhere to are:
- Establish daily routines that your loved one is most comfortable with and stick with them for as long as possible
- Provide simple instructions and allow your parent to engage in activities that excite them
- Take note of specific items, persons, or events that trigger your loved one and ensure they are kept away
- Reduce distractions whenever you are having conversations to ensure you talk clearly without shouting
- Be ready to adjust how you interact with your loved one to suit their current state and expectations.
5. Learn and educate your family on acceptable routines
Your family will play a fundamental role in the care and well-being of your loved one. Have regular family meetings and discuss how best each member can play a role in ensuring your ailing parent always receives meaningful care. Bear in mind that isolation and loneliness ravage older adults, and having family members spend time with your loved ones will be highly welcome.
Caring for a parent with dementia can be pretty demanding, but you can easily ensure they lead a quality life with the right approach.