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Strategies for Dementia Caregivers

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Dementia is a progressive disorder, and your role as family caregiver may change as your elderly loved one’s care needs change. You could start off doing minimal tasks, and after a few months or years, you may need to provide around-the-clock care to your parent. Here are some tips that can help you provide adequate in-home care to an aging loved one with dementia.

Maintain Consistent Routines

The loss of cognitive functioning due to dementia interferes with the ability to think, remember, and reason. However, maintaining consistency can provide a sense of stability, even as dementia progresses. You should have a set plan in place that includes mealtimes, social activities, bathing routines, and bedtime schedules. Deviating from a routine could cause confusion and agitation in seniors with dementia. Some days may be more challenging than others and cause plans to change, but for the most part, family caregivers need to have a care plan in place that includes consistent routines.

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

Provide Plenty of Activity

It’s never too late to boost the brain health of a senior with dementia. Healthy habits and activities can reduce symptoms associated with the condition, including aggression, memory loss, confusion, agitation, and fear. Promote hobbies and exercise routines that work out your loved one’s body and mind, keeping him or her engaged. In addition to physical activities, encourage your loved one to help out around the home with basic household chores. Stimulating and purposeful tasks can slow the progression of the disease and enhance brain health.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans 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.

Don’t Argue

Dementia causes the brain to malfunction, and your loved one may say or do things that are out of character. Remember your loved one isn’t in control and the condition is causing the negative behavior. Regardless of how hurtful the actions or words may be, you need to remain calm and refrain from arguing with your parent. Arguing can cause feelings of aggression and anxiety to worsen in older adults with dementia and turn a simple misunderstanding into a dangerous situation. Instead of arguing, try to look for a solution. If you need a few moments, step out of the room and return when your mind is clear and calm.

Use Respite Care

Taking on the caregiver role alone can be challenging and increase the risk of burnout. The job comes with many sacrifices, but you should never push your personal needs to the side. If your mental and physical health are in jeopardy, you won’t be able to provide the high-quality care your loved one needs. Consider using professional respite care services, especially if other family members are unable to help out more. Respite care is a flexible option that provides temporary relief without compromising your loved one’s health. Many respite care agencies have in-home caregivers who specialize in dementia, and having someone with full knowledge of the condition can be beneficial to seniors.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities may 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 Sonoma County senior home care 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. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (707) 843.4368