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How Can Family Caregivers Care for a Senior with Dementia?

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Dementia can cause severe changes in a senior’s personality and behavior. In the later stages of this disease, seniors can become aggressive, irritable, and paranoid. In the earlier stages, memory issues and other cognitive changes can also be a challenge for family caregivers. Keep the following in mind when caring for a loved one who has dementia.

Use Short and Simple Explanations

Seniors who have dementia can get confused about where they are or who someone is. When your loved one experiences this kind of confusion, avoid giving long explanations. He or she might have difficulty following lengthy explanations and become frustrated, so it’s better to use simple explanations instead. If your loved one is confused about someone’s identity, show photos of that person to jog his or her memory. 

The confusion that accompanies dementia often leaves seniors unable to manage the tasks of daily life, putting their health and safety at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care Oshkosh, WI, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Offer Help Staying Organized

Elderly people with dementia may have difficulty remembering to pay bills, take medication, and do other tasks, which can have a serious impact on their physical wellbeing, finances, and other aspects of their lives. Offer to help your loved one stay organized. Keep in mind that he or she might get upset if you try to take over these tasks completely. Instead, offer to help in small ways, such as reminding your loved one that a bill is due or that it’s time to take a certain medication.

Find the Cause of Anger or Frustration

Seniors with dementia sometimes lash out physically or verbally at others when they’re feeling angry or frustrated. These behaviors often come from an underlying fear. Finding the cause of this fear can help you address it. For example, if your loved one is in an unfamiliar place, he or she may quickly feel stressed and overwhelmed. Stay patient with your loved one, and either offer comfort and reassurance or allow space and time to adjust, depending on what he or she prefers. 

Anger, frustration, and other negative emotions are common in elderly people with dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Oshkosh 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.

Stick to a Schedule

In some cases, following a daily routine can help seniors with dementia feel more comfortable and less stressed. When you’re caring for a senior loved one who has this disease, try sticking to a regular schedule day after day. For example, preparing meals around the same times each day creates a daily routine your loved one can depend on. If you have to set up doctor’s appointments, try to schedule each of them around the same time, such as in the morning or afternoon.

Remove Hazards

Seniors with dementia are at higher risk of hurting themselves or wandering off. While caring for your loved one, keep sharp objects, lighters, and other potentially harmful items out of reach. You should also make sure he or she doesn’t have easy access to car or house keys, and keep doors locked at all times.

Caring for a parent with dementia isn’t an easy task for anyone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for your loved one, help is just a phone call away. 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 Oshkosh 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. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (920) 710-2273 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.