Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be a beautiful way to show your love for him or her, but it isn’t without challenges. If your loved one has memory loss, confusion, or spatial orientation problems, it can be difficult for you to provide effective care. Try these tips as you navigate day-to-day caregiving for your loved one.
Set a Schedule
Having a daily routine allows your loved one to know exactly what to expect each day, which can be especially comforting for seniors with dementia. A typical schedule may include waking up, getting dressed, eating meals, brushing teeth, bathing, exercising, doing chores, having quiet time, playing games, and making crafts. Try to make medical appointments around the same time of day so your loved one’s schedule isn’t interrupted when they occur. Make a simple clock with pictures of the daily activities to help your loved one understand what’s happening next in the day.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors, 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.
Making decisions can be overwhelming for seniors with dementia. Help your loved one maintain independence and keep decision-making simple by offering choices. Offer two acceptable options to your loved one and allow him or her to decide. Having choices can make your loved one feel in charge of his or her life. Simple decisions might include what to eat for breakfast, what shirt to wear, and what book to read.
Including some quiet time each day can allow you and your loved one some space to regroup and relax. Listening to an audiobook or quiet music on the back porch is a great way to have some relaxation time. During quiet time, try not to let your loved one nap. Napping too often during the daytime could make it difficult for your parent to sleep at night. Not getting enough sleep can exacerbate dementia symptoms.
Involve Your Loved One
Having dementia doesn’t mean your loved one is no longer his or her own person. It can be hurtful and frustrating for those with dementia when they aren’t allowed to be involved in their care or take on some of the household responsibilities. Involve your loved one by providing simple chores to do, such as wiping off the table, drying plastic dishes, or dusting. Bring your loved one along to family gatherings, and include him or her in hobbies. At the doctor’s office, it may be tempting to talk about your loved one as if he or she isn’t there. Try to avoid this, and include your loved one in the conversation.
Keep Instructions Simple
Don’t give your loved one a long list of instructions and expect him or her to not feel confused. Keep instructions limited to one step your loved one can easily carry out. Be clear about your expectations, be patient, and allow more time than necessary to carry out the task.
Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s wellbeing. 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 elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Make the Most of Mealtimes
Eating together is a great way to bond and spend time with your loved one. Take the frustration out of mealtimes by providing adaptive eating utensils, using a neutral-colored tablecloth and plate, and cutting food into bite-size pieces.
The responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one with dementia can 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 Oshkosh senior 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. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295.