Dementia is a mental disorder which is caused by aging and can lead to memory loss, personality change and logical impairment. Looking after a senior with dementia can be stressful.
Dementia is a progressive disease and the rate of progress can vary. In the beginning,dementia can be marked by anxiety, fear, difficulty in remembering things, inability to follow conversation and impaired concentration. As the disease progresses, it could lead to depression, withdrawal from society and an inability to do normal day to day activities.
8 tips to make caregiving easier
- A place for everything and everything in its place
People with dementia often forget where things are kept. A simple, routine like making breakfast can become frustrating when they don’t remember where things are kept. Make sure that objects are always put back in the right places.Install see-through cupboard doors. Label cupboards, containers, drawers and other spaces that hold everyday items. Use pictures of the items. For example, a cupboard that holds cups could have a picture of a cup stuck on the outside.
- Plan a daily routine
People affected by dementia usually forget what they have to do next. This can make them feel frustrated and bring down their confidence. Having a consistent daily routine helps keep them calm.
Put up lists in different rooms. For example, a list of morning ablutions can be tapedto the bathroom mirror. Or a meal plan can be taped to the refrigerator.
- A memory book
Dementia sufferers quite often are not able to place names to faces. Make an album with photographs of people. Add their names and numbers in large clear letters. Add a few details about them or an anecdote. This could help jog your senior’s memory.
- Preventing them from getting lost
A dementia patient can get lost very easily. They may set out on a walk or a shopping trip and forget where they are. They may be unable to explain who they are, who needs to be called or where their home is. Putting an address card with their address and the numbers of loved ones can help get them safely home.
- Phone tracker
These days, there are apps on phones that allow loved ones to keep track of their seniors. This is particularly useful for those seniors who have memory loss. If they wander away from home and get lost, their loved ones can use the linked apps on their phone to trace their senior.
- Use a beeper
People with dementia respond well to a timed schedule. If they get used to an alarm system, they will automatically move on to their next task. Different beeper sounds can indicate a different activity. One sound could let them know it’s time to eat.Another beeper can indicate that it is time to visit the toilet or when it is time to rest.
- Increasing activity
Sufferers of dementia may get restless and stressed. Giving them plenty of exercise to release energy is a great way to keep them calm. People with dementia tend to show their frustration in an aggressive way. If the energy is expended through an activity, it could bring down aggressive behavior. Calming music or chanting can help too.
- Keeping their mind active
Games of intelligence can help decrease the rate of advancement of dementia. Interacting with patients constantly, and playing mental games with them can help increase their focus and concentration andcan help keep their mind alert.
When looking after a person suffering from dementia, getting an outside caregiver can be a boon. Visit https://sirinahealth.com/ for help.