Caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly challenging. From mood swings to memory loss and more, dementia changes your loved one and poses unique caregiving issues. At Cahoon Care, we specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. We’re pleased to share the following tips that may make your caregiving experience easier.
5 Ways You Can Deal with a Loved One’s Dementia
Dementia caregiving isn’t intuitive, but these tips can make your journey a bit easier and smoother.
Establish Care with a Trusted Doctor
A doctor who specializes in dementia will be your ally in this journey, so establish care for your loved one with a trusted and reputable doctor. If your loved one has just recently been diagnosed, you will probably have plenty of questions, so be sure to write them down and ask the doctor during the appointments.
This is also the time to talk about what’s to come, to discuss the role of medication in your loved one’s care, and to address any concerns you have about your loved one’s current or future health needs.
Decide Not to Argue
It’s important to recognize that dementia causes a malfunction in your loved one’s brain, and it’s this malfunction that causes your loved one to say things that are hurtful or untrue. While this is frustrating to hear, remind yourself that these things are happening because your loved one is losing the ability to logic. Instead of trying to correct or refute the statements, decide not to argue with your loved one. Redirecting their attention or turning them to a new activity can be a way to refocus their attention and bring the situation to an end. Arguing will not be productive, and will only lead to frustration on your part.
Implement Strategies to Improve Brain Health
Even though your loved one has dementia, you can still use strategies and exercises to help promote brain health. Regular exercise is a great start, and you can encourage your loved one to participate in mentally stimulating activities, like birdwatching or listening to music. Your loved one’s doctor may be able to recommend specific exercises or activities based on your loved one’s condition.
Prioritize Your Own Health
Caregiver burnout can be an issue anytime you’re tasked with caring for another person, but caring for someone with dementia is extra stressful and tiring. Familiarize yourself with the signs of caregiver burnout and don’t forget to prioritize your own health, too. Make some time for activities that you enjoy, and find ways to relieve your stress, such as through exercising or medication.
Be Prepared to Ask for Help
Reach out for help when you need it. Connect with a local caregiver support group, or find other caregivers you can talk with online. Talk with your other family members, too, and be honest about your needs for caregiving support.
At Cahoon Care, we specialize in dementia care and can help to relieve some of your caregiving duties and stress. Whether you’re just starting to explore the idea of in home care or are ready to find the caregiver who’s right for your loved one, we would be happy to talk, learn more about your situation, and answer any questions that you may have. Please contact us today to learn more.