Communication difficulties are one of the leading challenges for caring for someone with dementia. Typically, the whole experience is usually overwhelming both physically and emotionally. As a caregiver, you need to understand your loved one well to learn their behavior changes and other problems. Keep in mind that the condition affects their cognitive functions and increases their depression levels. So, you want to determine the right approach to care for them properly.
Read on to find out more.
1. Communication Is Important
When a person suffers from dementia, they usually find it hard to speak fluently, read, write or use certain words. This inhibits their ability to express their thoughts or engage in a conversation with friends and family. In this case, give them time to understand and respond to your questions.
When talking to your loved one, try as possible to be precise and straightforward. Help them understand what you’re trying to do or who is visiting them. Avoid questions or remarks that require deep thinking or are generally negative. Instead, use a positive language and reinforce it with touch to build a stronger connection with them.
2. Good Nutrition Helps
In dementia care, it helps to monitor and understand the eating and drinking habits of your loved one. Most people usually forget to eat and drink, and some may even experience difficulty with chewing and swallowing. Doctors recommend giving them about five to six meals a day. Remember to serve them one course at a time.
Use a phone call or an alarm to remind them to eat and give them foods that they actually know. During meal times, avoid or remove anything that might distract them, such as plates with patterns. As the condition advances, your loved one might lose weight. At this stage, try using supplements to supply them with the essential nutrients. Be sure to talk to a doctor first about the right supplements. Making sure they have enough sleep is also important for them.
3. Prevent Wandering
People with dementia tend to wander off due to medication side effects or boredom. Wandering can also happen when they’re looking for something or someone. You can minimize their restlessness by engaging them in fun activities and regular exercises. Place door locks high or low as they might not be curious to look for them.
If possible, you can install a monitoring system to keep watch on your loved one. A person with dementia might not go out with specific personal items. So, hiding things such as coats, glasses, purse or walking canes can help to keep them inside. With advanced technology, you get your loved one a smartwatch that supports GPS tracking to locate them when they wander off. Also, tell neighbors about your relative so they can alert you..
4. Manage Incontinence
Dementia patients tend to lose the ability to control their bladder and bowel movements. Or, sometimes they just can’t remember where the bathroom is located or how to get to it. If they experience incontinence, being understanding and calm helps to prevent embarrassment
You can manage such situations by reminding them to visit the bathroom, at least every two hours. Use signs to direct them to the toilet or assist them whenever possible. Buying incontinence products and pads also can help to manage incontinence. Also, make sure they wear easy-to-remove clothing.
A loved one with dementia usually experience problems leading a normal life due to memory loss. As a family member, it’s best to understand their situation and employ proper care techniques to help them with day-to-day living.
*This is a collaborative post.