Are you a dementia caregiver? Reading this blog may assist you in caring for your family member or adored one suffering from dementia.
The fact is: caring for someone with dementia is not easy. At a point, it might make you feel quite exhausting. To subdue those situations, you need to learn more about dementia caregiving.
Here are the top tips for dementia caregiving
Understand and Communicate
One of the key issues that a person with dementia and the caregiver experience is improper communication. It often creates difficulty at both ends.
It’s not easy for the person with dementia to express their needs. Sometimes as a caregiver, if you fail to understand their needs, it might make them feel frustrated. If you attempt to read behavior pattern and listen keenly, it would be much easier to identify their requirements.
For instance, if the person is objecting to take shower, don’t force them. Instead, think of the alternate way of communication. Postpone the shower till noon or give them an exciting reason to take the shower. Such as “we are going out shopping” or “your friends are gathering to meet.”
Make their environment as peaceful as possible
A clutter place might overwhelm anyone. Especially, for a person with dementia, it is a kind of situation with sensory overload. He/ she may experience more stress and get confused of such environment.
Keep them in a place where they can feel calmer and see some bright colours. If possible, play mild and smooth music at the background with a pleasant fragrance.
Things to avoid
- Don’t take them to a noisy or crowded place
- Avoid patterned wallpapers arrangements inside their room
- Avoid keeping the TV on all the time at the background
Sometime the person may tell you information that may not be true. Instead of rationalising or correcting their thoughts, the best way is to go with their flow.
For instance, if the person says “today I have school, I need to go”. Go with their flow and make a simple statement ”today is Sunday, isn’t that wonderful that you don’t have to go to school today!”
This condition is because often they experience a false sense of reality. At this stage of the conversation, explaining it to them or proving them wrong would make the condition worse.
Track their improvement
Be involved in their daily activities- give them tasks, observe their improvements, study their behaviours. If they find any difficulty in expressing or performing new a task, assist them. After identifying their source of frustration, pull-out an action plan that works for them.
For instance, if they are facing trouble in performing a task, break the tasks into little ones. Make them feel comfortable in performing the activity, keep appreciating on their completion of the task. It will boost their confidence and helps in keeping them active.
Watch out for your burnouts
Caring for a person with dementia and also managing multiple other roles, may lead to extreme stress and even burnout. Remember to care for yourself while caring for another person.
For instance, a person with dementia can sometimes be lucid, vice-versa sometimes they may struggle to understand small things. During this painful course of dementia, you can’t push it or change it! You can only respond to them with love.
Studies have shown that the caregivers are at increased risk of experiencing health conditions such as stress, depression, chronic fatigue and loss of appetite. To avoid those situations prioritize self-care
- Practice breathing technique
- Do meditation at least for 10 minutes
- Use visual therapy (mentally picturing a place where you feel peace & clam)
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Don’t take rejection and frustration personally