Caring for someone with dementia can be full of surprising challenges. As the disease progresses, it’s easy to grow frustrated when your loved one cannot remember your name or has a difficult time communicating with you. Despite all these concerns, giving them the love and care they deserve when they need them the most can be incredibly fulfilling.
To learn more about how to provide better care for your loved one with dementia, consider following the suggestions below:
1. Educate yourself about dementia
Equip yourself with knowledge about dementia and its progression. This way, you can empathise with and understand your loved one better. The more you learn, the more you’ll also be able to improve the quality of care that you provide.
2. Establish schedules and routines
It’s important to set schedules for any loved ones suffering from dementia. This will help them get used to a routine, reducing the confusion and frustration they may experience from day-to-day activities.
3. Prepare healthy and balanced meals
According to studies, those suffering from dementia often have poor nutrition. You may find that you need to take on the responsibility of preparing healthy and tasty meals and ensuring that they receive the nutrients that their body needs. Not only will this boost their health, but it may also assist with some behavioural issues.
4. Find time for daily physical exercise
Take good care of your health by setting a scheduled time for exercise every day. If possible, have your loved one join you. Spending time through physical exercise is a great way to get healthy and create special memories. You’d be surprised to see what a good walk can do.
5. Make sure your loved one takes their medications on time
To manage the symptoms of the disease and help your loved one cope better, ensure that they take their medications on schedule. Some ways to accomplish this effectively are by creating a current list of medications and their dosages as well as keeping the medications inside a pillbox.
6. Have some fun with your loved one
While the disease might add some complications, your loved one still can (and should!) go on trips to have some fun. Take them to museums, parks, zoos, and other elderly-friendly places and attractions. If possible, give them independence and some time to enjoy their own company.
7. Seek help from your family members when needed
Being a caregiver to your loved one with dementia is understandably overwhelming. So do not be afraid to ask for support from your family members and other loved ones when you need their help.
8. Take good care of yourself
Caregiving is a major responsibility. Therefore, every time you feel overwhelmed, take deep breaths and remind yourself that you are doing a great job. You need to understand that you can only do so much and that you should acknowledge your emotional and physical limitations.
To avoid experiencing caregiver burnout, make sure to take breaks and give yourself some personal time to be alone. You can also join a caregiver support group.
9. Dementia doesn’t mean the end of everything
While dementia has serious impacts on your loved one’s memory and personality it’s still possible to make some new memories. Remember that your loved one is more than the disease. Therefore, you should take advantage of the time to create precious memories with them. Cherish every moment that you have with them as much as possible.
Caregiving is a frustrating, yet fulfilling journey. Although this can be challenging and even devastating at times, being able to become the hands, feet, and mind of your loved one struggling with dementia is truly remarkable.
When times get tough, remember that your loved one is not changing—their disease is progressing. To manage the symptoms more effectively, make sure to keep them healthy and that they take their medications in a pillbox regularly.
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