Caregiving for a senior can be demanding, no matter what the circumstances. Caring for someone with dementia can be even more challenging. Whether acting as a sole caregiver or seeking professional skilled senior memory care, there are best practices for managing the symptoms of dementia. Get in touch with Buckner Retirement Services today by calling 855.931.5688 to learn more about our services and how to care for someone with dementia.
Understanding Dementia in Seniors
As people live longer, the number of seniors diagnosed with dementia rises. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability due to disease or injury. This decline can range from mild forgetfulness to complete memory loss and intellectual function. While some cognitive decline is normal with age, dementia is not. Early diagnosis and treatment of dementia are essential, as they can help improve quality of life and extend life expectancy.
There are many different causes of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and Lewy body disease. Each type of dementia has its symptoms and prognosis. Treatment options also vary depending on the type of dementia. However, some general things can be done to help manage the condition. These include maintaining social and physical activities, providing support and assistance with activities of daily living, and managing medications. Understanding dementia can be difficult for both seniors and their families. However, living well in this condition with knowledge and support is possible.
Five Tips for Caring for Someone with Dementia
Caring for seniors with dementia requires a particular skill set. Here are some of the best tips for caregivers.
1. Explore New Ways of Communicating
When it comes to tips for caring for someone with dementia, one of the most critical tips is exploring new ways of communication. One of the most effective ways to effectively communicate with seniors with dementia is to be responsive to new cues and new patterns of communication. When seniors begin to experience the symptoms of dementia, they may lose the ability to communicate as they once have. Try new forms of communication, such as:
- Rephrasing questions
- Asking yes or no questions
Changing up communication style in a way that is responsive to the needs of the senior can make all the difference in everyday function and comfort.
2. Be Patient
Seniors with dementia understandably experience periods of confusion and frustration. This can manifest in several ways, including anger and lashing out. Caregivers need to recognize that these reactions and behavioral changes are disease symptoms. Caretakers should try to be empathetic and patient as symptoms come and go.
Patience is a critical piece of being a caregiver to seniors with dementia. A caregiver who does not allow grace for feelings of frustration or confusion will undoubtedly lead to conflict and tension. Finding empathy and patience is not always easy, but it is a skill that can be learned and practiced over time.
3. Know when to Seek Help
Even if you follow all of the tips for caring for someone with dementia, you may be overwhelmed. Many caregivers attempt to take on more on their own. However, it is essential to recognize when a senior needs more support than you can offer, whether seeking respite care or long-term senior care. Caregiving is demanding regardless of whether you are following tips for caring for someone with dementia or not. Knowing when to seek outside help is critical to ensure your loved one gets the care they need.
4. Try to Preserve a Senior’s Independence
Some caregivers tend to take on more than they really need to when it comes to everyday tasks. Try to let the seniors do what they can so that they don’t lose their sense of autonomy and independence. It may take some trial and error to learn what they need help with and what they can still manage on their own.
5. Be Proactive
When caregiving for a senior with dementia, it is important to look out for new behavior patterns and act proactively. If the senior is suddenly having trouble in the kitchen, it may be time to implement safety precautions sooner rather than later, for example.
Buckner Retirement Services Knows How to Care for Someone with Dementia
Don’t wait for an accident to happen before taking action in the situation. Caring for someone with dementia takes skill, patience, and determination. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. At Buckner Retirement Services, our highly skilled staff is trained in memory care for seniors with dementia. We know all the best practices and tips for caring for someone with dementia. Our long-term care ensures your loved one will be in a safe environment that focuses on their health and well-being. To learn more about caring for someone with dementia and other tips, contact us at 855.931.5688.