Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can feel as difficult as trying to learn quantum physics. It entails trying to make sense of what looks nonsensical, and responding in ways that seem counterintuitive to everything you’ve thought up to now. Yet with some practical strategies for dementia caregiving, you can feel well informed and effective in your role, and help the person you love feel accepted, understood, and content.
How Can I Provide Better Alzheimer’s Care?
Focusing on these guidelines from Abby Senior Care’s home care providers in Denver and the surrounding areas is a good starting point to overcome some of the typical obstacles to providing the best dementia care.
- Accept your flaws. First and most importantly, extend yourself the grace of being human. There will be lots of times you wish you had managed a scenario differently, and that is okay. Try not to blame yourself, and learn from the experience.
- Don’t be bound by reason. With dementia, conventional reasoning and logic are frequently completely ineffective. Instead of getting yourself into a debate over something you don’t agree on, such as the need to eat lunch, pivot to using short, simple, and straightforward statements, such as: “Let’s take a few bites and then have dessert.”
- Occasionally, a little white lie is needed. With dementia, honesty is not always the best policy. It may trigger confusion, agitation, and a meltdown. If the individual believes they are an employee of the doctor’s office, join into this alternate reality, maybe by giving them a briefcase and some “paperwork” to take with them to her next appointment.
- Leave additional time and space for independence. You might find it much easier to take control of most of the daily tasks the senior can no longer do easily or quickly. Yet, in seeking to minimize the senior’s frustration, you may be hampering their sense of self-worth. If getting dressed alone takes twice as long, plan for that additional time so no one feels rushed.
- Make questions simpler. It may seem totally reasonable to ask the person what they would like for lunch, or what they would like to do that day. However, if the person struggles to articulate an answer, it may result in irritation that may quickly escalate. A yes or no question may be more effective: “Do you want soup for lunch?” Or, simply tell the individual: “Let’s go to the park after lunch!”
- Remind yourself that it’s ok to ask for support. Providing care for someone with dementia is definitely not a one-person task. Dementia care, particularly as the disease advances, is a 24/7 endeavor, and trying to do it all yourself is a surefire way to experience burnout. When someone offers support, take it, and give them specific tasks you need assistance with. If no one offers, do not hesitate to ask.
Can Home Care Help Someone With Dementia?
Definitely! One of the best ways to make sure the person you love with dementia receives the best care is by partnering with a dementia care expert. At Abby Senior Care, one of the top home care providers in Denver and the surrounding areas, our caregivers are fully experienced and trained in creative, effective approaches to dementia care, and we are here for you with as much or as little support as you need. Contact us at 303-699-8840 and let us know exactly how we can help.