Caring for a loved one with Dementia can be challenging and discouraging. The thriving, loving and caring person that you once knew, now has a memory that is slowly fading and is progressing into a passive state. While caring for a loved one who is suffering with dementia, it is important to remember to have a heart of patience, kindness and understanding. Although your loved one is changing, it is important to remember that God is in control, and as long as you keep God at the center, then you will be on a caregiving journey of peace, rather than stress. Here are our top 5 ways that you can care for a loved one as they experience dementia.
1. Make the Home Safer
As your Loved One ages with dementia, it is important to make sure that their home is still a place of safety and not of hazard. You will want to be sure that you are doing everything possible to help prevent falls and other accidents that may occur. It will be a good idea to take a good look at all items around the house that could be a potential threat to your Loved One's safety. If there are any dangerous tools, chemicals or kitchen utensils around the house that could possibly harm your loved one, now may be a good time to remove those items from the house or to lock them away in a safe area. You will also want to be sure that your loved one does not have easy access to the stove or stove tops and be sure to have emergency numbers handy just in case any unexpected situations may arise.
2. Have regular Family Meetings
While caring for your love one, it is important to remember that communication is key. Meeting with other members of your family regularly and coming up with a game place will be essential to your success. It is essential that key family members are aware of your Loved One's condition so that they are well equipped on how to care for them. While you develop your own care plan, you will want to decide who will be involved in the care plan, so that you all can come up with the best approach and plan to care for your loved one. Please keep in mind that while preparing for a meeting, having an agenda will ensure that the meeting goes smoothly and as planned. While meeting with family members, be sure to stick with facts rather than opinions, as these kind of meetings can be quite stressful. Remember to keep God at the center of your meeting and start the meeting off with prayer to set the tone for a peaceful and encouraging meeting.
3. Practice Self Care
There is no question that caring for a Loved One with dementia can be stressful. In order to manage stress, you will want to make sure that you are not pouring from an empty cup. It is impossible to care for someone else when you don't feel properly equipped. Take the time early in the morning before starting your day to get some much needed prayer time in and ask God to help strengthen you mentally and emotionally. Pray for patience, kindness and understanding as you navigate through your Caregiver journey. It may be helpful to physically schedule time for yourself throughout the day to prevent burn out. This includes going one a 20 minute walk alone on a nature trail, listen to your favorite podcast, or take an hour away to join a relaxing yoga class. Whatever you need to do to help you care for yourself, make sure that you are practicing safe, healthy and long term habits that will contribute positively to your well being.
4. Pay attention to your Loved One's physical needs
While caring for your Loved One, it is important to remember to not only pay attention to their mental health, but also pay attention to their physical health as well. Your Loved One's behavior may change as they cope with dementia so it is important to be aware of these ever-changing signs. You may notice that your Loved One now may need help using the bathroom, bathing themselves, feeding and clothing themselves. This is the time to really practice patience and understanding as you face new challenges. If you feel as though you are not able to do this on your own, it may be best to seek help from close family members or look at Home Health Care options.
5. Be informed of outside help options
There comes a time when you begin to realize that you can not take on the Care Giver responsibility on your own and that seeking outside help may be the best option. At Unlimited Care 4 Home Health Care, we offer high quality and compassionate Home Health Care for your Loved One who is dealing with Alzheimer's or dementia. Our Home Health Care aids are are fully qualified and ready to take care of your family member to give you peace of mind so that you can be sure that your loved one is taken care of. At Unlimited Care 4 Home Health Care, our goal is to treat your family, just like our family. If you feel as though we could be of help to your family, be sure to give us a call at (540) 318-6695.
Unlimited Care 4 Home Health Care is a Home Health Care Agency located in Stafford, Virginia where we provide 24 Hour Home Health care for seniors and those who are disabled. We also provide Home Health Care services to the following areas as well: Woodbridge, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia, Dale City, Virginia, Alexandria, Virginia, Arlington, Virginia, and Fairfax, Virginia.