When you are caring for an elderly relative that has any kind of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s or Lewy Bodies dementia, it is going to be challenging.
You will need to be available to help them as often as you can and will need to ensure that they are happy and healthy, as well as ensure that daily tasks, such as paying bills, are attended to. This is tough enough without having to consider the ailment itself.
Dementia has many presentations, and it can be hard as a carer to know exactly what to do when you begin looking after someone who has it. However, don’t worry. Some tips can make it easier, and this article highlights 5 things that every dementia carer needs to know.
Help Is Available
The first thing that you need to know is that you are not alone. Help is available, and it comes in many forms. You will need to ensure that your loved one remains in regular contact with their doctor, dentist, and optician, while also making sure that they (and you) are getting the support you need to manage this disorder effectively. As the ailment progresses, you may need to begin looking into assisted living Town and Country for your loved one to move into.
It Isn’t a Race
Patience is key when it comes to managing dementia.
So, it may be the case that a task that takes a young, able-bodied person seconds to complete may take the individual you are caring for much longer. It is important to remember that it’s not a race, and that for longer tasks (such as cooking), you and your loved one may need to take regular breaks. Aim to make sure that your loved one does not become flustered, as this can cause excessive stress.
Time Scheduling Is Crucial
A person who has dementia of any kind is going to benefit from a routine, even if they live in a home. This will help to keep their minds busy and will provide them with safety and stability. However, on top of this, you will need to be aware that there are certain tasks, such as bathing, that would be easier to undertake if the person is fully alert. So, assess their schedule and learn when they are the most active to schedule these more intense tasks that will require their cooperation.
Always aim to provide instructions when you are caring for someone with dementia. Even if it is something as seemingly simple as making a cup of tea, it is easy for someone with dementia to understand and follow clear, simple instructions, especially if they are broken down into single steps.
Sleep Is Important
Sleep is crucial to the management of dementia, and while it can be tempting to let the person that you are caring for nap during the day, this will harm their night-time sleeping. If they are having issues sleeping, contact a doctor for advice, as this can be a symptom of an underlying medical issue.