Caring for an elderly family member with dementia is a very difficult responsibility. Dementia affects an aging adult’s emotions, memory and personality, which makes it extremely stressful for family caregivers day after day. When it comes to taking care of someone with dementia, there are several strategies that family caregivers can implement that make tackling the problems brought on by the disease easier to manage.
Make Peace With the Condition
With dementia, logic simply doesn’t apply. Family caregivers are often frustrated when their aging relative insists on one version of reality and no amount of talking can convince them otherwise. Experts say that family caregivers need to focus on keeping loved ones with dementia safe and comfortable. Redirecting their thoughts and soothing them during emotional states is a more effective way of getting by than arguing is.
Always Accept Help
Family caregivers should ask for help from family members, friends, community services, elder care services, clergy and more. Taking care of an elderly person alone can lead to too much stress and that can negatively affect a caregiver’s physical and mental health. Often, seniors with dementia are fine with other people and may even enjoy the newness of another caregiver. For family caregivers that need even more support, there are support groups in many communities made of family members of those with dementia that can provide even more resources.
Hire Elder Care Services
Elder care providers can help seniors with dementia with some basic tasks, giving family caregivers regular respite. Too often, family caregivers take all the burdens of caregiving on themselves and turn down help. However, this is a quick way to get burned out and stressed. An elder care provider can help with bathing, dressing, grooming, hygiene, housekeeping, meal prep, and even just companionship so the senior is not alone.
Implement Safety Precautions
One of the most troubling parts of caring for a senior with dementia is their tendency to wander. Wandering can lead to getting lost and possibly hurt. Safety precautions can reduce the likelihood of wandering. The first step is to fit locks high up on any door that leads to the outside so they cannot reach. Many family caregivers use sensors to indicate when a door has been opened. Radio transmitters in the form of bracelets or pins can also notify family caregivers and elder care providers if the senior is too far away from the base unit. A few simple safety steps can keep seniors safe and secure.
It’s never easy for family members to see their aging relative deteriorate mentally and emotionally due to dementia. However, they can make their relative’s life more comfortable and less worrisome when they establish a routine, ask for help and do what they can to keep them safe.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME ELDER CARE IN CHICAGO, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.