Dementia comes with old age, and often you need to take care of a loved one at home. There are several stages of dementia, and in its early stages, you might need to step in to assist a family member with the condition.
Dementia patients often become agitated when they cannot do simple tasks on their own. It would help to establish a daily routine with the patient to reduce frustrations and challenges. Simple tasks like bathing and medical appointments are more straightforward when the patient is refreshed and alert. For a tough day, ensure you are flexible for spontaneous tasks.
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Some tasks take longer
Schedule more time for specific tasks with the patient as they take longer. Give breaks between these tasks and allow the patient to do as much as possible with the slightest assistance. For example, the patient might be able to dress independently if you lay their clothes on the bed or set the dining table with visible cues.
Give the patient choices
It would help if you offered the patient choices, but at the same time, there should not be too many choices daily. For example, you can lay two sets of clothes on the bed and ask the patient what they would like to wear that day. You can also ask the patient whether they would enjoy tea or coffee as a beverage to drink. Likewise, you can do the same with a walk or a movie.
Provide easy instructions
Dementia patients understand one-line instructions well. Make them clear and short when you are communicating with them.
Limit nap time
Avoid allowing the patient to take prolonged or many naps during the daytime. This reduces the possibility of reversing the days and nights.
To improve their focusing power, turn off the television during meals and conversations.
Remember to be flexible and compassionate
With time, dementia patients become dependent. To avoid frustration, keep an open mind and adjust expectations and routines as needed. For instance, if the patient wants to wear the same outfit daily, consider buying identical clothes to accommodate their request and limit frustration. If bathing is challenging and accompanied by resistance, consider a sponge bath. Professional home care services for patients with dementia and other ailments can be found at Mari’s Quality Home Care and Staffing Inc of Waltham.
To prevent falls, ensure you remove all extension cords, scatter rugs, and clutter that results in falls. Place grab bars and handrails where the patient can slip or fall.
Cabinets containing hazardous substances should be locked
Keep locked cabinets with dangerous substances like home cleaning materials, medicine, tools, utensils, etc., locked. To prevent skin burns, reduce the thermostat temperature and ensure there are safety precautions for fire at home.
Consult professional home care services if the situation becomes really challenging for you to manage. These specialists will take care of your loved one with compassion and kindness. They are trained in their field, have experience, and have a track record of providing a safe environment for dementia patients.