Providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s can feel as difficult as trying to comprehend quantum physics. It entails trying to make sense of what looks nonsensical, and reacting in ways that seem illogical to everything you’ve thought up to now. Yet with some basic tools in your dementia care toolbox, you can feel more confident and effective in your role, and help the person you love feel content, accepted, and understood.
How Can I Be a Better Dementia Caregiver?
Focusing on these strategies from our experts in home care assistance in Portland, TX and the surrounding communities is a fantastic place 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 addressed an issue in a different way, and that is ok. Try not to blame yourself, and use the situation as a chance to learn and grow as a caregiver.
- Let go of reason. With Alzheimer’s disease, typical reasoning and logic are often totally unproductive. Rather than getting an argument over something you disagree on, such as the need to go to the doctor, pivot to using simple, straightforward, and short statements, such as: “Let’s take a nice drive.”
- Sometimes, a little white lie is okay. With dementia, honesty is not really always the best policy. It can result in agitation, confusion, and a meltdown. If the person believes they are a staff member of the doctor’s office, join into their alternate reality, possibly by providing a briefcase and some “paperwork” to take to the next appointment.
- Leave additional time and space for independence. You may find it much easier to take over most of the daily tasks the older adult can no longer do easily or quickly. However, in trying to decrease the person’s frustration, you may be hampering their self-esteem. If putting on clothes solo takes twice as long, plan for that additional time so no one feels rushed.
- Make questions simpler. It might seem completely reasonable to ask the senior what she wants for supper, or what she wants to do that evening. However, if the person struggles to articulate a response, it can result in irritation that may quickly intensify. A yes or no question may be more effective: “Would you like lasagna for dinner?” Or, simply tell the person: “Let’s visit the park after supper!”
- Remind yourself that it is ok to ask for help. Providing care for somebody who has dementia is certainly not a one-person task. Dementia care, in particular as the disease progresses, is a 24/7 endeavor, and trying to do it all yourself is a guaranteed way to experience burnout. When someone offers support, take it, and give them specific jobs you need help with. If no one offers, don’t hesitate to ask.
Can In-Home Care Help Someone With Dementia?
Definitely! A great way to secure the best care for someone you love with dementia is by partnering with a dementia care expert. At Anthem Home Care, a provider of home care assistance in Portland, TX and the surrounding areas, our caregivers are fully experienced and trained in creative, effective approaches to dementia care, and we’re here for you with as much or as little support as you need. Call us at 361-643-2323 and let us know how we can help.