If you’re caring for a senior loved one with dementia, it may feel overwhelming in the beginning as you navigate all there is to know. Take time to learn everything you can about the disease, and use these tips to care for your aging loved one who is living with dementia.
1. Be Aware of the Environment
Clutter, loud noises, and bright lights may not seem like a big deal to you, but for someone with dementia, they can be overwhelming. Work to create a calm space your loved one can retreat to as needed. This space should be clean, free of clutter, and decorated with subtle natural colors. Keeping the environment free of distractions may prevent your loved one from experiencing sensory overload.
Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Des Moines families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
2. Promote Daily Exercise
Exercise is a powerful tool for relieving stress and preventing health-related issues that can result from a sedentary lifestyle. Some studies show exercise may also help the brain by promoting healthy blood flow. Encourage your loved one to walk, join an exercise class, or swim.
3. Use Gentle Touch
Human touch is powerful. Gently touching your loved one’s shoulder or arm when he or she becomes upset may provide a sense of calm. When out in public, hold your loved one’s hand to keep him or her from feeling overwhelmed.
4. Stay Predictable
Doing the same things at the same time each day can keep your loved one calm. If possible, try to schedule meals, exercise, doctor appointments, and activities at roughly the same time so your loved one will know what to expect. Making a simple clock with pictures of the activities can help your loved one know what the plan is throughout the day.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Families looking for top-rated Des Moines home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
5. Encourage a Healthy Diet
The healthier your loved one eats, the better he or she will feel. Encourage your loved one to eat a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods. Foods high in vitamin B9 and folate may be especially beneficial, as these vitamins have been found to have positive cognitive benefits. Make sure to use contrasting plates and dining utensils when serving your loved one because it’s easy for seniors with dementia to miss seeing foods that blend in with the color of the tableware.
6. Ask Simple Questions
Seniors with dementia may have a difficult time expressing themselves and explaining what they need, which can make it frustrating for both seniors and their caregivers. Use simple questions rather than open-ended ones when talking to your loved one. For example, instead of asking what he or she would like for dinner, provide two options to choose from. The same principle applies to questions about how your loved one is feeling, activities he or she prefers, and which clothes he or she wants to wear.
7. Take Time for Yourself
Taking care of a loved one with dementia can be emotionally and physically taxing. Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. In fact, taking the time to step away and recharge allows you to give your best self to your loved one. Ask family, friends, and neighbors for help. Hiring respite caregiver services can also be a beneficial option.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized dementia home care plan, call (515) 264-2438 today.