Understanding Dementia and Its Common Symptoms
Dementia is a condition that affects the brain and causes long-term memory loss. In addition to memory loss, it also causes difficulty with language, decreased motivation levels, and emotional instability. According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of Dementia, accounting for about 70% of all cases. It is essential to understand the symptoms of Dementia to provide proper care for your loved one.
Tips for Providing Care for People with Dementia
As a home care agency, Radiant Health Services has provided home care services for many families with loved ones suffering from Dementia. We know firsthand the challenges that come with this devastating disease. Knowing how to give the best care possible can be difficult, especially as the disease progresses and communication becomes more challenging. However, by working with a qualified health professional and considering the following ideas, you can help create a more comfortable and loving environment for your loved one.
- Affection and Reassurance. People with Dementia often feel confused, anxious, and uncertain about daily life. They may also try to recall things that exist only in their imagination. To provide loving care, focus on their feelings and respond with gestures of love, comfort, and reassurance. Physical displays of affection, such as holding hands, hugging, and touching, can play a vital role in boosting their mood and reducing anxiety.
- Active Listening. People with Dementia may struggle with words or become confused. As a caregiver, remain calm and patient, and listen carefully to what they are saying or trying to say. Watch for clues from changes in body language and listen not only with your ears but also with your eyes and heart.
- Creating a Positive Vibe. Maintain a positive environment at home and maintain a positive mood while communicating with a person with Dementia. Speak in a soothing, respectful, and pleasant manner. Your body language, facial expression, vocals, and physical touch should convey love and affection.
- Use Simple Words. The conversation and language may become confusing for people with Dementia. Use simple words and speak in a very pleasant, slow, and distinctive tone. Address them by their name, introduce yourself, and mention your relationship with them.
- Practice Active Listening. Make sure your loved one knows that you are listening. This will help them feel more comfortable expressing their concerns and problems. You might even catch a hint of a hidden message that could help them feel better.
- Keep Calm. People with Dementia may become stubborn, which could be due to their mental state, health issues, or side effects of medications. Look for clues to the cause of their behavior changes and try to resolve these issues.
- Medication. People with Dementia may resist taking prescribed medicines due to anxiety and confusion. It may be helpful to explain what the drug is supposed to do, give them some time, reassure them, pour some water into the glass, and remind them to take the pill. Always assist them with love and care regarding keeping on track with their prescribed medications.
- Recalling the Past Memories. Sit with your loved one and recall memories from the past. This is always soothing and pleasant to talk about. Many people with Dementia suffer from short-term memory loss, so they may not remember what happened 45 minutes ago, but they can recall every detail of their lives 15-45 years earlier. Avoid events of the recent past, such as what they ate for lunch or dinner, as they may not be able to recall it. Try to remember some memories of the past, like the picnic they had 20 years ago, their friends, and events of the distant past.
- Sense of Humor. The use of humor can be helpful when dealing with Dementia. A little laugh here and there may help to elevate their mood.
- Break Down the Activities. In the later stages of Dementia, people may forget essential daily routines like brushing their teeth and combing their hair. Dividing activities into small steps can make these tasks more manageable. Inspire your loved ones to do what they can by reminding them of the steps they tend to forget.
Take Action Today to Provide Loving Care for Your Loved Ones with Dementia
If you or a loved one is living with Dementia, it is important to understand how to provide the best care possible. Radiant Health Services implements these tips and many others to provide comprehensive home care services for seniors with Dementia. Our specialized Dementia Care program creates a positive environment, fosters meaningful communication, and supports daily activities. Radiant Health Services provides personalized care plans to ensure our clients receive the individualized support they need to maintain their quality of life. Contact us today at (240) 673-6377 or by email to learn more about our dementia care services.