At times, the best lessons in life come about through going through them firsthand; yet the wisdom we are able to glean from those who have traveled a comparable route before us is priceless. If you’re a dementia caregiver and becoming a bit overwhelmed in this uncharted territory, the suggestions below might help:
- A brief break could make a big difference. If your senior loved one is struggling with difficult feelings, such as fear or anger, it’s best to pause whatever activity or task she is engaged in, and allow the opportunity for a break. Modify the situation by moving into a different area or outside if weather allows, play some favorite music, take a look at a scrapbook, or point out different birds and flowers. When peace is restored, you should try the task once again, in many cases with far better outcomes.
- Stop rationalizing. Trying to prove a point or win a quarrel is hardly ever successful when talking with a person with Alzheimer’s. Remind yourself that the person’s brain functioning is modified, and as long as no harm will be done, allow the senior loved one to maintain her own personal reality.
- Overcome denial. Although it may be human nature to want to deny that there’s a problem, recognizing indications of dementia and seeking medical assistance as soon as possible is needed to get the medical care and treatment necessary.
- Check medications. The side effects of various medicines have the ability to cause additional confusion and cognitive difficulties. Build a thorough list of all medications (including over-the-counter ones) and evaluate with the senior’s physician to confirm that the benefits exceed any undesirable effects.
- Take proper care of YOU, too. Caregiver burnout and depression are serious concerns for family members taking care of someone with dementia. Make certain you are carving out sufficient time for self-care, socializing, and hobbies that you enjoy. Remember that your loved one will benefit from having a caregiver who is healthy and refreshed.
- Keep in mind that life can be fulfilling with dementia. Even though the person you love is going through some challenging changes, it’s essential to realize that life, while different, can certainly still be meaningful and bring happiness in spite of the disease. Investigate different sorts of activities for the senior to increase socialization, improve memory and cognitive functioning, and stay physically active.
CareWorks Health Services, the leader in dementia care in Huntington Beach and the surrounding areas, is always available to supply the support you will need to make sure your loved one with dementia is able to live life to the fullest. Call us at (949) 859-4700 for additional details on our highly skilled in-home dementia care for seniors.