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Do’s & Don’ts of Dementia Care for Family Caregivers

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

If your senior loved one has dementia, caring for him or her may be challenging. It is important to stay patient and try to make your loved one’s life go smoother. Follow these tips to make your dementia caregiving tasks easier.

Do: Provide Memory Aids

Seniors with dementia often know they have forgotten important things, and this can be quite upsetting for them. Help your loved one by looking at pictures or talking to him or her about important events that may trigger memories. Providing memory aids can ease frustration and put your loved one in a better mood.

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Lehigh Valley home care company you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Don’t: Get Easily Offended

The changes in brain health associated with dementia may cause your loved one to act in an offensive way. Do not take it personally if your loved one accuses you of stealing from him or her or disliking him or her. Your loved one may use offensive language, but keep in mind he or she is not trying to offend you. Reacting poorly to these types of occurrences could make the situation worse.

Do: Keep Communication Simple and Focused 

Dementia affects the language centers of the brain, so your loved one may not understand if you use sarcasm, complicated words, or metaphors. Seniors with dementia are easily distracted, so it is best to talk to your loved one without a radio or television going. Speak in clear, short sentences with easy-to-understand words to help your loved one understand what you are saying.

Don’t: Be Patronizing

Even though seniors with dementia face many challenges, they are still adults. Talking to your loved one in a baby voice may hurt his or her feelings and make him or her feel disrespected. You may find it is easier to interact with your loved one if you treat him or her like an intelligent adult. 

Caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Lehigh Valley, PA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Do: Keep Talking to Your Loved One

As a dementia caregiver, you can provide valuable social contact that prevents your loved one from feeling lonely, anxious, or depressed. Remember dementia symptoms can change from day to day, so your loved one might be able to access memories or language skills he or she could not previously recall. Even if your loved one can no longer respond to you, he or she may still appreciate the social contact of a person who is laughing, smiling, and talking.

Don’t: Forget Your Loved One’s Physical Health

When a family is managing a dementia diagnosis, it can be easy to focus solely on the senior’s mental health. However, it is still important for seniors to eat healthy, maintain a good blood pressure level, get regular exercise, and stay at a healthy weight. Keeping your loved one’s body in optimal condition may make it easier for him or her to manage dementia symptoms.

Dementia is one of the many serious health issues that can affect a senior’s quality of life. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lehigh Valley live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. Call Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 to hire a professionally trained caregiver for your senior loved one.