Tips on Taking Care of Seniors with Dementia
Dementia is the deterioration of a person’s cognitive functioning—that is, thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities. This affects a person to such extent that it interferes with their daily life and activities. While it is NOT a normal part of aging, dementia is not unusual for the elderly. When our elderly loved ones develop a form of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, it can get difficult for us to take care of them, and sometimes we wouldn’t know what to do. With that, here are a few tips that will help you in handling and taking care of seniors suffering from dementia:
- Interact Positively
Body language can give off a stronger message than words do. That is why when you are dealing with a dementia patient, it is important to set a positive mood by using a pleasant tone of voice, kind facial expressions, and a gentle touch.
- Get Their Attention
It is imperative for the mind of an elderly suffering from dementia to perceive and focus on things one at a time. When trying to communicate with them, first, limit distractions such as the radio and TV, and outside noise. Once you get their attention, address them by name, and introduce yourself and your relation to them. It is also important to be at eye-level with your senior loved ones when you are communicating with them.
- State Your Message Precisely and Concisely
Do not use too many words or sentences in one statement when you are talking to a senior suffering from dementia. Speak slowly and pronounce your words clearly, but with a soft and assuring tone. If they do not understand at first, use the same words and repeat the statement again, or wait a few minutes before repeating the same statement in the same tone.
- Simplify Activities into Steps
Having your senior loved one suffering from dementia do something on their own, or with little assistance, can oftentimes be challenging. The key, therefore, is to break down these tasks into steps, repeating to them important reminders in doing what they need to do. Using visual cues can also be helpful, as they can follow suit.
- Affection and Reassurance Can Go a Long Way
Seniors suffering from dementia often times get confused, anxious, frustrated, or even angry, as their minds can conjure up things that have not happened, and they can get reality mixed up with something else. Do not enforce, though, that they are wrong. Focus on what they are feeling and respond with affection and reassurance—or even praise.
Lastly, and most importantly, when employing the help of other people to take care of your elderly loved ones with dementia, look for a home health agency with caregivers you can trust. They must be able to provide the right and proper care, support, and companionship your senior loved ones need. Magnum Home Health Care, Inc. is a home health care in Bingham Farms, Michigan that strives to give quality, efficient, and reliable home health services in Michigan. Contact us today and talk to us about how we can help improve the quality of your senior loved ones’ lives.