Tips for Being an Exceptional Dementia Caregiver

When you first step into the caregiver role, things may not be as challenging as they might get when your senior loved one ages and experiences changes, including any conditions or diseases they might develop, such as dementia. In this instance, the plans and strategies you used in the past will need to change as your loved one’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing change. Below are some tips to provide excellent care to a senior loved one with dementia.

Communicate Clearly

Speak slowly and clearly, allowing your loved one to hear your words and process them as effectively as possible. Stay calm if you have to repeat things multiple times. The objective is to help your loved one understand what you’re saying. Going slowly also gives your loved one time to respond instead of answering quickly and inaccurately, feeling like you’re pressuring for an answer. 

Another strategy is to use short sentences. In addition, always make eye contact with your loved one to ensure they’re comfortable and following the conversation instead of drifting off and focusing on noises, sights, or people in the background.

Alter Daily Activities

Even as dementia progresses, your loved one can continue taking on daily activities they’ve always enjoyed. However, you’ll need to alter hobbies based on your loved one’s capabilities. For example, if your loved one has difficulty remembering people, places, and things but loves memory games or visual activities, it would be better to go through photo albums, listen to your loved one’s favorite music, or watch television shows they enjoyed in the past. Doing so allows your loved one to enjoy these activities without straining their memory. Instead, your loved one can speak about what they remember or ask questions about parts of the hobbies they’ve forgotten.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors with dementia. However, they can still live safely and comfortably at home with the help of professional elder care. Families can rely on Corio by Institute on Aging (IOA) to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Purchase Loose-Fitting Clothes

Clothing that fits tightly could make seniors with dementia feel restricted or cause agitation and confusion. Therefore, you should purchase loose-fitting clothing for your loved one, such as pants, shirts, and shoes with Velcro closures or oversized zippers. These options are easier to manage than buckles, shoelaces, and buttons.

The fabrics you purchase for your loved one to wear should also be stretchable and soft. Anything else could be uncomfortable and upset your loved one. Uncomfortable clothing could lead to accidents and injuries, especially if your loved one is unable to walk in the attire and slips and falls.

Professional caregivers can help seniors stay safe in their homes. Families looking for top-rated hourly, 24-hour, and live-in care providers can reach out to Corio by IOA. From respite for family caregivers to specialized dementia care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Keep Doctors Updated

Although people with dementia have similar symptoms and certain steps need to be followed across the board, the way your loved one reacts to dementia could be different than other seniors, so some suggestions or medications prescribed by doctors may not work well. The physician will only know how your loved one responds to prescriptions and suggested daily activities if you inform the doctor about the adverse reactions. Failing to notify the doctor could allow dementia to progress faster and keep your loved one in an uncomfortable space.

Your loved one’s primary healthcare provider could make changes based on your updates. The physician could also give you facts to consider, preparing you for difficult times or giving you the advice you need to remain patient and upbeat as your loved one’s dementia progresses. 

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide 24-hour home care as well as overnight and live-in care. Families can turn to Corio by IOA for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If you need professional home care San Francisco services for your aging loved one, our Connect Specialists are just a phone call away. Reach out to Corio by IOA today at (415) 750-4111.