10 Important Tips when Caring for Someone with Dementia
- Get Support. It’s always ok to accept or ask for help. Many caregivers attend support groups for reinforcement or assistance. Support groups allow caregivers to share experiences, advice and local Alzheimer’s and dementia resources.
- Learn ways to interact. Understanding the disease and developing useful ways to interact with your consumer or loved one is essential. Positive body language, speaking in a soft and pleasant tone and physical touch are all extremely important.
- Don’t Overestimate or Underestimate. Those suffering from dementia vary in their levels ability. Try not to be too concerned on what they can or cannot do, instead make sure that you are empowering independence. Also, being careful not to ask too much of them; which can lead to frustration.
- Speak simply. Use simple words and sentences. Speak slowly, specifically, and in an encouraging tone.
- Ask simple questions. Ask one question at a time. It’s best to ask yes or no questions, as oppose to open-ended questions, which can cause confusion or induce anxiety.
- Break down daily living activities into a series of steps. This usually makes tasks more achievable. You can encourage your loved one or consumer to do what they can, while politely reminding them of steps they may forget. Always assist with steps they are no longer capable of accomplish on their own.
- Have a sense of humor. Studies show that people with dementia respond positively to humor and laughter is good for their overall health.
- Encourage physical exercise. Various research shows that an active lifestyle can slow brain aging. Regular exercise can stimulate blood circulation to the brain, which can give the person you are caring for confidence and clarity.
- Be empathetic and accepting. People with dementia often feel disconcerted and anxious. They may recall things that never occurred or hallucinate. Avoid trying to correct them or responding negatively. Instead respond with comfort, support, and reassurance.
- Keep familiar items nearby. When needed caregivers can use familiar items, such as their favorite music, scents, movies or photos to stimulate positive feelings and happy thoughts.
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