5 Ways You Can Help Your Aging Parent Who Has Dementia

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Caring for a senior loved one with a progressive disorder like dementia can be challenging, but with patience and assistance, the role can be less complicated. Remember to enlist the help of friends and family and maintain a positive outlook. Below are a few ways to make daily life easier when you’re caring for a senior with dementia.

1. Speak Clearly

Seniors with dementia typically experience cognitive problems that make it difficult to keep up with conversations. Always speak clearly, and avoid using negative tones. Wait until your loved one has answered a question before asking something else or moving on to another topic. Don’t rush your loved one at any point in the conversation. Using clear and precise sentences can lead to more effective communication.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Sacramento seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

2. Offer Reassurance

As dementia progresses, your loved one could become frightened as a result of cognitive decline. The uncertainty of the condition could be stressful and increase the risk of depression and other serious health issues. You can calm your loved one by offering words of encouragement or a gentle pat on the back or by using nonverbal clues that make him or her relax. The objective is to show your loved one you’re there no matter how difficult things become.

3. Encourage Staying Active

Being diagnosed with dementia doesn’t prevent your loved one from being able to participate in social activities or learn new things. Staying involved within the community and maintaining purposeful hobbies could reduce many of the symptoms associated with dementia and boost your parent’s quality of life. Look for senior-friendly activities in the area, such as dance classes, arts and crafts events, singing groups, and sports leagues. Giving older adults with dementia a purpose can boost cognitive health and self-confidence.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Sacramento homecare services provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

4. Monitor Medications

Medicine is typically prescribed to ease dementia symptoms, but in some cases, the side effects of the medications make daily life more stressful and lead to combative behavior. Monitor your loved one’s reactions to medications and report your findings to his or her primary care physician. Keep in mind dementia can change how some prescriptions affect the brain. Medications that didn’t bother your parent in the past could now impact his or her wellbeing. If you believe specific prescriptions are causing problems for your parent, ask the doctor to find better alternatives.

5. Don’t Correct Your Loved One

As dementia progresses, it generally alters the ability to think logically. As a result, your parent may react negatively or do things that don’t make sense. Avoid correcting your loved one, and maintain a positive approach. Arguing could cause the situation to escalate and lead to verbal or physical outbursts, such as yelling, spitting, biting, and hitting. When your loved one says something that isn’t true, don’t contradict him or her. Instead, show empathy and focus on the substance of what your loved one is trying to say.

Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s safety and comfort. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same senior home care. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 916.706.0169 today.