Care for a Person with Dementia
Care for Person with Dementia when they find it difficult to care for themselves. Learn how to care for an individual with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
The condition will not only affect the person who has the disease but will also affect their partners, family and friends.
Dementia literally means ‘brain cell death’. The person with the disease will get progressively worse with time. so dementia care is going to be needed for the individual who has dementia as the dementia progresses.
Although the condition itself cannot be cured, it can be managed positively and successfully in many different cases ensuring that the person living with condition has an ongoing quality of life they need and deserve.
What to expect with care for a person with dementia and how to cope
Caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia can be a full-time task and the person will require much more assistance with many different areas of life that they previously would have taken in their stride. Supporting a person with the disease in later stages of dementia is not a part-time occupation. Caring is a dedicated and demanding task especially as the disease progresses.
Help can be given to the individual and their families with home based carer support or receive care within residential or nursing based services, respite (short-stay) service provisions and be visited in their own homes by carers within home-care and outreach based services.
As each day progresses carers will observe there are either subtle or more obvious changes in a person’s capabilities such as their behaviour and how they act or behave around others. Those who experience dementia often retain longer term memories in a much more intact manner (e.g. from childhood), whereas short-term memory is often much more impaired.
As ability in reasoning, mental capacity and intellectual awareness can suffer over time it is prudent to start considering important issues immediately and certainly as early as possible in order to involve the person in decisions as much as possible or practically available.
Get financial matters and personal wishes sorted as soon as possible
When considering how to care for person with dementia try to ascertain wishes around financial matters, wills and personal possessions or property. Whilst not a pleasant matter for most, if funeral wishes and choices after death have not been agreed, it is important to ascertain these now, before dementia symptoms may make it difficult to hold lucid conversations with your partner or family member.
It is certainly prudent to involve legal professionals to help document their wishes.
Routine is key when you Care for Person with Dementia
When supporting those who have dementia, it is important to retain normal every day routines which the person is already comfortable with and aware of. Sudden changes in surroundings (e.g. moving furniture around), visitors received, or a change in mealtimes or bedtime is not recommended and can cause disorientation and distress for the person.
When a person wakes in the morning, basic requirements such as washing and dressing, or choosing their own clothes are important issues to keep at hand. Try to keep choices simple and questions simple. Helping a person choose cloths and helping them with dressing can be difficult area of care for person with dementia.
Do not change the expected patterns within these areas of life, unless it is absolutely essential to do so. Where it is unavoidable, introduce lifestyle changes slowly and gradually, presented in a highly positive manner.
Calmly explain and go through each step of the support you offer to an individual whilst offering repeated reassurance, even if you feel they do not fully comprehend your communication. This could be as simple as describing how you are going to support a family member to dress in the day (whilst involving them as much as they can within clothing choices) to reminding of a visit from family or friends.
You can watch a video on how to care for person with dementia below.
Please feel free to comment below on any advice or tips on how to care for person with dementia.