Does someone you love have dementia? Becoming a caregiver for someone with dementia can be a daunting task. These tips for dementia caregivers will help you rise to the occasion.
Tips for Dementia Caregivers
Millions of Americans are part-time or full-time caregivers for a loved one with dementia. If you’re new to this kind of care, these tips for dementia caregivers will get you on the right track.
Daily Life with Dementia
No matter what kind of caretaking role you find yourself in, your tasks will likely be focused on helping your loved one adjust to life with dementia. You can do this by staying flexible and focusing on your loved one’s needs:
- If your loved one is agitated or sad, listen to their concerns. Give them the space to express themselves and provide comfort and reassurance.
- Give them choices with clearly-outlined options whenever possible. For example, you can present them with a selection of two shirts to wear, and let them pick one.
- Engage your loved one in conversation whenever possible. The pace of discussion may be slow, but it will help your loved one practice essential skills and also help them avoid a sense of social isolation.
- If your loved one is overwhelmed or too upset to do something, don’t force it. Provide them with something that will comfort them, such as a family photograph or a favorite song on the radio, and let them regain their sense of safety.
- Dementia brings a heightened safety risk into your loved one’s life, so make their home as safe as possible. Keep walkways clear, make sure everything is well-lit, and lock away dangerous household chemicals like bleach.
Take Care of Yourself Too
It can be hard to remember when you’re focused on caring for someone else, but failing to care for yourself is a bad idea when someone depends on you. Balancing self-care with caretaking can be tricky, but it’s possible:
- Be sure to cover the basics. Eat nutritiously, get as much sleep as possible, and exercise regularly. All these things will help you be there for your loved one and for yourself, too.
- Don’t let caretaking take over your life. Be sure to take a break every day for some quiet time to yourself. Prioritize outside hobbies and relationships whenever you can.
- If you need to vent, consider joining a support group for dementia caretakers. They’ll understand where you’re coming from and may even have some great advice.
Plan for the Future
Since dementia is a progressive disease, caretakers need to be ready for it to change. At some point, your loved one may have needs you can no longer meet on your own. Make a plan for what to do before that occurs:
- Start discussions about your loved one’s wishes as early as possible, and make a plan for how they want to be cared for as the disease progresses. Consider practical realities, like the resources needed for care, alongside your loved one’s wishes.
- If you will be in a position where you will assume legal or financial responsibility for your loved one’s care, consider getting a power of attorney.
- Sometimes it’s just not possible to do it all on your own. If your loved one needs more intensive help, a Memory Care community might be an ideal option.
A dementia diagnosis will change your loved one’s life, but you can help them learn to cope. If you need more help, reach out to the memory care experts at the Beach House. We’re here for you.
Are you ready to learn more about memory care? If you’re hoping to retire in Jacksonville, Florida, the Beach House could be the ideal place. Our friendly and compassionate staff members offer individualized care 24/7, ensuring the safety, security, and happiness of all residents. The Beach House provides assisted living, memory care, and respite care. Most importantly, we tailor these services to suit the unique needs of each resident. To learn more about our amenities or schedule a tour, please get in touch with us online or give us a call at 904-615-8076. We look forward to hearing from you!