Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

Anyone who has ever witnessed someone who suffers from a form of dementia understands why there is such a dire need for extremely thoughtful care. From memory loss and trouble communicating to decreased motor ability, mood swings, and depression, dementia can be incredibly challenging for both the sufferer as well as the person or people who provide care. While your loved one may be receiving help from a caregiver, it’s important to understand how you too can ease your loved one’s burdens by providing extra support and love.

Focus On Communication

One key factor needed when caring for someone with dementia is making sure you’re aware of how you communicate with them. Best practice is to talk to them in a calm and understanding manner. Having good communication skills will help reduce any stress between the caregiver, you, and your loved one, and will help to maintain a good relationship with everyone. This rings especially true in cases where home care assistance is provided since the caregiver will be in the personal space of your loved one. Being an effective, thoughtful communicator will help with regular care as well as help to diffuse any challenges which may arise.

Be Flexible

For some people, routines can be a great way to bring normality into everyday life. However, being insistent on a specific behavior, time, or manner of performing a certain activity can lead to challenges. Because your loved one is more than likely feeling discouraged due to these changes in their life, it can be more practical to accommodate their behavior (within reason) rather than trying to shape it. For instance, if your loved one insists on sleeping somewhere other than their bed, consider the options and why they may feel this way. Maybe it’s more comfortable and better to change rooms than risking them getting upset by sleeping in a bed they feel is too rigid. This type of flexible caregiving allows your loved one to feel more secure and retain their sense of independence.

Compassion Goes A Long Way

Those with dementia often feel a loss of independence, and by extension, feel their illness is a blow to their dignity. Because of this, being mindful of your compassion can go a long way! Although each person is different, when someone is being cared for by someone who truly shows genuine compassion, care, and interest in them, it can help to defuse any negative emotions which may arise. Don’t forget to tell your loved one often how much you care! Whether it’s bringing a small gift of their favorite chocolates, offering to read from their favorite book, or even just staying for dinner during your busy schedule can mean the world to them!

We hope these tips help you when providing support for your loved one. Caring for someone with dementia can certainly be a challenge, but can be made easier when you have the assistance of a knowledgeable and capable in-home caregiver! Be sure to find a reputable senior care service which excels in the areas needed to make sure that your loved one has the best quality of care possible—contact the team at Comfort Keepers in Albuquerque today!