Caregiving to someone with dementia is incredibly tough. There are at present 50 million people with dementia across the world. Out of these, more than 5 million people are in the U.S. Are you a caregiver of a loved one who has this progressive disease? If yes, don’t lose hope and patience. You can deal with all the challenges by following some essential tips. So, let’s have a look.
Ask close-ended questions
People with dementia lost their ability to connect or process information. So, when you are asking open-ended questions, they feel a sense of anxiety. They feel trouble in comprehending the meaning. It would be better to ask close-ended questions to which they can respond in yes or no.
Do not lose patience
A person with dementia could become aggressive at sometimes because of the continuous turmoil that he or she undergoes in regaining speaking, thinking, and so on. Do not lose patience in such a situation. Try to understand that it is not they who are behaving like this, but the disease is the real culprit. Developing patience will help you to deal with the aggressiveness of dementia patients. Also, try to understand the triggers that make them confused or anxious.
Ensure a peaceful environment
A dementia patient living in a noisy and cluttered environment can have a sensory overload. It can cause him or her severe distress. So, try to ensure a peaceful and organized environment. Try to pay attention to colors or patterns used in the upholstery or walls. Also, make sure to minimize the use of electronic appliances that are noisy.
Use the power of touch
Believe or not, touch is effective in conveying myriads of emotions. Gift the power of touch by holding the hand of your loved one while conversing with him or her. Your kind gesture will offer a sense of calmness and reassurance which dementia patients need badly.
Take the route of laughter
Humor works when everything fails. After all, laughter is therapeutic. Dementia patients often lose their cognitive abilities which, in turn, affect their ability to smile when they are pleased. However, not all is lost; they sometimes respond to laughter. So, tell funny jokes or laugh while dealing with a dementia patient. Even if it fails to achieve anything, it will relieve you from the caregiver stress.
According to some research studies, daily walking can decrease the progression of dementia to some extent. So, encourage your loved one to walk daily for at least 30 minutes. As a caregiver, this will also help you to relax your mind and body.
If you experience problems with caregiving, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your family, friends, or colleagues. You never know that someone is waiting to help you in your caregiving journey. You can also join an online community of caregivers to get valuable tips and caregiver support.