Nearly 50 million people around the world are currently living with dementia. More than half a million of them are living in Canada, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. If you provide regular care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, here are some daily care tips that could make your efforts more productive and effective.
1. Be Consistent with Daily Routines
Seniors with dementia tend to be less anxious if they have consistent schedules. As the condition advances, you may need to make appropriate adjustments to daily routines, which might include:
• Shifting more demanding tasks to times of the day when your loved one is calmer
• Using appropriate assistive devices
• Incorporating music and other relaxation tools into the daily routine to reduce agitation
Dementia can be challenging for seniors, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Mississauga 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. Have Patience
Whether you’re helping your loved one get dressed, offering a hand with daily meals, or simply having regular conversations, it’s important to be patient, which may mean:
• Allowing more time for meals so your loved one doesn’t feel rushed
• Sticking to one topic per conversation
• Setting aside extra time for more involved daily tasks
3. Minimize Distractions
Once your loved one gets beyond the early stages of dementia, he or she may become easily distracted, annoyed, agitated, or confused. If you start to see signs of this, make an effort to minimize distractions such as background noises as much as possible, especially when attempting to complete daily tasks or get your loved one engaged in an activity.
4. Manage Nutrition
There’s nothing wrong with letting your loved one have comfort treats like ice cream now and then. However, it’s also important to be mindful of how balanced your parent’s daily diet is and whether he or she is getting sufficient hydration. There’s also evidence suggesting certain nutrient-rich foods may minimize some of the cognitive symptoms associated with dementia.
5. Offer Reassurance
If you’re doing things that normally aren’t part of your loved one’s routine, such as going to a doctor’s appointment, remind your parent what’s going on so he or she doesn’t get upset or confused. With daily care, also offer gentle reminders that you’re there to help your loved one remain calm and feel safe.
Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s wellbeing. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
6. Encourage Activities that Boost Cognition & Memory
Everyday care isn’t just about crossing things off a daily to-do list. Confer with your loved one’s doctor to determine what activities or mental exercises may benefit your loved one. For instance, you might encourage your parent to do crossword puzzles or plan activities like scrapbooking that can trigger meaningful memories.
7. Be Willing to Accept/Ask for Help
There’s no shame in knowing when to ask for a helping hand when providing everyday care for a loved one with dementia. You’ll also be providing better care if you know when it’s time to get some help or take a break to recharge and refresh personally. Find the help you need by reaching out to other family members or considering options with in-home care.
The responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one with dementia 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 Mississauga elderly home care 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. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at 905-337-1200 today.