When your elderly family member is diagnosed with dementia, it can be a shock. As her brain changes, so too does how she interacts with the world and the people she loves. It helps if you have an idea what sorts of solutions might help her and you to cope.
Safety Is Key
So much about dementia care involves your senior’s safety. Depending on the severity of her dementia, she may be wandering or making choices that aren’t so great. It’s important to look at all of the potential safety risks and put solutions in place before something happens. That’s not always possible, of course, but learning more about dementia can help you to do that.
Routines Help People with Dementia
Very often people with dementia find that routines help them to feel comfortable. As your senior’s dementia progresses, you’ll also find that these routines help you to make sure you’re meeting all of her basic needs. Mealtimes, waking and sleeping times, and exercise all need to be part of your senior’s routine for best results.
Your Senior’s Habits Can Help You Spot Needs
Some of the things that your elderly family member does might not make sense to you. For instance, when she gets agitated, she might start repeating questions over and over. If you put together that she’s doing that when she’s nervous or upset, that allows you to correct whatever is causing that feeling for her. If she’s in a more advanced stage of dementia, she might start to wander when she needs the bathroom. Helping her to stick to a bathroom routine can help to avoid that.
How She Approaches Food May Be Different Now
Your senior may have a different relationship with food than she has had in the past. For example, in the past, she might have eaten something when she got hungry. But she might not recognize hunger in the same way any longer, which might mean that she just doesn’t eat. That can be detrimental for her health. Smaller meals served more frequently at regular intervals can help her to get the nutrients she needs without stressing her out.
You Need Help for Yourself, as Well
It’s vital that you remember that you need help just as much as your senior does. Dementia care is exhausting, and your emotions are going to play a huge role in your physical well-being. Working with elderly care providers gives you a chance to take respite time when you need it and allows you to see some other ways of handling some of the challenges your senior faces.
Learning that your senior has dementia doesn’t need to be a horrible situation for either of you. The diagnosis gives you an opportunity to learn what she needs to support her as her brain changes.
Excerpt: Finding out that your senior has dementia changes so much in her life and in yours.
If you or someone you know needs help with elderly care in Jenison, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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