Our Blog

Top 3 Practical Care Tips for Dementia Patients

by Dee & Vanessa, November 04, 2019

Caring for a loved one with dementia takes patience and diligence. Many times, caregivers are often focused more on the medical aspect of care at the early onset of dementia; however, there are many practical aspects of care that need to be addressed.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 16 million individuals in the U.S. provide care for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the association has found that someone in the U.S. develops the disease every 65 seconds.

Coping as a caregiver or even an individual with dementia begs the need for support. As you navigate this journey, consider these three practical care tips that can increase the comfort level of a dementia patient and offer peace of mind for you – a loved one – as you both cope through the challenges.

Minimize Frustrations

It is common for dementia patients to become easily agitated, especially when they are struggling to perform daily tasks that used to come naturally. You can offer the support they need by helping to minimize potential frustrations. 

This may involve: 

  • Establishing a daily routine for bathing, dressing, hygiene and even medical appointments. When a dementia patient has a routine, it becomes more natural to complete routine tasks. Spontaneous activities fuel frustration, which is why establishing a routine is best for all involved in the care of a dementia patient. 
  • Anticipating Delays: Routine tasks are likely to take a dementia patient longer than normal. Help reduce frustration by anticipating delays each day. Plan for extra time to dress, bathe, eat and prepare for medical appointments so your loved one does not feel rushed. 
  • Involving Dementia Patients in Decision Making: As with aging, an individual who is struggling with memory loss and confusion may feel like he or she is losing control of his or her independence. That’s why it’s important to involve a dementia patient in decision making and daily tasks. Find routine activities, such as setting the table and light cleaning, so that your loved one feels involved. Avoid making decisions regarding care without involving him or her in the process. 

Offer a Safe Environment

Safety is crucial for many reasons. You want your loved one with dementia to avoid injury or risks of falling, but you also want him or her to feel safe emotionally and mentally. Creating a safe environment is an essential part of practical care. 

Consider taking these actions: 

  • Regulate Water Temperatures: It’s easy – at any stage of life – to burn yourself when turning on the sink or bathtub faucet. Ensure that the water temperature is not too hot by lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater. 
  • Arrange Furniture Carefully: Eliminate any types of fall or trip hazards by arranging furniture so your loved one can navigate with ease, recommends the Dementia Society of America. Make sure that walkways are wide and that loose rugs, cords or clutter is not obstructing walkways. 
  • Utilize Locks: When a dementia patient is confused, he or she is at risk when potentially dangerous items are readily available. Utilize locks to keep medications, cleaning substances, guns, and alcohol out of reach. 

Adapt Activities

According to the National Institute on Aging, people with dementia need to be active; however, it may not be easy for them to take part in their typical activities. In fact, they may even struggle deciding what to do or how to go about participating in activities they enjoy, such as playing cards, bingo or games. 

One practical care tip is to adapt activities so it is less stressful and frustrating for a person with dementia. Based on how the patient is functioning, it may be necessary to simplify some of these activities and avoid activities that cause too much frustration. 

For example, instead of playing a complex card game, opt for something much easier such as Go Fish or a matching game. If venturing outside proves to be too difficult, look for indoor entertainment options, such as reading or visiting with family. 

Finding the Support and Care You Need

A physical illness or disease can affect individuals at any stage of life and age. In some cases, the symptoms may be mild, but many disorders, such as dementia, can also be life-threatening. 

This is why support and care is essential at the onset of any type of discomfort for your aging parent. And, a team effort ensures that you – or a loved one – will navigate chronic conditions in comfort. 

It’s important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disorder affects everyone involved and to also identify coping skills. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living, while coordinating palliative care. 

Life with any type of illness is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with grief and loss when coping with the symptoms as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away. 

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need today