Dementia is a condition which affects numerous people each year, and since it is a progressive condition (which means it is likely to worsen over time), it can be more difficult to care for your loved one as the years go by. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to care for them. You can still provide your loved one with the proper care they need without finding yourself too overwhelmed or burdened. The key is to know how to deal with the condition and what to do if certain situations arise. It’s also important to remain patient and to remember that the condition can alter your loved one’s state of mind as well as their attitude and behaviour. Here’s how best to deal with your loved one’s everyday needs if they have dementia.
What you should always bear in mind
As mentioned, you should try your best to be patient, especially when your loved one is being quite difficult or challenging. Dementia affects the functions of the brain, and this can lead to dramatic changes in a person’s behaviour and attitude, and you should always remember this. But apart from this, your loved one with dementia may also be feeling extra vulnerable, especially as their condition becomes more pronounced. It is therefore important that you make them feel supported and reassured whilst still allowing them to retain a level of dignity and independence.
Dealing with everyday needs and tasks
It goes without saying that your loved one’s everyday needs should always be a priority. But it may be increasingly difficult for them to deal with everyday tasks on their own, and even the simplest tasks, such as eating (or remembering to eat), bathing, or dressing may become a challenge. One of the most important things you can do, therefore, is to help establish a regular routine. If they are used to waking up in the morning and having breakfast at 8 am, then you should stick to this routine. It helps to have a routine that is regular and established as this can calm your loved one and help them feel more at ease. It also makes them feel good if they remember to stick to a particular routine or task at a certain time.
Another way you can help the person deal with everyday needs and tasks is to allow them to make simple contributions to the routine. It makes them feel better if they can be more involved. For instance, you can let them help with the grocery shopping or let them set the table. Allowing them to perform simple tasks can be a big boost to their self-esteem and self-worth.
Over time, the condition may likely worsen, but try to find ways to help your loved one cope. Always provide them with a relaxed, stress-free environment, and keep familiar objects in familiar places. Whilst you and your loved one may benefit from live-in dementia care at home from a professional, it pays to let the caregiver know about certain tasks and routines your loved one is used to doing every day so they can follow these as well.