When someone close to you has dementia it can have a considerable impact on their everyday life and on your own life too. Being a care giver is about finding the most appropriate strategies for an individual and caring for their specific needs in the most effective way.
Here are some honest and practical tips for dementia caregiving.
Ask Appropriate Questions
People with dementia can get confused easily. It’s best not to bombard them with information and if you’re having a conversation, ask one question at a time in a clear language that they can easily understand. Complex, open-ended questions with many answers can confuse someone and cause frustration.
Break Down Tasks
When you are working through an activity or task with someone, try to break it down into more manageable stages so that a person does not become overwhelmed by a task. The simpler, the better – gently assist them along the way and focus on one stage at a time.
Kind words can make a world of difference when caring for someone with dementia. If a person becomes confused or disorientated, then trying to make them more relaxed using gentle words can help. Instead of telling them something that they are saying is not correct, try to reassure them that they are safe and validate their concerns by telling them that everything will be fine.
Source the right activities
There are so many companies that stock products suitable for people with dementia, such as Active Minds – they research, design and develop innovative and creative activities to assist people with dementia in leading active, engaging and fulfilling lives including a range of reminiscence activities and dementia games.
None of us can be positive ALL the time, but when you interact with someone who is living with dementia they will be able to pick up signals from your body language and tone of voice. If you use positive movements and speak respectfully and kindly, there is more of a chance that someone will respond to you in a similar way and feel more relaxed.
Being a care giver can be incredibly demanding but it’s one of the most rewarding jobs. Seeking help when you need it and looking after yourself are ways of ensuring that you can give the best care possible.