Tips & Tricks For Dementia Caregivers
If you are the primary caregiver for someone with dementia, you are taking on a lot. It is highly likely that your stress and frustration levels are high. One of the most difficult parts of your job can be managing daily tasks. This article will provide you with some tips and tricks to making your day to day life more manageable.
Reducing Caregiver Frustrations
A person with dementia might become agitated when once-simple tasks become difficult. To limit challenges and ease frustration:
- Schedule wisely. Establish a daily routine. Some tasks will be easier to take on during certain parts of the day. Follow the lead of the person you are caring for and be prepared to make adjustments on a daily basis.
- Take your time. Plan for tasks to take longer than usual and leave room for this in your schedule. Allow time for breaks during tasks.
- Involve the person. Allow the person with dementia to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance.
- Provide choices. Provide some, but not too many, choices every day. For example, give two choices for lunch, provide the option of playing a game in or outdoors. The choices can be simple.
- Provide simple instructions. People with dementia best understand clear, one-step communication.
- Limit napping. Avoid multiple or prolonged naps during the day. This can help with keeping a stable sleep schedule.
- Reduce distractions. Turn off the TV and minimize other distractions at mealtime and during conversations to make it easier for the person with dementia to focus.
As time progresses, a person with dementia is going to need more and more help.To reduce frustration, stay flexible and adapt your routine and expectations as needed.
For example, if he or she wants to wear the same outfit every day, consider buying a few identical outfits. If bathing is met with resistance, consider doing it less often. Don’t overthink simple situations.
Create A Safe Environment
Dementia impairs judgment and problem-solving skills, increasing a person’s risk of injury. To promote safety:
- Prevent falls. De-clutter the floor. Remove anything that may cause someone to trip (rugs, chords, decor, plants, etc.) Install handrails or grab bars in critical areas.
- Use locks. Install locks on cabinets that contain anything potentially dangerous, such as medicine, alcohol, guns, toxic cleaning substances, dangerous utensils and tools.
- Check water temperature. Lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns.
- Take fire safety precautions. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. If the person with dementia smokes, always supervise smoking. Make sure a fire extinguisher is accessible and the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries.
Each person with Alzheimer’s disease will experience its symptoms and progression differently. Tailor these practical tips to your family member’s needs. Being able to go with the flow and accepting changes well can help you to provide the best care possible. If you are ready to begin the discussion of needing help with caregiving, Orchard at Brookhaven is here for you. Please contact us today to learn more about our community.