Caring for a patient with dementia poses numerous challenges for families and caregivers. These challenges include increased difficulty with everyday life, and the risk of further health issues, such as Alzheimer’s. Even without additional complications, dementia can cause mood swings and alter a person’s identity and behavior.
On a practical level, seniors with dementia face numerous restrictions on their daily life. Here are a few essential home care tips to assist them.
1. Use bright colors
Seniors with dementia frequently have trouble recognizing even familiar objects. Soft-colored foods on a plate, like mashed potatoes peas, etc., can swirl together in their vision, making eating difficult. Serving dinners on brightly colored plates can help dementia sufferers see their food.
Entryways in bright colors can help seniors with dementia navigate the home more easily. Color-code exits and entryways with vivid colors; you can even consider naming them to help make identification quicker and easier.
2. Take a trip outside
Dementia patients can regularly feel isolated and limited even in their own homes. Taking them out to a pleasant stop, like a coffee shop or park, can go a long way toward improving their well-being. Always be sure to properly supervise dementia patients; but never underestimate the benefits of fresh air and a fresh perspective.
3. Plug in a night light
Seniors with dementia are more likely to be unsettled at night. The dimness adds to their disorientation and uncertainty. A little light at night not only gives consolation but also prevents them from falling when they wake up.
4. Turn on the music
Music may be a good tool for memory relaxation. Playing music from your loved one’s past can lifting their spirits and perhaps bring back memories. Also, music can help dementia patients to unwind when they’re feeling anxious. Prepare a playlist of their preferred tunes for when they’re having a hard day.
5. Take the right approach
Dementia patients can feel nervous when approached from behind. Always approach dementia patients so that they see you; walk near them gradually and calmly. If you do need to approach from behind, let them know of your presence through a soft word or noise. If the patient is sitting down, squat to create eye contact; rise when they stand up so that you’re always at the same level.
Guidelines for Communicating with an Individual with Dementia
Improving your communication with those who have dementia will help you be less upsetting and will increase the bond you have with them. As you are better able to talk with dementia patients, you’ll also be better able to deal with the inevitable frustrations that can come with caring for dementia patients. These next tips form some good guidelines for talking with individuals with dementia.
Give the patient some consideration
Limit diversions and noise. Talking to patients with dementia can be difficult, so make the job easier. When you speak with them, be sure to say their name, introduce yourself again, and use nonverbal signals and touch to help them remain centered and calm.
State your message unmistakably
Use clear words and sentences. Talk softly, stick to the point, and use a consoling tone. Avoid talking in a loud voice; speak in low tones, but remain clear. If you need to repeat your message, use the same words to help the patient understand. If they still don’t get it, wait a couple of minutes and reword the sentence. Refer to specific names of individuals and places rather than pronouns or abbreviations.
Break down tasks into a sequence of steps
Take single tasks and divide them into smaller, easily-done steps. Procedures make numerous errands much more reasonable. You empower the patients to do what they are not otherwise able to do. Slowly and carefully repeat any steps they are likely to forget and help with steps they are not able to achieve on their own. Employ visual signals. Guiding a patient with your hand to show them where to put the supper plate is an example of a physical action to provide support.
Set a positive disposition for interaction
Your state of mind and body language can communicate your emotional state and contemplations more truthfully than your words do. Dementia patients can frequently pick up on those signals. Set a positive temperament by talking to the patient patiently and lovingly. Take into consideration your tone of voice, and remember that human touch can help pass on your message and express your affection.
Jane Byrne, a coordinator from a nursing home in Wicklow, points out that there are many types of dementia, each with their own causes and symptoms. “However, there are similarities across the board, which we need to combat. Dementia is so widespread nowadays that all healthcare professionals really have to stand up and take notice.”
The above information is an outline of the foremost common dementia-associated behaviors. The recommended proposals will help carers deal with the communication issues which manifest in those who are suffering from dementia.