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A Simple Guide to Providing Dementia Care for a Senior Loved One

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on September 19, 2016

After a senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, there are a few things you can do to provide the comfort and care he or she needs. The Chandler in-home elder care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss some simple steps to take while helping your loved one manage dementia.

Facilitate Attentiveness

Dementia can make it challenging for seniors to give their full attention to certain tasks, even if they put forth a great effort. To help your loved one stay focused, distractions such as the Internet or television should be reasonably reduced whenever you need to communicate. 

Use Names When Communicating

Seniors with dementia may experience difficulty remembering the names of people they’ve known for years and even their own names. Upon greeting your loved one, you can circumvent potential confusion by identifying yourself. Speak slowly and keep your tone clear. You may be able to help your loved one further by mentioning his or her name and explicitly stating the nature of your relationship.

Convey Respect, Reassurance, and Positive Energy

Always be pleasant and respectful when communicating with your loved one. Using physical touch to help him or her understand the full message of your interaction adds a sensory dimension to remember you by. Patience and empathy are essential as well. Though dementia causes memory loss, many seniors are still marginally aware of their condition and may be stressed because they have no way of controlling it. Your loved one may not explicitly vocalize this distress, but being positive and patient can take away some of the pressure. Be sure to offer reassurance whenever possible because dementia can be particularly damaging to self-esteem. With positive reinforcement, you can help your loved one feel less insecure.

Hire an In-Home Caregiver

Nobody can provide seniors with dementia the same level of love and understanding as their family, but caregiving often requires full-time commitment and expertise. You may not realistically be able to put your life on hold to provide around-the-clock dementia care, and the resulting stress can have a negative impact on both your and your loved one’s health. Consider hiring a professional dementia caregiver in Chandler to be there when your loved one needs assistance, and you can still visit to show support whenever you have the time.

Providing plenty of mental stimulation can also make it easier for your loved one to manage dementia symptoms. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses activities to slow cognitive decline and help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment. In addition to dementia and Alzheimer’s care Chandler, AZ, families trust, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s and post-stroke care. For more information, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.