Early At-Home Care for A Love One with Dementia

What is dementia? Dementia affects a person by diminishing one’s mental capabilities. The symptoms include problems with memory, speaking and understanding speech, planning, and performing other complex behaviors. Unfortunately, these symptoms will get worse over time.
If you are caring for someone with dementia, there are some important ways to ensure that he or she remains comfortable and safe.
Have a discussion with you family:
• Make sure someone is in charge of healthcare and financial decisions when the person is unable to do so. Put wishes on paper early and seek legal advice. Set up a conservatorship if necessary. This means designating someone who is legally responsible for protecting the interests of the person with dementia.
• Designate multiple people for meeting the person’s care needs. Appoint people who will be able to provide assistance.
• Figure out where the person with dementia will live. Discuss whether his or her current home is safe, and if it is not, decide if he or she should move closer to family or in with family members.
Talk with your healthcare provider about how you can:
• Keep the person calm and oriented
• Ensure that dressing and grooming are easy
• Help with memory loss
• Manage behavior and sleep problems
Reduce your family member’s confusion by:
• Setting up a day-to-day routine with simple activities
• Keeping familiar objects and people around
• Keeping lights on at night
• Using reminders, notes, calendars, or a list of activities
• Using cues to communicate certain times of the day. This can include opening the windows to indicate morning and playing soft music to indicate nighttime.
• Involving the person in daily activities as much as possible
Helpful Tips
• Take walks. This can prevent wandering and restlessness. Consider purchasing an identification and medical information bracelet in case your loved one wanders.
• Play music. This can help the person stay on a schedule and improve his or her sleep habits.
• Encourage therapeutic activities. Any hobbies or classes that the person enjoys and is capable of doing will be helpful
• Schedule supervised meals. This way the person doesn’t become dehydrated or hungry.
• Help your loved one maintain some independence. Daily care like bathing might be difficult as the dementia progresses. Help your loved one manage emotions and encourage independence to maintain as many aspects of the person’s old life as possible.
Source: http://www.healthline.com/health/alzheimers-dementia/dementia-home-care#EarlyStageCare



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