Approximately seven percent of family caregivers in Canada care for a loved one with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada reports that more than 560,000 adults in the country live with dementia. The number is expected to nearly double by the year 2033, and the number of new caregivers will also likely grow. Take a look at some of the ways to care for a parent with dementia at home.
1. Take Safety Precautions
The changes that take place in the brain once dementia develops commonly cause visual disturbances, which may cause a loss in depth perception. As such, seniors cannot judge differences in height when the ground or steps are the same color. Consider adding contrast wherever possible. Pathways to the bathroom should also be illuminated at night. Seniors with dementia are known to lose the ability to differentiate between night and day, causing them to wander at odd hours. Having some type of alarm system on entrances alerts family members if their loved one should attempt to venture outdoors unaccompanied.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Waterloo families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.
2. Forget Logic and Reasoning
Dementia damages the neurons in the memory and rational thinking regions of the brain. As such, older adults afflicted with this disease cannot think rationally. When they start conversations or behave in ways that seem illogical, there’s no point arguing with them or trying to get them to think logically. If your loved one brings up the past as if it is the present, perhaps use the moment to reminisce. For example, if your parent starts talking about a deceased spouse coming home for dinner, refrain from reminding him or her that the spouse passed away. Instead, consider reminiscing about pleasant moments involving both parents.
3. Handle Behavioral Issues
It’s not unusual for seniors with dementia to exhibit anger, anxiety, and frustration. There’s often an underlying reason for their irrational behavior. There might be an underlying issue or a need they’re no longer able to convey. Determine if your loved one is hungry, needs to use the bathroom, or is in some type of physical discomfort. Be compassionate and understanding. Stay calm and talk in a quiet tone of voice.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Waterloo, ON, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Create Routines
To minimize confusion and stress, seniors with dementia need daily routines. Older adults are typically calmer when awakening, dressing, eating, bathing, or other daily rituals occur at the same time. However, this is not to say that an occasional project, outing, or walk might not be a welcome diversion during the day.
5. Offer Options
Older adults living with dementia may need assistance when dressing or choosing a dinner menu. However, this doesn’t mean they cannot make a choice. Provide a couple of options for getting dressed in the morning. Perhaps ask if your loved one prefer a specific casserole or another dish at suppertime. Resist the urge to do everything for your parent, and allow him or her time to accomplish as much independently as possible.
Providing care to an aging parent with dementia can be a challenging task, especially if it’s managed alone. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Waterloo Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (519) 954-2111 today.