Dementia caregiving can feel as challenging as trying to wrap your mind around quantum physics. It entails attempting to make sense of what appears nonsensical, and responding in ways that seem counterintuitive to everything you’ve learned until now. Yet with a few simple tools in your dementia care toolbox, you can feel well informed and effective in your role, and help the person you love feel understood, content, and accepted.
How Can I Be a Better Dementia Caregiver?
Following these strategies from our experts in home care assistance in Gold Coast Chicago and the surrounding areas is a great starting point to overcome some of the common hurdles to dementia caregiving.
- Accept imperfection. First and most importantly, extend yourself the grace to be human. There will be plenty of times you wish you had handled a scenario in another way, and that’s ok. Try not to blame yourself, and use the situation as a chance to learn and grow as a caregiver.
- Let go of reason. With Alzheimer’s disease, typical logic and reasoning are commonly totally unproductive. As opposed to engaging in a debate over something you don’t agree on, for example the need to go to the doctor, switch to using simple, straightforward, and short statements, like: “Let’s take a nice drive.”
- Occasionally, a little white lie is needed. With dementia, honesty is simply not always the best policy. It could lead to confusion, agitation, and a meltdown. If the individual believes they are an employee of the doctor’s office, play along with this alternate reality, perhaps by giving them a briefcase and some “paperwork” to take to the next visit.
- Allow additional time and space for self-sufficiency. You might find it easier to take over the day-to-day tasks the older adult can no longer do easily or quickly. Unfortunately, in attempting to decrease the person’s frustration, you could end up hampering their sense of self-esteem. If dressing solo takes twice as long, plan for that extra time so neither of you feels hurried.
- Simplify questions. It might seem completely reasonable to ask the senior what they would like for supper, or what they would like to do that afternoon. However, if the person struggles to articulate a response, it can result in aggravation that can quickly intensify. A yes or no question may be more effective: “Would you like a bowl of soup?” Or, simply say to the individual: “Let’s head to the park after lunch!”
- Remind yourself that it’s ok to ask for help. Providing care for somebody who has dementia is without a doubt not a solo task. Dementia care, particularly as the disease progresses, is a 24/7 endeavor, and trying to do it all yourself is a surefire way to experience burnout. When someone offers a helping hand, accept it, and provide specific responsibilities you could use help with. If no one offers, do not hesitate to ask.
Can In-Home Care Help Someone With Dementia?
Definitely! A great way to guarantee the best care for someone you love with dementia is by partnering with a dementia care expert. At Inspired Home Care, a trusted provider of home care assistance in Gold Coast Chicago and the nearby areas, our staff are fully experienced and trained in creative, effective approaches to dementia care, and we are here for you with as much or as little support as you need. Contact us at 847-787-7572 and let us know how we can help.