Unfortunately, dementia affects many elderly people in the UK. It is caused by diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s and there is currently no cure. Dementia can make it more and more difficult for people to remember things, think clearly, communicate with others and take care of themselves. Alongside this, dementia can even change a person’s personality and behaviour which can incredibly be upsetting for family and friends to witness and experience.
Supporting a loved one with dementia is an exhausting task and although you will be trying to do all you can to help, it sometimes doesn’t feel like enough. You might not even know where to start and if the support you are offering is correct, it is a very confusing time for you as a family member or friend too. To help anyone in this situation, Safehands Live In Care has put together a guide to help you support your loved one with dementia.
Help with an everyday routine
Routine is frequently mentioned as a way to help with dementia. A daily routine provides people with a sense of comfort and control over an otherwise confusing existence. Anyone who is suffering from memory loss will thrive on familiarity, it can help prevent them from becoming distracted and forgetting what they were doing.
The early stages of dementia are the perfect time to help your loved one develop an everyday routine if they don’t already have one. Try and tailor it to your loved one’s preferences and make sure that it isn’t too adventurous. Sticking to this routine as much as possible will be very beneficial in the long run.
Ensure their home is safe
As mentioned above, for dementia patients, familiarity is so important. So, enabling them to stay in their own home for as long as possible should be a priority. Big changes like moving to a care home can be incredibly unsettling for your loved one, so think about what you can change around their house to make it safe for them to stay.
For example, you can help prevent any potential falls by removing any trip hazards and also installing handrails or grab bars in critical areas. Simply think about how you can reduce the chance of injury, ultimately, the safer their home is, the longer they will be able to stay there.
Take the time to enjoy activities together
People with dementia can continue to enjoy lots of different activities individually and with others too. Remaining both physically and mentally active will actually help them to focus on the positive and fun aspects of life.
Take the time to enjoy activities together and spend some time together that isn’t centred around dementia and caring for them. These activities don’t have to be extreme, something as basic as going for a walk, listening to a CD or looking after a pet will be great. This time together will mean a lot to your elderly family member or friend.
Never hesitate to ask for help
Unfortunately, lots of people struggle by themselves because they are too ashamed to ask for help. This isn’t good for you or your loved one and can cause lots of issues further down the line. Caregiving for someone with dementia is not easy and there will certainly be moments when you need a hand or someone to talk to.
Reach out to a company that specialised in elderly care at home, they can take some pressure off of your shoulders. You can also look into private respite care, give yourself a break and some time to refresh every now and then so that you can provide better care.
How Safehands Live-In Care can help
Dementia can be unpredictable and difficult to plan, but hopefully the things mentioned above will help you handle the whole process more confidently. Take each day at a time and try to enjoy your time together, after-all just because they have dementia doesn’t mean that they aren’t the person they have always been.
If you do require any assistance at all at any time, whether it is now or in a few years down the line if things have developed further then please get in touch with Safehands Live In Care. We are a 24-hour care agency who can provide you with live-in dementia care. We are incredibly experienced and also equipped to help ensure the needed care for your loved ones is provided.