Smart tips for managing your loved one
who has dementia
Memory care patients with Alzhiemer’s or dementia can easily become agitated when simple tasks they used to perform are now difficult for them.
Here are seven tips to help ease or prevent frustration:
- Establish a daily routine. Be sure to establish daily routine during times they are typically most alert and lucid. Do allow for spontaneity!
- Give yourself more time. This is about self-care you you, the caregiver. Understand that nothing you do together is going to be quick. Be sure to schedule breaks for yourself.
- Let them help. If you allow your loved one to do as much as possible without much help from you, you’ll both be happier. Examples are dressing, setting the table, etc.
- Offer choices. Not with everything, but things like getting dressed, give them two choices and let them select one outfit. Or maybe just the shoes. With an activity, ask them if they want to put a puzzle together or go for a walk.
- Give simple instructions. Short, sweet and concise instructions will render best with memory care patients.
- Limit napping. You can minimize them getting their days and nights mixed up by limiting how many naps they take daily.
- Remove distractions. Especially during meals where they can easily be distracted. No TV or radio so they can focus on eating.
Safety for in-home memory care patients
Because Alzheimer’s and dementia impair judgment and problem-solving skills, injury risks are heightened.
Here are four safety tips you can use to limit accidents and injury:
Prevent falls. Throw rugs, extension cords and any clutter that could cause falls should be removed. Handrails or grab bars in critical areas are a terrific preventative measure.
Use locks. Just like baby-proofing your home, it’s important to reduce access to potentially dangerous substances (medicines, cleaning supplies, etc.).
Check water temperature. This happens more than you might imagine. The best thing to do is lower the thermostat on the hot-water heater to prevent burns or install a color light to identify hot (red) and cold (blue) water. Some caregivers post signs by the water faucet to remind the patient of the hot water danger.
Fire safety. Keep matches and lighters out of reach. Have a fire extinguisher handy and keep the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors fresh.
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