If you have a loved one who has been recently diagnosed with dementia, then you know that it can pose many challenges for families and individuals providing care. This disease causes your loved one to have a more difficult time remembering things, thinking clearly, communicating, and caring for themselves. These aren’t the only problems though, as the disease progresses, it can cause mood swings and even change a person’s personality and behavior. If you need help with understanding these different dementia behaviors, we’re here to help provide you with a list of quick tips and tricks that can help.
When your loved one has dementia, chances are they may forget who you are. This means that they may read your body language and facial expressions to help them determine if you are more friend than foe. Set a positive mood, always speak in a pleasant tone, and make sure your face matches your tone of voice. State your message clearly, speak slowly in a reassuring tone, and ask simple answerable questions that only require a yes or no. Break down activities into simple steps that you do one at a time, and always respond with affection and reassurance. When all else fails, try changing the subject, environment, or redirect thoughts by reminiscing good memories from the past.
Sometimes dementia can lead to personality and behavior changes. Here are a few tips to help with this. Try to accommodate the behavior instead of control it, for example, if your loved one is insisting on sleeping on the floor, perhaps place a pallet or mattress there to help make them more comfortable. Remember that we can’t control our loved ones, but we can control ourselves. You determine your level of frustration, sometimes simply changing your own response to your loved one will make all the difference in the world. You may also check with the doctor if the behavior persists, there may be an underlying medical reason they are uncomfortable, and individuals with dementia often have issues communicating when they are uncomfortable.
Remember, keeping a positive attitude is something that takes patience and time. If you need a break consider respite care on a daily or weekly basis, so that you can have time to recharge your patience batteries!
Imagine getting thirsty, then getting up to get some water and then forgetting why you got up. You may notice that your loved one wanders more frequently when they’re living with dementia. If you are concerned for their safety, and your ability to get rest, you may consider 24 hour care in the home where someone can always have an eye on your loved one. You may also consider child-safe plastic covers for doorknobs that lead outside, to deter your loved one from leaving the safety of their home. Don’t forget that cameras and home security systems are also helpful if your loved one wanders outside often.
There are many issues that come from dementia, including nutrition concerns, agitation, hygiene, sleeplessness, paranoia, and more. If you need help, Homewatch CareGivers of Bryan College Station can provide you with information and resources to guide you. We are also here to help you come up with an individualized care plan that will keep your loved one safe. Keep reading our website for more information or contact us today to learn more.