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5 Tips for Helping a Loved One Live at Home with Dementia

Learn the Benefits Home Health Care Services for Dementia and More

Dementia is a condition defined by a person’s loss of ability to think, reason, or remember, to the point where these symptoms interfere with daily life. People can experience several types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. While the symptoms of those specific diseases can differ, dementia generally represents a progressive cognitive decline in those who experience it. Some patients are diagnosed with dementia when they only have very mild symptoms, but this condition typically gets worse.

Dementia can be a very challenging diagnosis for older adults and their families to reckon with. Some families even begin to experience a kind of early grief as they notice differences and declines in their loved one’s cognitive functions, including difficulties with language, forgetfulness, or losing interest in activities they once enjoyed.

After a loved one is diagnosed, it becomes clear to most families that their family member is going to need more support at home. Although a person with dementia’s needs vary depending on the progression of the illness, those with mild to more significant symptoms can benefit from a handful of strategies.

Below, find five tips for helping older adults with dementia, including care at home for dementia from an exceptional home care agency. These tips will help you take care of your loved one and ensure their safety and well-being throughout this new phase of life. In addition to these suggestions, keep reading to find information on how to get dementia care near you.

Tip #1: Do a Thorough Home Safety Check

While dementia does include difficulties with memory loss, certain dementias also present challenges with balance and mobility. This means that older adults with dementia can potentially find themselves in dangerous situations in the home. The Alzheimer’s Association provides recommendations for home safety that can apply to various types of dementia. They are also generally good practices for any loved one who wishes to age in place.

Their resources for home safety recommends a thorough check of the home, including these key steps:

  • Install railings and add extra lighting for the home’s staircases.
  • Put mats and other non-slip materials in relevant areas of the home, including bathrooms and the kitchen floor.
  • Install bathroom “grab bars” for stability when using the tub, shower, or toilet.
  • Remove trip hazards, such as extension cords and rugs, from living spaces.
  • Move medications and hazardous chemicals to secure locations.

Tip #2: Living with Dementia Must Include a Consistent Routine

When a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of dementia, their daily routine may be turned upside down as they become more cognitively impaired. Basic necessities like self-care can go by the wayside.

Fortunately, family caregivers can provide structure and routine for their loved one to create a sense of much-needed consistency. Creating routines can range from helping a loved one write down their plan for the day to engaging them in the same activities at the same time each day.

According to the Alzheimer’s Project, “Daily routines help reduce stress and anxiety because they help everyone involved to know what to expect. Persons with dementia thrive on familiarity.” Routines can help lessen anxiety, depression, restlessness, and aggression that sometimes accompany dementia. A routine can also empower your loved one with a sense of independence and provide events to look forward to.

Tip #3: Get to Know Your Loved One’s Favorites

As you develop a routine for your loved one, the Alzheimer’s Project also recommends that you start noticing their favorites. As you observe your loved one throughout their day, take note of their preferences, choices, and the things that make them happy.

These observations will help you develop a structure that includes these preferred items and activities. Participation in favorite activities can be comforting to someone suffering from dementia and lead to a better overall quality of life.

Tip #4: Be Compassionate with Your Loved One and Yourself

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging. It is hard to watch someone you love experience these changes. A person with dementia will likely undergo their own set of feelings, brought on by the condition and the stress associated with it.

As a caregiver, dealing with the emotions of an older adult with dementia while managing your own feelings can be exceptionally difficult. It is easy to get frustrated out of concern for their safety or simply because of the changes you are noticing. Remember, however, that compassion and gentleness can go a long way.

Be sure to take breaks, so you can recharge and bring your best self to your caregiving. Stay educated on the symptoms of dementia, so that your responses are not personal, but understanding of what your loved one can and can’t control. Becoming a caregiver is always about caring for two people: your loved one and yourself, so that each of you gets your needs met as healthfully as possible.

Tip #5: Access Healthcare Services that Provide Care at Home for Dementia

Becoming a caregiver for a family member is not something every family is able to do. Fortunately, superior home care agencies offer care at home for dementia. Many of the tips offered above can also be delivered by a nurse, therapist, or caregiver assigned to help your loved one at home.

Home health care is one of the options that home care agencies offer to support your loved one with the progressive symptoms of dementia. Covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, your loved one can benefit from services that specifically help patients with dementia, including physical or occupational therapy. These services will ensure medical care for your loved one in the safety and comfort of their home. When you and your loved one’s physician select the right team for this kind of care, your loved one will feel cared for and have the necessary support to live their life as fully as possible, while receiving the nursing and therapies necessary for optimal health.

Families can also choose private duty care for more personalized services that can be delivered around the clock. A leading team for dementia care near you can offer help that is completely customized to your loved one’s condition, including helping them with basic tasks, self-care, social outings, medication reminders, and more. An exceptional private duty care agency will tailor their services to your loved one’s specific needs, based on the caregiver’s thorough knowledge of caring for patients with dementia.

Services like private duty care include respite care. This means that an agency-assigned caregiver can provide family caregivers with a break based on a schedule that works best for them.

Learn more about how the leading agencies deliver home health care services and other services that deliver care at home for dementia to ensure your family, and especially your loved one, can get the treatment and care they deserve.

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