Dementia Care Advice | Caring for Dementia Sufferers
A diagnosis of dementia can be upsetting and distressing for a person, but it can also have a profound impact on those around them, especially loved ones. If you care for someone with dementia, getting practical help and support will be crucial. Advice on caring and coping, including the possible consideration of dementia care homes, will be aspects that will feature for carers.
Caring for someone with dementia requires a good understanding of this condition. Dementia is quite complex, and symptoms can vary from person to person, but understanding the practical, social, emotional and psychological impacts of dementia can make your role as a carer easier.
Speak to other carers, get professional dementia care advice and visit staff at dementia care homes to ensure you are giving the best care possible to the person with dementia, as well as understanding what their needs are, and how to address these.
A big impact of dementia is that a person’s ability to do normal daily tasks may become limited over time. A carer will need to provide practical support to assist with tasks whilst still giving the person as much independence and normality as possible.
When dealing with dementia sufferers, it’s important to bear in mind that this condition isn’t just about memory loss. It can also cause communication difficulties, so that the person has trouble finding the right words to express themselves. As a carer, give the person time to find the words they want to say, and don’t finish sentences for them. Maintain eye contact when talking to them, and include them in conversations. Inevitably, the person may feel frustrated and angry at times, but try to be patient and calm and reassure them.
Gradual loss of independence can be frustrating for dementia sufferers, especially if they once led busy and fulfilling lives. As a carer, focus on the things the person can still do rather than those that are no longer possible. Break tasks down into smaller steps or adjust tasks to make them more manageable. If important decisions need to be made, include the person whenever possible.
Emotional and Psychological Impact
A dementia diagnosis doesn’t stop a person experiencing emotions, so try to understand what they may be feeling. Never dismiss their concerns or worries about the future, but try to enjoy each moment in the here and now.
Choosing Care Homes
As a carer, you also have to think of your own needs as much as the person with dementia, and there may come a time when you need assistance. Considering dementia care homes can give you the respite you need whilst ensuring the person gets the required support. There are lots of things to consider when choosing care homes for dementia residents, but when making your choice include the person with dementia as much as possible. They may feel a range of emotions about entering a care home, so making them feel as comfortable with the decision as possible can help ensure they enjoy a positive experience.