Delivering the Right Care to Keep Your Loved
One Happy and Comfortable
After a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it’s normal to feel bewildered and sad. Dementia affects the memory and cognitive function, so your loved one will find it difficult to keep up with the normal activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, preparing meals, toileting, etc.). Your loved one may have difficulty remembering faces and names, or they might undergo personality changes. It’s perfectly normal for you, their caregiver, to be upset by these changes.
However, even as you take care of your very real emotional needs, it’s important to arm yourself with information so you can make sure your loved one gets the very best dementia care. Here are a few quick tips you can use on the journey ahead.
Start researching senior care options early.
Nearly all dementia patients will eventually require 24-hour care that most families simply cannot provide on their own. Of course you want to keep your loved one at home as long as possible, so use this time to learn more about assisted living and memory care options. That way, when the time comes, you won’t be scrambling to find a place for a loved one in crisis.
Understand your loved one’s diagnosis.
Memory loss is one of the biggest components of dementia, but there are other symptoms you should look out for. For instance, some forms of dementia lead to personality changes. Ask your loved one’s doctor what parts of the brain are affected by the dementia and what symptoms you can expect. This will make it easier for you to accept and respond to the changes when they come.
Remember there will be good days and bad days.
Some days, your loved one will laugh, enjoy life, and maybe even almost seem like his or her old self. Other days, your loved one might wander, lash out, or have difficulty completing ordinary tasks. Take a deep breath and take each day as it comes. Be on the lookout for the positive and hold onto it when you can.
Follow the golden rule.
“Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Remember that your loved one’s dementia can make him or her confused and disoriented. He or she may not remember where he or she is, what day it is, or even his or her own name. How would you like to be treated if you were to suddenly find yourself disoriented, unsure of the day or year, and not even sure of your own identity? Remember that, and it’ll be much easier to treat your loved one with compassion and understanding.
Ask for help when you need it.
Even if your loved one isn’t necessarily ready to transfer into assisted living, if you are feeling overwhelmed, speak up. Other family members might be able to step in to help with your loved one’s care. You might be able to outsource other family responsibilities or scale back at work. You can even look into in-home assistance for your loved one.
Dementia might be a progressive disease without a cure, but that doesn’t mean that you and your loved one have to live without joy or hope. Understanding your loved one’s diagnosis and having a plan to deliver the dementia care they need can make all the difference. And remember, we at Peregrine’s Landing are always here to help. Call us today if you’d like to learn more about our senior care and memory care options.
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