How to Care for a Senior with Dementia at Home

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Caring for a senior loved one with dementia at home provides benefits such as enabling him or her to age in place in a familiar environment. Now that you’ve made the decision to be your loved one’s caregiver, you can use these strategies to address the symptoms of dementia.

Learn about Your Loved One’s Diagnosis

Dementia care is very different from other types of caregiving duties. Due to the nature of this diagnosis, you must learn about what to expect as the dementia progresses. For instance, you may need to plan now for having additional help around the house if your loved one’s illness is already advanced.

If your loved one’s dementia is in an advanced stage, you could easily feel overwhelmed, but help is available. Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Richmond families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

Set Up a Medication System

Medication is often used to reduce the symptoms of dementia or to keep the condition from getting worse. While this is beneficial, you must be aware that your loved one’s dementia symptoms could cause him or her to have difficulty taking medication properly. Create a medication log that allows you and other caregivers to see when your loved one last took a dose.

Keep Your Loved One Physically Active

Regular exercise promotes better cognitive functioning by getting the blood flowing to the brain. As you set up your loved one’s daily routine, make sure it includes regular physical activity throughout each day. From taking a walk in the morning to doing a few stretches before bed, staying active can help your loved one process information better. 

The progression of your loved one’s dementia or the presence of other health issues may make it difficult for him or her to get regular exercise. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Establish Rituals

Routines and rituals play a huge role in dementia care. Knowing what comes next during each part of the day gives seniors with dementia a sense of comfort. You can also use picture cues for specific routines such as toothbrushing to help your loved one be more independent.

Use Calendars & Alarms

In addition to rituals, your loved one needs reminders for important events that occur less often. Find a place in the home to set up a calendar you can use to keep track of events such as upcoming medical appointments and birthdays. You can also use digital calendars and alarm systems to remind your loved one to perform tasks such as getting ready for dinner with a friend.

Encourage Activities that Promote Mental Health

After being diagnosed with dementia, seniors sometimes go through a period of denial or even grieve the impending loss of their abilities. Your loved one may also exhibit signs of negative emotions such as frustration or anger while trying to contend with the challenges dementia presents in daily life. As you make up the care plan, remember to include activities that promote mental health. For instance, a few minutes of daily meditation may help your loved one feel calmer throughout the day, and laughing while you share a joke may combat feelings of frustration during a difficult part of the daily routine. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Richmond Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746 to schedule a free in-home consultation.


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