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Tips for Caring for an Aging Parent with Dementia

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Keeping a senior at home can help him or her adjust to a dementia diagnosis in a familiar environment. While your family feels this is the best decision for your aging loved one, you may be apprehensive about how well everyone can provide care. As you start your new journey in life together, you can use these strategies to provide high-quality at-home dementia care to your loved one.

Start with Realistic Expectations

People tend to have misconceptions about dementia, and it’s possible you’re only just now beginning to learn about the changes your loved one will experience. Try to avoid listening to all the doom and gloom you hear about dementia, since many stories only depict the worst-case scenarios. Seniors with dementia can live normal lives for a long time with the right type of help. However, you must also be realistic about the time and other resources you have available to provide care. In most cases, you can expect to need a team of caregivers who can all rotate shifts as your loved one begins to need more help.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. El Dorado County seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Pay Attention to Room Design

Many of your loved one’s dementia symptoms can be minimized with some careful planning regarding how the house is set up. For instance, people with dementia often do best when there’s contrast between features of a room, such as the walls and doors, that help them identify where they need to go. Your loved one may also benefit from a clutter-free environment, since he or she may not be able to make sense out of multiple knickknacks and other types of décor. If necessary, you can even highlight important areas of a room—for example, by putting brightly colored tape across the tops of stairs to help your loved one with depth perception.

A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with dementia. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Secure Dangerous Items

Your loved one may need to be protected from dangerous items he or she might use incorrectly. For example, a senior with severe dementia may mistake laundry detergent for candy or get hurt if he or she decides to use power tools the wrong way. Since your loved one may need to have certain items in the home for caregivers to use when they perform cleaning and household maintenance, it’s best to lock these items up. Find a cabinet in an area of the house your loved one rarely accesses, such as the garage, and store these items behind a locked door.

Plan to Prevent Wandering

One of the biggest hazards for your loved one is the possibility of wandering away from home and getting lost. Wandering behaviors are often preventable by keeping seniors too busy during the day to get bored enough to walk away. You can also arrange for a caregiver to provide overnight care to make sure your loved one doesn’t wake up and leave home out of confusion.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities may sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted El Dorado County senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today.