4 Important Tips To Care For Dementia Patients At Home
1. Helping At Meal Times
- Often people who suffer from dementia may forget about known foods and favourite meal preferences. This can pose a problem as the patient may not want to eat at all, and it can definitely lead to a host of health issues including weight loss and more. In order to help the patient eat and be more cooperative at meal times, try to talk about the food in a non-preachy way.
- You could share a meal together if the patient is fine with it, or you can make it easier for them to eat. Often, a person with dementia may forget how to eat, or may not be able to see the food properly. Try giving smaller portions and break it up into bite sized portions for ease of eating. If the patient feels tired while eating, see if you can feed them instead of assuming they are full already.
2. Helping With Wash Time
- Bath times are intensely private times, but for someone with dementia, it could be a time of great difficulty as the person may completely forget how to do so. The first step to understand is to figure out the extent of the problem. While some patient with dementia may find it alright to take a bath independently, the problem could be with getting in and out of the bath area. For another patient, taking a bath could be an issue that needs help.
- When you have to help someone take a bath, or clean up in a more private way, make sure you help the patient do so with dignity. Ask them if they would prefer to take a bath or just change into fresh clothes for the moment. Help them use the toiletries they prefer and try to make them do as much as they can on their own. Be considerate and do not act out of frustration, even if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated yourself. You can help by letting the person get settled in the bath, then hand out the soap and ask them to clean up.
3. Helping With Wearing Clothes
- A person suffering from dementia will find it difficult to take a bath and follow basic hygiene practices as the condition worsens. This happens because the ability to focus and concentrate on a particular task will gradually go from little to very less and finally none. Also, the person may completely forget how to take a shower or wear a shirt. It is important that you take care of their basic hygiene and ensure that they are properly washed and dried, as well as change their clothes regularly.
- It is also important to make sure that the person dresses according to the weather in order to avoid any health issues. Try buying clothes that will be easy to get in and get out of and encourage the person to wear their clothes without help for as long as possible. Ask the person what he or she wants to wear, instead of making them wear what you want. Show them two choices of their preferred clothing, so that it becomes easier to select. Also, you can help by giving out small and simple instructions, such as close your fingers in a fist and so on.
4. Helping With Moving Around
- As the dementia progresses, the patient will find it increasingly difficult to do basic things such as getting out of bed, sitting up, standing and even walking. In most cases, the patient will start forgetting how these actions are done, which can cause a lot of problem in basic mobility.
- Make sure you are strong enough to support the patient while you help them move from place to place. If required, take the help of another person or use some assist tools. You should also speak to the doctor about the safety of moving the patient. Help the patient stay independent as much as possible.
It can be extremely tough to single-handedly look after someone with dementia at home. Not only can you feel frustrated and overly tired, you may also end up hurting yourself if you are constantly required to life the patient in case of mobility issues. You can get in touch with our professional and trained carers in order to get help looking after your loved one who is suffering from dementia.