Dementia is a syndrome that causes an affectation on the patient’s cognitive functions such as memory, language, and speech.
In other words, it is not a specific disease but rather a syndrome that is caused by a range of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
Symptoms of Dementia vary from person to person, depending on which area of the brain is affected by the damage caused by the condition.
There are many types of Dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease. It affects more than 5 million Americans aged 65 years old and older and more than 20 million people worldwide.
The treatment of Dementia is based on medications that aim at helping patients with their daily tasks or directly improving their cognitive functions.
While caring for a patient who has Dementia at home, it’s vital first to understand what resources are available. Next, families should know how to care for their loved ones as they strive to maintain their quality of life while managing the disease.
There is a ready list of interview questions for caregivers that is a must before you decide to avail the services of a professional or take the pledge in your hand.
Set a Daily Routine
For an Alzheimer’s or other dementia patient, changes in routine can be very disorienting. A structured daily routine may help provide some sense of security and comfort. Keep the routine as simple as possible, especially when the disease progresses to its later stages.
For example, managing changes in diet routine, medication administration, and meals can be complex if it occurs during an inopportune day. Therefore, be sure to schedule these critical tasks at a time when you or the person with Dementia will have the most energy and attention for these activities.
Involve Them in the Treatment
You may have to help with some tasks, but try to let your loved one do as much as possible independently. For example, to keep a person with Dementia from becoming agitated or confused, give them as much control over daily activities as possible.
Furthermore, it might be easier for your loved one to handle simple tasks like eating or bathing using visual cues such as pictures or written instructions.
Set Their Sleep Cycle
When caring for a loved one with Dementia, it’s essential to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. Avoid napping on long days, and cut down on multiple shorter naps, if possible.
This helps keep day and night times separated, so your loved one doesn’t get confused or disoriented by the time of day they are experiencing.
Let Them Make Small Decisions
People with Dementia often have difficulty making decisions, so it’s essential to give them options. Offering too many choices, however, can be overwhelming.
For example, this may mean offering two outfits to pick from rather than asking them to decide which shirt and pants they want to wear today. Giving choices is essential for daily activities, such as determining if they would instead take a walk or see a movie.