With the progression of the illness, your responsibility for handling everyday duties will grow if you are caring for someone who is a dementia patient. Take into account useful advice that may help you handle chores efficiently while allowing the person with dementia to engage as much as possible.
Minimize the Frustration
When once-easy chores become challenging, a dementia patient may get irritated. To reduce difficulties and reduce frustration:
Plan your time well:
Create a daily schedule. Certain actions, like taking a bath or going to a doctor’s visit, are simpler when the individual is most awake and rested. Give yourself some leeway for unplanned events or particularly trying days.
Plan additional time for tasks and be prepared for them to take longer than usual. Allow time between jobs for breaks.
Include the individual:
Give the dementia patient as little help as possible so that they can do as much as they can. For instance, if you put out clothing in the order they go on, he or she might be able to dress independently or set the table with the use of visual clues.
Every day, provide a few, but not too many, options. Give dementia patients a choice between two clothing, inquire as to whether they prefer a hot or cold beverage, or inquire whether they would prefer to take a stroll or watch a movie.
Give clear directions:
Clear, one-step communication is most easily understood by dementia patients.
Avoid long Napping:
Avoid taking lengthy or frequent naps during the day. By doing so, the possibility of days and nights switching places is reduced.
According to some dementia studies, to help the person with dementia concentrate during meals and talks, turn off the TV and keep extraneous noises to a minimum.
A dementia patient will gradually become increasingly dependent. Stay adaptable and modify your routine and expectations as necessary to minimize frustration.
Consider purchasing a few identical clothes, for instance, if the person wants to wear the same thing every day. If taking a bath is greeted with resistance, think about doing it less frequently.
Establish a secure environment: Attention Required
Dementia affects judgment and problem-solving abilities, which raises the risk of damage to a person. To encourage safety follow the given rules:
Avoid falling: Prevent falls by avoiding scatter rugs, extension cables, and any other debris. Install grab bars or railings in high-traffic areas.
Install locks on any cabinets that house potentially hazardous items including medicines, alcohol, firearms, poisonous cleaning products, and potentially hazardous utensils and equipment.
Verify the water’s temperature:
To avoid burns, turn down the hot water heater’s thermostat.
Take steps to avoid fires:
Keep lighters and matches out of kids’ reach. If a dementia patient smokes, always keep an eye on them. A fire extinguisher should be within reach, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should have functioning batteries.
If you are not fully experienced in handling these tasks, get proper guidance first.
Ten Pointers for Interacting with Dementia Patients in Singapore
Although we can learn, we are not born with the ability to speak with someone who has dementia. The quality of your connection with your loved one will likely improve as a result of working on your communication skills, which will also help make caring less stressful. Your capacity to deal with challenging behavior you could run into when providing care for a person with a dementing illness will be improved by having effective communication skills.
The pleasant tone of the conversation:
Some recent dementia studies show that more effectively than words, your attitude and body language convey your sentiments and thoughts. By having a nice and polite conversation with your loved one, you may create a good mood. To assist you to communicate your message and demonstrating your sentiments of affection, use your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.
Catch their attention:
Reduce noise and distractions by turning off the TV or radio, drawing the curtains, locking the door, or moving the dementia patient to a more calm location. Prior to speaking, make sure you have her full attention. Call a dementia patient by name, introduce yourself and your relationship, and utilize touch and nonverbal clues to keep her attentive. Get on her level if she’s seated and keep eye contact.
Make your point really clear:
Make your sentences and words simple. Speak in a soothing voice, clearly, and slowly. Avoid using a louder or higher voice; instead, speak with a lower tone. Use the same language to reiterate your message or query if she doesn’t comprehend it the first time. Wait a little while and try again if she still doesn’t get the question. Instead of using pronouns (he, she, or they) or abbreviations, use the names of persons and locations.
Pose clear, concise inquiries:
One inquiry at a time; yes-or-no inquiries are preferable. Avoid providing too many options or asking open-ended questions. Would you like to wear your white shirt or your blue shirt, for instance? Even better, present her with the options; visual clues and prompts can help her answer while also helping you to explain your inquiry.
Use your heart, eyes, and ears to listen:
Wait patiently for your loved one to respond. It’s alright to propose words if she’s having trouble coming up with a response. Be aware of body language and nonverbal signs and react appropriately. Always make an effort to hear the meaning and emotions that lay underneath the words.
Activities should be broken down into a number of steps:
This makes a lot of chores much easier to handle. You may assist your loved one with steps he can no longer complete on his own, gently remind him of steps he tends to forget, and encourage him to do what he can. It may be quite beneficial to provide visual signals, like showing him where to put the meal dish with your hand.
When things get difficult, divert and refocus:
Change the topic or the setting if your loved one starts to get offended or frustrated. For instance, offer to assist him or propose a walk. Before you redirect, it’s critical to establish a personal emotional connection with the other individual. I see you’re depressed; I’m sorry you’re upset, you may remark. Let’s go grab a bite to eat. This can be much helpful in grabbing the attention of dementia patients according to dementia studies.
Divert attention when things become challenging:
If your loved one begins to become insulted or frustrated, change the subject or the environment. For instance, suggest helping him or going for a stroll. Establishing a genuine emotional connection with the other person is essential before redirecting. You may say, “I see you’re down; I’m sorry you’re sad.” Let’s go get something to eat.
Think back to the good old days:
Reminiscing on the past is frequently calming and reassuring. Many dementia sufferers may remember their life 45 years ago with great clarity, even though they may not be able to recollect what happened 45 minutes ago. As a result, refrain from asking the subject questions that rely on short-term memory, such as what they had for lunch. Instead, attempt generic inquiries about the person’s distant history; information from these inquiries is more likely to be remembered.
You should keep your sense of humor:
When you can, be humorous, but never at the cost of the other person. People with dementia typically still have good social skills and love to laugh with you.