Caring for an Elderly Person with Dementia
In order to provide the patient with adequate support and care, family members should educate themselves about the condition and have a positive and optimistic outlook, which helps you as an immediate caregiver to exercise a sense of control.
According to the Mayo Clinic (2019), caring for an elderly person with dementia changes as the disease progresses. The following practical tips will foster social participation from the patient’s side and enable the caregiver to efficiently manage the disease.
- Reducing frustration: Given that the elderly patient begins to lose their autonomy over their bodies and gradually lose their ability to retain and recall information, they begin to feel flustered and panicked as they are unable to place themselves in their social surroundings. This feeling of being lost and unable to remember anything results in frustration among them. Therefore, as a caregiver, one should keep in mind the following:
- Scheduling the patient’s task in a manner that does not overwhelm the patient. They should establish a daily regime to help the patient retain their understanding of time such as bathing them before or after breakfast, taking them out for a stroll after lunch, playing cards with them before dinner, etc. The most crucial thing for a caregiver is to accept that these routine activities may or may not be grasped by the patient, and hence requires the caregiver to be patient and supportive.
- Acknowledge the patient’s needs into the treatment plan so the patient does not lose their sense of autonomy, which further fosters a sense of well-being.
- Create a safe environment for the patient, wherein they do not have hazardous material accessible to them.
Mayo clinic. 2019. Alzheimer’s and dementia care: Tips for daily tasks. [Online]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers-caregiver/art-20047577 [Accessed on: 19 April 2021].