Having somebody you love experience memory loss and is now dependent on you can turn your life around and it has an impact on the whole family.
Providing them with support and understanding on itself won’t be enough, it is essential to know how to help them. They need to learn how to cope themselves and regain some independence and here are some tips on how to achieve that.
When you hear that somebody you care for has dementia, you will probably be frightened at first. But then you’ll have to deal with the problem.
To do this, you have to know as much as you can about the illness in question. You have to be informed, so visit a doctor who can answer any question you may have. There are support groups you can join, where you can learn from other people’s experiences and get some practical advice on what to do and how to behave. Also, there are many websites you can visit which are dedicated to the issue.
Stick to a Routine
Organizing your life will be much easier if you make a good schedule and follow it. Both you and your loved one will benefit from developing a routine, since it will make it less stressful to adjust to the new situation.
Also, it could help you with your caregiving duties and make it less likely to forget anything important.
You should know that you aren’t perfect and can’t do everything on your own. It’s perfectly acceptable and normal to ask for help from other family members, friends and neighbors. You won’t be able to spend every moment of your time caring for the person with dementia, so you will sometimes need other people to take over some of your responsibilities or all of them when you need a break.
Sometimes you’ll feel overwhelmed and simply need somebody who understands you. This is where the support groups could be helpful. Also, contact social services to find out if there are resources available to you. Perhaps you can get counseling or maybe even professional in home care to take over for you once in a while.
You will sometimes lose your nerve and get frustrated if your loved one can’t remember something or if they have problems communicating, but don’t get upset or angry about it.
They don’t do it on purpose, it’s the illness. Talk to them in a calm voice and with a positive attitude. Even if they don’t know what you are talking about, they will understand your body language. Always talk to them with respect and affection, and don’t argue with them.
Use short and clear sentences and simple words, and keep your tone low, calm and reassuring. You can even joke, but never at their expense.
Manage the Medicine
Medical treatments are an essential part of your loved one’s everyday life. It’s your responsibility to keep track of all the doctor appointments or any medication they should receive. You have to make sure they don’t get ill or get any condition which can complicate the one they already have.
Keep them in good shape, take them outside and try to keep them on their feet as often as you can, or hire home care to keep your loved one in as good shape as possible.
Take care of Yourself
If you want to be a good caregiver, you need to feel good first. Don’t get too caught up in your duties to forget self-care. Eat regularly and keep your diet balanced, exercise a few times a week and visit your doctor as often as necessary to remain healthy.
Don’t feel guilty if you need some time for yourself. You are more than a caregiver, you are a person with their own needs and feelings and you need to see to them.
When your loved ones get ill and dementia takes over, there’s not much you can do about the illness itself, but you can make life more bearable for the person you care about. Nurse them with understanding and affection they deserve and never let the illness make you forget who that person was before dementia and all the good things they did for you and with you.
About the Author:
Olivia Williams Jones
Editor at High Style Life
w: https://highstylife.com/ e: firstname.lastname@example.org