Tips For Dealing With Someone With Dementia
Having a loved one succumb to dementia can be emotionally devastating. At the same time, you will of course want to do whatever you can to make your loved one's quality of life as comfortable as possible during whatever time they have left. That said, caring for someone with dementia over the long-term can take its toll on the caregiver as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind while interacting with someone who is suffering from dementia.
Act Happy and Affectionate Even When You Are Not Feeling Like It
A person with a bad case of dementia might not remember much from moment to moment. He or she can still pick up on body language though within their current conversation. They might not remember or understand anything you have said or are about to say, but they can still understand if you are happy or upset with them. In order to maintain your loved one's mood, you should make sure that your own body language and presentation is as positive as possible. Use open body language and speak in an uplifting tone of voice. Put a smile on your face. This can be hard to do during a difficult moment but seeing that you are happy may make the person with dementia feel like they need to act happy, too.
Keep Your Questions Simple and with Limited Options
People in the early stages of dementia may have moments where they can still hold a basic conversation or show some agency for themselves by answering simple questions. It's important, though, that you phrase these questions in a way that limits the patient's options so they don't have to think too much. For example, if you are helping them get dressed, ask if they want to wear the black pants or the blue pants. If you are feeding them, ask if they want an apple or an orange. Be direct with them when they get off course and repeat your original question.
Change the Subject When Needed
When your loved one is in a foul mood, you may be able to redirect them towards a different topic. Pick something else to talk about that has nothing to do with what they are currently worried or upset about and ask a question in a positive way. You may be able to distract them from whatever has upset them and move the conversation forward in a more positive direction.
If caring for your loved one on your own has gotten to be too much for you, you might need some professional help. Contact a firm that offers dementia care services today for more information.