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How To Make Life Easier For Yourself As A Dementia Caretaker

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

In the US alone, 16 million people care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The caring experience can be wonderful, but it can also be overwhelming.

It’s easy to forget your loved one is still alive as the sickness worsens. Many caretakers are frustrated by their loved one’s incapacity to express themselves or remember names and faces, so a s the condition progresses, caretakers tend to take on the role of the dementia patient’s feet, hands, and brain.

Many sufferers of the disease are depressed, and some might become violent, adding to caretakers’ frustration. Despite these problems, caring for and loving someone with dementia may be immensely fulfilling, because your loved one is still there, hidden behind the illness.

Set Reasonable And Realistic Goals

Caregivers are frequently fatigued and disappointed as they attempt to make everything perfect and strive for unachievable expectations. Maybe your goal is to make sure your patient is clean, comfy, and well fed. Accepting victory at 80%, for example, can allow you to enjoy time that you might have otherwise spent worrying about not meeting your goals. Despite the difficulty, strive to be at ease with a less-than-perfectly groomed spouse or a less-than-perfectly ordered home.

Be Prepared For Your Patient Or Loved One To Misunderstand You

A person with Alzheimer’s disease may no longer be able to correctly read verbal or nonverbal cues, causing concern and frustration for both you and your patient. Try to be as clear and precise as possible in your conversations, repeating things as needed using the same words or message. When attempting to communicate, keep unnecessary noise and distractions to a minimum. Instead of using ambiguous pronouns like he, she, or it, utilize names and precise titles. Read more about it here at https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/dementia/.

 Keep In Mind That Their Behaviors Are Meaningful

Many specialists feel that some of the behavioral signs displayed by patients with Alzheimer’s disease, such as yelling or striking out, are significant. Although the individual does not generally mean to disturb or harm others, they do wish to be seen and perhaps to communicate a need that is not being met. Furthermore, while these acts are meaningful, they are not purposeful, and the person is not doing this “on purpose,” but rather to transmit a message that they can no longer describe in words. Slowing down, attempting to see the world through their eyes, and responding to the “felt” behind the action rather than the conduct itself may help to avoid an emotional crisis.

Relish The Good Times

Many persons with Alzheimer’s disease maintain their physical fitness and capacity to be comfortable and participate in social situations even after the condition has progressed. As a result, continue to socialize, travel, be physically active, and participate in things that both you and your patient like. Familiar activities are often delightful for a person with AD and should be promoted. Attempting to learn new activities or begin new hobbies, on the other hand, might be stressful or overwhelming.

Take A Trip Down Memory Lane

Reminisce about the past and promote discussions about people and places that are known to you and your patient and elicit pleasant emotions in both of you.

Memories from the distant past are usually unaffected, and watching family films, looking at photographs, or reminiscing about old adventures might help you and your patient or loved one continue to share experiences and feelings. Allow your patient to share their memories of the past with family members, grandchildren, and friends. This is enjoyable for everyone and allows your patient to feel more connected to their loved ones.

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