How to Help a Family Member with Dementia

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How to Help a Family Member with Dementia

The struggle with dementia can be grueling for all those involved: the patient themselves, their caregivers, other loved ones, even neighbors, mail carriers, and delivery people. If you are struggling with how to help a parent with dementia, here are some tips for dementia caregivers, and information about assisted living and memory support options for dementia patients.

Tips for Dementia Caregivers

The #1 thing to keep in mind when you are caring for someone with dementia is to make sure you take care of yourself. If you are worn down and burned out, you cannot adequately take care of anyone else.

There are many other tips for dementia care that can help everyone involved:

  • Listen.
  • Stick to a routine as much as possible. Change can be confusing and scary.
  • Use clear and assertive communication. Only ask 1 question at a time using simple language.
  • Do not give too many choices. They can create more confusion.
  • Use visuals whenever possible. Hold up choices of shirts, foods, drinks, etc. to help them understand.
  • Listen.
  • Avoid distractions during discussions and key tasks, like taking medication or preparing for bathing. Keep it quiet or try using some soothing music.
  • Ask for their help so they feel like they are in charge.
  • Be aware of your body language.
  • Listen.
  • Only offer assistance when needed. Let them do as much as they can on their own, in their own time, as they wish, as long as no harm is being done to themselves or others.

Know When to Say When

Eventually, it may come to a point where you do not have the expertise, strength, facilities, or time to care for them well. There are options.

Consider hiring a home health care specialist either full- or part-time, perhaps only to assist with certain tasks like bathing or shopping. Try to let your loved one be active in the hiring process as much as possible.

There are also adult day services that can allow you to maintain a work or family schedule, while providing the necessary care and oversight your parent or other significant person may need. Day services can help strengthen socialization skills through group activities.

Pathways of Promise

Oftentimes a memory support program within an assisted living center is the best and safest setting for dementia patients. The Memory-Care professionals at American Orchards have worked as a team to develop their Pathways of Promise program.

American Orchards in Gilbert, AZ is a premier 24/7 residential assisted living and memory care facility. Pathways of Promise is person-centered, using the patient’s life experiences to guide their treatment and activities. Program components include:

  • The Orchard Room
  • Self-Expression Experiences
  • Youth-Sage Mentor Program
  • Daily Health & Wellness Activities

You want the best for your friends or family living with dementia, and American Orchards is just that. The best. Please contact us today to request more information about our programs and facilities or to schedule a tour. We look forward to speaking with you.