Four Tips for Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia
Are you caring for someone with dementia? That may be a challenge. These tips can help you cope and provide the kind of care you want your loved one to experience.
Consider Helpful Activities and Technologies
Music, art and dance therapy can make a difference for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Nursing homes and other facilities that provide these therapies have found they help residents communicate better, socialize more, access more memories, and feel happier.
Technology has also played a surprising role in helping people with dementia. “Pets” that are actually robots have been “adopted” by some seniors with dementia, and the results are encouraging. The robots respond to their “owners,” which relieves stress and reduces agitation.
Have Realistic Expectations
Although technology and art therapy provide reasons for hope, it is also important to keep your expectations realistic. People with dementia have good and bad moments, with unpredictable changes in mood. The progression of the disease, unfortunately, is most likely to be downward. By keeping your expectations in check, you can sidestep some frustrations and also be more present in the moment for your loved one, which will be to their benefit.
If you do feel frustrated, see if you can use your imagination to put yourself in your loved one’s shoes. How would you feel if you had their impairments?
You Need Support Too!
People who are helping others often neglect to take proper care of themselves. You will do both yourself and your loved one a favor if you find a way to replenish your energy. Many caregivers find support groups helpful.
Watch Out for Signs of Abuse
The Institute on Aging reports that nearly half of people with dementia have been abused. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, or it could be caused by neglect. People with dementia may not be aware they are being abused. By being alert for possible signs of abuse, you can help protect your loved one.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Your loved one has the right to live free of abuse. The law firm of Garcia & Artigliere is dedicated to helping vulnerable people with dementia. Call us at (800) 328-2630 to talk to a nursing home lawyer and find out more about how we can help.