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Dementia is an umbrella term of a series of multiple disorders which affect brain. Although, it is generally more common in the people over the age of 65, middle aged people between 40s and 50s also can get affected. The impact of the disorder can directly affect the routine, daily activities accompanied with certain behavioural changes. It may make it difficult for a person to remember clearly, read and write, understand and express thoughts, solve an equation, trouble with planning and organising and even to perform common household chores and other usual activities.

According to a report published by AIHW, there are approximately 411,100 people in Australia living with dementia of which almost two-thirds (63%) are women. As there is currently no cure available for dementia, the alleviative strategies can assist in maintaining independence and quality of life for as long as possible.

Caring For Someone With Dementia

Here OSAN Ability elaborates some of the important information on how to look after someone with dementia.

  • Understanding The Woes

If you are about to start caring for someone with dementia, always try to understand what they are going through. Most of the people with dementia would feel a sense of shame or embarrassment about the impairment. So as a care giver, the first thing you should do is to consolidate your loved one and make him/her understand it is absolutely ok. It is a quite common disorder and there is nothing embarrassing attached. Try to logically explain the condition and help him/her get rid of any illogical fears.

This would not only help a person with dementia regain his/her lost confidence, but also make it easy for you to establish a firm amicable relationship with the person.

  • Give Them Ample Amount of Time

Dementia can significantly distort a person’s communication abilities. Moreover, a failing memory can contribute to lose track of conversations, struggle to find right word or diminish the ability of clear and logical thinking. This, at times, can lead to a grave frustration and subsequent depression in the mind of the individual.

The right thing here you can do is to give them sufficient time to express their thoughts. It will surely be great for a person with dementia if you simply wait for few extra minutes and let them find the words they’re looking for.

Such simple gestures would do wonder in understanding each other and help establish a bond of trust and cordiality.

Providing Personal Care to Someone with Dementia

It is quite common for the people with dementia to struggle with daily routine tasks such as brushing, bathing, getting dressed or cooking simple meals. They may forget to perform these tasks complexly, or miss out some of the crucial steps in between.

At this, if you are taking care of him/her, try to gently reminding him/her of the tasks. If the person is finding it difficult to perform, do simplify and assist him/her with the tasks with humble explanation.

How Can You Help A Person With Dementia?

There are several ways you can help a person with dementia to cope with the condition. Here we enlist some of the important ones.

  • Help With Decision-Making

You can start by actively helping them in decision making. For example, you can make their dressing easier by uncluttering their wardrobe and leaving him/her with fewer choices of clothes to be cladded or by omitting extra clothes from his/her packing case before a travel so that he/she doesn’t struggle with it.

  • Accepting The Given Choices

If the person with dementia going through certain behavioural changes and showing resistance in accepting the choice given by you, you should not make him/her compel to do so. In stead talk with them respectfully and logically explain what insolvencies he/she might have to face for not accepting your chosen options.

  • Limiting The Range Of Choices

Limiting the range of choice always helps in cutting short the chance of mistakes. Therefore, in every task you help the person, try to choose two or three of the best possible options for the person you are taking care of. This can be for choosing a dress for keeping an appointment or to go out for shopping or for any occasion in the house. He/she will be more comfortable choosing a good dress from two or three rather than out of five or seven.

  • Respecting and Creating Privacy

If you are talking care of the person for bathing, it is quite likely that he would not be comfortable in front of you and you should respect that. Give him/her own privacy and make them live in their comfort zone.

Also because of the disorder, if they forget to close the door or draw the blinds while undressing or bathing, as a carer you should make sure you do it in their favour.

  • Nutrition On-Time

As they tend to forget things quite often, as a caregiver you should make sure they are getting proper nutrition rich food on time. You can set an alarm to remind them to eat, leave snacks where they can be seen, or even join them for a meal.

  • Applying Changes

If they are finding it hard to hold on cutleries, go for finger foods. Also, if they are struggling to unzip their pants or undo their buttons while in the toilet, then replace those outfits with clothes such as Velcro that are easy to put on and off.

  • Manage Your Own Health

Being a dementia caregiver can be overwhelming at times and can certainly take test on your patience. Therefore, you should also take care of your health as well so that you can give the best care to the person you are taking care of.

Get In-Home Care From OSAN Ability

Looking after someone with dementia is a genuine responsibility and it needs proper knowledge and patience to deal with it. Our in-home care led by registered caregivers and nurses are good options to take care of your loved one with dementia. We offer assistance with personal care, social participation, domestic chores and many more. We also provide respite care so you want to take a break from your duty.

Contact us to find out how we can help in dementia care

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