Dementia Home Care

What You Should Know About Caring for an Older Adult with Dementia

Caring for someone with Dementia can provide special challenges. Follow these tips to help you when taking care of an older adult with Dementia.

Dementia (clearcareonline.com) is a general term for loss of memory, thinking, and reasoning skills that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. A person affected by Dementia may have problems with language, memory, behavior, and emotions.

There are several different kinds of Dementia:

  • Alzheimer's disease

  • Vascular dementia

  • Dementia with Lewy bodies

  • Mixed dementia

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Frontotemporal dementia

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus

  • Huntington's disease

  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Caring for an individual who has Dementia can have many challenges. Listed below are some tips on how to overcome the challenges or barriers that are associated with caring for someone with Dementia.

Communication

Communicating with someone who has Dementia can be one of the most challenging parts of their care. Because they may have difficulty with language, memory and emotions, they may have trouble expressing themselves and communicating clearly.

Use these tips when communicating with someone with Dementia:

  1. Limit distractions: Turn off the TV or radio or move to a quiet setting. Before speaking, make sure you have their attention. Identify yourself by name and relation, call them by their name, and maintain eye contact.

  2. Ask simple questions: Ask close ended questions where a simple “yes” or “no” answer will suffice. Ask one question at a time and avoid giving too many options.

  3. Be patient: When waiting for a response, be patient with the senior and give them time. You can help prompt them with words if they are having trouble finding the right ones.

  4. Be affectionate: Respond with physical expressions such as holding hands, touching, hugging and praise to help keep them encouraged.

  5. Give step-by-step instructions: You can make tasks more manageable by breaking down directions into simple steps.

Physical Health

Nutrition

Individuals with Dementia may forget to eat and drink, so their nutritional needs should be monitored closely. Here are some ways to help make sure they get the nutrition they need.

  • Serve foods that are familiar to them.

  • Offer snacks and small meals regularly.

  • Give them one course at a time so they aren’t overwhelmed by options.

  • Serve food on plain dishes. Avoid dishes that have patterns.

  • Some individuals may have difficulty chewing or swallowing.

  • Serve them foods that are easy to swallow. Eat with them so they can see you chewing.

  • Set an alarm to remind them about mealtimes.

Hygiene</