Dementia can make older people stubborn and hard to manage. And having a parent with dementia could be a daily struggle. That is why family members opt to find a caregiver to meet their needs. However, this way limits making more memories with your loved ones and adds up to your expenses.
Overview: Understanding Parents with Dementia
Let not the illness dictate you to disrespect elders but gently explain to them about their condition. Use words that are easy to understand and also grasp their response, even non-verbal.
The best thing to do for parents with dementia is to ask for help. They need extra care that only experts can provide. Evaluate the symptoms to identify the real problem. It could be behavioral or physical changes that are easy to recognize.
When dementia progresses, the patient loses its vocabulary even more. Avoid talking to him/her using complex words but speak slowly and shortly.
Always identify the causes of aggressive behavior, such as kicking, hitting, and biting, to know the remedy. Do not make your parents feel terrified by being angry with them but deal with stubbornness with the right words and actions.
Give them a sense of freedom, as long as they do not get harmed. Whenever situations escalate, do not intervene without consent, it may be more uncomfortable for them.
Overall, monitor their changes in behavior each day. It is more on extending grace and patience and making tough decisions, whenever it is needed. All family members should know the real situation for more accurate approaches.
Effective Tips in Dealing with Problematic Behaviors
We gathered some tips from medical professionals in dealing with dementia. It is divided into three categories – tips for communicating, developing cooperation, and when to call for caregiver’s help.
Proper Ways to Communicate
Dementia causes a person to struggle in telling their needs. They cannot also understand complex words thus always clarify things when talking to them. Respect their preferences by asking simplified questions. It should always be in detail, for example, ask what color she/he wants to wear – is it blue or red?
Arguing and yelling will only make the situation worse. Develop good communication assertively especially in discussing issues. This would help them to engage in and not be too defensive.
Learning non-verbal cues matters as the illness progresses. It causes a person to find comfort by means of touch and a more relaxed voice. However, it does not work all the time, according to experts.
The art of listening is also important in dealing with dementia. Allow them to express their thoughts and do not interrupt but pay attention. In this way, it is easier to identify their needs and wants. You must discern when is the right time to talk back. This calms down any aggressive behavior as well.
Lastly, in communicating with your loved ones, always use appropriate gestures so that they can feel safe. It also encourages great discussions about serious matters.
Tips for Gaining Attention
It is vital to be flexible in getting the attention of an ill person. They are already dealing with lots of challenges and it is harder for them to remember things. Thus, knowing ways to redirect their actions is a win-win strategy. First, you need to be more patient in pushing them to do something helpful for their condition. To name a few include walking, listening to music, and more simple tasks.
Compromising is another tip to enhance cooperation. For example, in taking a bath, it won’t always go full bath knowing their situation. A little compromise can lead to a “yes”. Also, make sure to provide daily tasks to minimize stubborn behavior.
Giving them medicines is one of the most difficult tasks you can encounter. It would trigger anger and confusion in the patient. Experts suggest breaking down the process of medication, with proper assistance.
One more tip is to develop a calm environment before medication. This is to set the mood of the patient and you should also calm down to meet in between. Wait until frustrations fade off to get started. Music can help in this situation, the same as when brushing the teeth of a person with dementia.
You can be creative too. Studies show that forming an agreement with the patient can reduce refusal. For instance, tell them to expect a good thing will happen when they cooperate.
Hiring a Caregiver
Choosing a helper to take good care of a person with dementia could be tough. Elders may refuse and that is so heartbreaking to watch. What you can do is to explain the matter the way it does not make them feel like a burden to you.
Talk to professionals to better discuss things with your loved one. Ensure your parent’s safety by telling them they are in good hands. You can also go with them during interviews to ease the pressure. Additionally, cooperate with the doctors and law enforcement in case something bad happens due to refusal behavior.
Professional Aged Care We Recommend
Homestyle Aged Care has a good facility and skilled caregivers to protect elders with dementia. Its homely environment can guarantee aged people basic needs and entertainment. The place permits 24/7 visiting hours to see the condition of your loved one. Lastly, elders may also find new friends to get along with, this reduces homesickness.
To summarize, dementia is a serious illness for aged people. Medications can help but do not guarantee a full treatment. And so, following the proper ways to deal with it is the best thing you can do.