Dealing with a loved one afflicted with dementia is an emotional ordeal. At Personal Health Care, we have experience in caring for patients with dementia, including its most common form; Alzheimer’s. We approach each case with individual care and attention to the specific needs of not only our patient, but their family as well.
Dementia and related conditions currently affect roughly 5 million Americans today. If you, or a loved one are coping with this affliction, we know it can be a confusing, stressful time. That is why our home care workers are trained and experienced in providing comprehensive dementia care to our clients.
If you are considering home care for a loved one with dementia, consider the following to be a preview of the approach we take at Personal Health Care. These guidelines may also assist you with caring for your family member or loved one.
No Fault or Judgment
One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for dementia patient’s is that aggressive or erratic speech or action is not intentional. The disease greatly affects the patient’s sense of self, awareness, and memory.
Aggressive outbursts are most commonly due to confusion, insecurity, and even fear caused by uncomfortable situations or unfamiliar surroundings. As each patient is different, the approach may vary depending on the situation. Sometimes, confronting the root cause of the discomfort is effective. Other times, allowing the patient the time and space they need to calm down will work.
Our home care workers are skilled at approaching each situation with the level of patience, empathy, and understanding required.
Proper communication begins with setting a positive mood in the room. Dementia patients often have difficulty communicating themselves so the tone must be set by the caregiver. This may include a gentle tone of voice, a positive attitude, or a comfortable setting.
Communication should be clear, concise, and to the point. Caregivers should listen careful and respond in simple, straightforward language. Above all, be kind, reassuring, and helpful. Dementia patients may not always understand your words but many can still read body language and situational emotions.
One of the most commonly noticed effects of dementia is confused wandering. In fact, six in ten dementia patients will exhibit this symptom. Often, wandering is caused by confusion or unfamiliarity. It may seem random at times; however, patients are typically wandering with a perceived purpose such as going home or to a more familiar setting.
Dealing with wandering largely focuses on establishing daily routines that provide structure and purpose for the patient. Planning regular activities such as games, exercise, or even household tasks can help focus the patient while relieving stress and anxiety; two emotions that can often trigger wandering.
Quality of Life
Establishing a routine, effective communication, and providing a safe environment are all key to ensuring the best quality of life for your loved one. This includes attention to personal tasks such as hygiene and nutrition.
Dementia and the associated behaviors are often triggered or exacerbated by environmental conditions. A safe, welcoming home where the patient’s needs are met can go a long way to mitigating aggressive or erratic behavior.
Do you Love Someone In Need of Care?
For over 36 years, Personal Health Care has been providing comprehensive home care solutions in Philadelphia for patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other medical needs. Our case management team is on call 24/ 7, waiting to hear from you.
If you have a loved one afflicted with dementia and are considering home care, contact us today for a free in-home consultation.