How to Care for the Elderly With Dementia
Caring for anyone suffering from dementia can be frustrating and at times, unrewarding. Dementia affects the elderly in so many ways that it is often hard to pin down one specific way to care for them. Whether they are forgetful, sad or even violent, there are ways to care for them that are comfortable, curb their symptoms and are easier on you.
Understand the scope and severity of the dementia. You may need to speak to the elderly person's health care provider to find out what type of dementia it is. When you know more about his dementia, you can better care for him by taking his likes, dislikes and triggers into consideration.
Steer away from situations and circumstances that can cause him to become agitated or frustrated. Agitation is a major trigger for dementia symptoms. If you know that he becomes agitated in large groups, try taking him somewhere less populated.
Give one-step directions and ask simple questions. Instead of asking him to get ready for the day, ask him to go shower and then direct him to shave. Don't overwhelm him with too much information at once. He may forget or may become frustrated and difficult to deal with.
Surround him with comfortable things. Even if he doesn't remember people as well as he did, he may remember objects. Movies, books and personal objects can be comforting because they always stay the same. Read to him from his favorite books and you may see a calmer demeanor.
Don't force him to do anything. An elderly person with dementia is not a child, even if he sometimes acts like one. He is still an adult and you should respect him as his care giver. Many elderly people with dementia feel like they've lost control of their lives and being difficult is one of the things they can still control. Instead, offer options instead of commands. Ask him if he'd like to go to the park or watch a movie. In this way, he can make his own choices while staying safe with activities that won't agitate