Do you care for a loved one at home?
Perhaps you’re looking for some help with dementia care?
A dementia diagnosis is life-changing for the individual affected and their families. Many people wish to care for their loved ones at home since this is the environment in which they feel most comfortable.
If your loved one is living with dementia and you’d like to find out how you can support them at home, keep reading:
Incorporate Simplicity into their Daily Life
The mind of someone living with dementia is often disoriented – particularly as they progress towards the later stages. This can lead to unpredictable emotions, and the individual may find it hard to make decisions – particularly when they are presented with too much choice.
To prevent feelings of overwhelm, try to simplify your loved one’s day-to-day life as much as possible. When faced with decisions such as their outfit for the day, or what they’re going to have for dinner, try narrowing their choices down to two options.
So, each morning, perhaps present your loved one with two outfits, or two choices for breakfast. This way, your loved one retains enough autonomy to live independently, but with a manageable number of options.
Live in Their Reality
As your loved one’s dementia progresses, they’ll likely experience realities different to yours. This may prompt them to see, hear and experience things that you may not. It may be tempting to try and reassure them that their experiences are just hallucinations, but doing so may actually have an adverse effect and cause confusion.
Rather, it’s better to accept your loved one’s experiences and live in their reality. At Huntington and Langham Estate, we’re proud to be Butterfly accredited – and this means that we take a family-centred approach to dementia care.
From wearing their own pyjamas to sourcing medication from personalised cabinets, our nurses work hard to create a home-from-home experience for our residents living with dementia.
Created by Meaningful Care Matters, the Butterfly Approach is the next step in dementia care.
Watch their latest video to find out more:
Ensure Your Loved One Lives a Healthy Day-to-Day Lifestyle
The key to caring for most health conditions is ensuring that the individual has access to a healthy day-to-day lifestyle.
If you’re unsure about how to provide your loved one with a healthy, balanced diet, this NHS article demonstrates the importance of a high protein diet with plenty of fluids – and advises on the best ways to incorporate them.
Try to encourage your loved one to engage in light exercise, too. A brisk walk or some simple stretches, such as these, can help to increase mobility and regulate mood.
Create a Memory Box With Your Loved One
If your loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, it could be a good idea to gently encourage them to create a memory box or book with you.
On difficult days, you can help your loved one to try and relive happy memories by flicking through old photos and diary entries. Don’t forget to label the photos with names and dates!
Seek Professional Care Options
Caring for a loved one at home can be incredibly difficult, particularly when these responsibilities are juggled alongside a full-time job and childcare.
It’s important to take time out as a caregiver, too; if you become exhausted, your health may become compromised and your loved one may not receive the care they really need.
If you feel that a break from your caregiving responsibilities could be beneficial for you, why not try respite care options? Temporary day and/or night care can help you and your loved one decide whether permanent professional care could be the right option. Alternatively, you may find that a few respite breaks a year may give you the time you need to rejuvenate.
If you’d like to find out how we can help with dementia care, just contact a member of our team.
Alternatively, why not find out all about the completion of our extension in our previous blog?