Dressing a senior with dementia takes time, and they may wear inappropriate clothes for the season. While preparing for your senior loved one’s daily life, try giving them one thing at a time, and make sure that they always wear medical ID. Medical ID is an essential safety item, but there are also many other items to remember to provide. Keeping kitchen surfaces clutter-free is also a helpful way to ensure safety.
Avoid talking about a loved one with dementia in the same room as you
When visiting your loved one at home, don’t talk about the things you’ve heard them say before. While a person with dementia may not recognize you, they may be eager to share their experiences and feelings. Avoid asking difficult questions, as they may not be able to understand you or repeat things they heard. Try answering these questions calmly, and avoid using patronizing or sarcastic language, which may cause confusion. It’s also best to take short breaks.
Having signs placed around the house may alleviate some of the uncertainty and anxiety about what you’re about to say. For example, a person with dementia may pull their clothing or become agitated. Sudden changes in behavior can be jarring. This is normal with dementia. But remember that the person has changed and the disease is not about you.
It’s also a good idea not to talk about your political beliefs while visiting a person with dementia. The subject can be a point of contention, and it might lead to arguments or frustration. As a caregiver, you need to be aware of your body language and nonverbal cues. It’s best to remain calm while speaking with your loved one.
Limit access to dangerous areas of the home
To limit access to dangerous areas of the home for seniors, begin by assessing your loved one’s behavior and physical abilities. Consider making substantial changes to the home. For example, install childproof latches on cabinets and drawers, and install a monitoring device in the bathroom. Keep flammable materials and weapons out of reach, and install childproof latches on cabinets. Also, limit access to portable heating devices.
When designing a home for a senior with dementia, consider the hazards associated with the environment. Keep flammable materials, such as lighter fluids, out of sight and locked in a cabinet. Also, limit access to areas where seniors with dementia might fall. If you live in a home with a basement, keep the area well-lit, and remove clutter. Be sure to keep rugs and overhangs off the floor to limit tripping hazards.
When modifying the home for a senior with dementia, restrict access to potentially hazardous areas. This may include stairs, bathrooms, and tool sheds. Locking up dangerous products in cabinets and putting childproof latches on doorknobs can also help prevent falls. Also, keep medication and other items out of reach, and turn down the temperature of water. Make the home safer for your senior by installing grab bars and child-restraint caps.
Keep kitchen surfaces clutter-free
For seniors with dementia, keeping kitchen surfaces clutter-free can help them feel more secure in the home. Ensure they keep all household cleaners in a locked cabinet. Use wall-mounted lighting where possible. Place seating at an appropriate height. Place the television remote where it is easily accessible and in the same location. Also, remove tripping hazards by placing a few items in a designated area. Keep cabinets and drawers clear of crumbs and other items. Avoid using shiny floors. Shiny floors are slippery for seniors with dementia. Throw rugs can cause tripping and falls, as well. Keeping the door open and avoiding clutter will also help.
When preparing meals, be sure to put away sharp objects and put them in locked cabinets. Place vases and pots out of reach of senior residents. Disable gas stoves and ovens. Store cleaning supplies in locked cabinets. Remove any pet bowls to prevent tripping hazards. Lockable cabinets are essential for keeping children out of cabinets. Also, keep doormats and small throw rugs out of reach of the elderly.
If possible, install childproof door latches on cabinets and drawers. You can also install nightlights in the kitchen to help those with dementia stay safe and healthy in their home. Besides removing locks and other dangers, keeping surfaces clutter-free is a good idea for seniors with dementia. When a senior has Alzheimer’s, they might lose the ability to recognize certain objects and may accidentally put their hands in the garbage disposal.
Provide basic needs in the home
A new study found that providing basic needs to senior citizens with dementia is essential for them to remain as safe and independent as possible. The study compared perspectives of people with dementia, family caregivers, and health care professionals. Findings suggest that many basic needs are still unmet. Here are five ways to help. One of the most important ways is by providing companionship. Caregivers and seniors should be in constant communication.
The primary objective of these interviews is to understand what kinds of assistance are needed by people with dementia and their families. This study shows that some of these needs are met more than others. A clinical psychologist conducted the interviews while old age psychiatrists conducted the caregiver interviews. MO, one of the authors of the Camberwell Assessment of Need for the Elderly, helped the interviewers develop rating criteria. Interviewers met with the research team monthly to discuss problems and improvements.
Among the basic needs of people with dementia, memory, and the care of the home were the most frequently reported. Professionals and caregivers agreed more often on these needs than did people with dementia. A high degree of agreement indicates a good agreement between the two groups. While professional care providers and family caregivers may take the needs of the dementia patient into account more than the carers, it does not mean that they are equal.
One of the best things you can do to help your loved one with dementia is to avoid being impatient. These patients tend to repeat things or misidentify people. You can’t always control their behaviors, but you can try to avoid getting frustrated. Try to keep them occupied with work or conversation. If your loved one becomes agitated, distract them with an activity or agree to do the task together.
The person with dementia may become angry and refuse to do something. If possible, wait 20 minutes before asking for more time to complete the task. If they get angry again twenty minutes later, you’ll likely get different results. Music is another helpful distraction. It can lighten their mood and encourage them to accept help. They may even start singing. The goal is to make their days less stressful.
If your loved one has dementia, it’s essential to set limits. If possible, limit their access to dangerous items, such as toxic materials and laundry. Also, keep them away from things like guns and bicycles. You can install child-proof latches on cabinets. This way, they can’t accidentally open them and hurt themselves. So, if you want to help your loved one stay healthy and safe at home, avoid being impatient and try to keep your cool.
Remember that the elderly and those with dementia can make mistakes, so make sure they do not fall. Install safety bars or mats in the bathroom. If your loved one has difficulty recognizing people, they may think of strangers as intruders. Lock medicine cabinets and put up a daily medication list. Remove tripping hazards such as rugs or step ladders. Also, remove sharp objects or shards of glass from countertops and tables.
Keeping conversations meaningful can go a long way. Even though dementia patients have trouble connecting with others, they are still able to gain a great deal from social interactions. Try to engage in meaningful conversations with your loved one. To engage them in meaningful conversations, try to use nonverbal cues, such as nodding or responding to validate. This can go a long way in helping your loved one feel valued.
Providing care can be physically and mentally draining. Although you have no control over the condition, you should still remain realistic about what you can and cannot do. There may come a time when the person with dementia outgrows your ability to provide care. Then you will have to decide whether to seek outside assistance or continue caring for your loved one. The best way to deal with this situation is to remain calm, be patient, and make sure that the elderly person gets the attention they need.