Being a caregiver for a loved one with dementia is complex, challenging, and requires a great deal of patience. Working through some of the issues that arise with loved ones with dementia can help you save time, reduce stress, and can make your life significantly more manageable as a caregiver.
The first thing to understand when assessing mistakes caregivers make with loved ones with dementia is first to understand the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an overall term — like heart disease — that covers a wide range of
specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Symptoms of Dementia
Common symptoms connected with Alzheimer’s and Dementia are mostly cognitive memory issues, as seen below.
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- reduced concentration
- personality or behavior changes
- apathy and social withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
- increased confusion
Common Dementia Care Mistake: Arguing
Arguing with a person with Dementia will end in nothing but frustration. There may be times when a person that you’re caring for says something incorrect or incoherent. During these times, it’s better to rest the topic for a later date since it’s not worth the agitation that will come with the argument.
What’s the best solution? Simply agree with your loved one, then change the conversion topic. Changing your approach will save you an immense amount of energy and patience that can be used for other purposes.
Common Dementia Care Mistake: Being in Denial
Being in Denial is the most difficult and painful thing for anyone would be to acknowledge the signs of dementia. The difficulty level is compounded when the person with dementia is a loved one. As a caretaker for a loved one, we tend to ignore reality, their symptoms, make excuses, push the signs and symptoms to the backburner to avoid the reality of the situation.
The biggest thing to remember is it is important to adapt your expectations and meet your loved ones where they are in terms of their mental state. This means that it’s critical not to be upset when your loved one forgets a past memory or if their behavior changes.
Common Dementia Care Mistake: Getting too Complex
Be sure to ask one question at a time. Closed questions tend to work best (yes or no) to avoid any confusion with your loved one. Confusion is a result of your loved one not knowing where they are and why they’re at a specific location. When asking questions, use simple words and sentences. Avoid speaking quickly and use a reassuring tone.
Shy away from raising your voice higher and use tone instead of volume. Pitching your voice lower helps someone with dementia understand your meaning better than raising your voice. Rephrase the question if he/she still doesn’t understand what you’re saying. Use specific people’s names and avoid using pronouns like he, she, and they.
One last mistake people make with their loved ones with dementia is not asking for help. At Golden Pond Retirement Community, our calling to care for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Schedule a tour today to meet the team and have lunch on us.