Caring for Someone With Dementia: 5 Fundamentals

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Caregiving is hard enough as it is. But caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease has its own challenges. Learning as much as we can about Alzheimer’s, as well as maintaining a positive but realistic attitude, are essential tools for caregivers. According to Alzheimers.net, here are some important things for caregivers to remember when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Dementia care is daunting, but there are certain things a caregiver can do to make it easier. Whether you are caring for aging parents or a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, or are a senior care professional approaching your role with some knowledge — the right attitude is crucial to success.

Educating yourself about dementia and maintaining a positive but realistic attitude allows you to maintain an element of control as a caregiver. It can take the sting out of surprising challenges you encounter while caring for elderly parents and also improve the care that you provide.

Consider these five fundamentals if you are taking care of elderly parents:

  1. Accept support. No one can do it alone. Accept help from relatives and neighbors. Help can range from assistance while you are caring for a parent, or a 30-60 minute break in the day. Take a walk around the block. Make a much needed errand. Enjoy the respite. You deserve it.
  2. Actively empathize. Talk with your aging parent and empathize when appropriate. Talking with them, and actively supporting elderly parents helps control agitation.
  3. Be a realistic caregiver. Do what you can, but don’t expect miracles. Realize that you will be repeating directions and don’t get aggravated. Taking care of an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s is similar to watching a child. You repeat things for them – even just as reassurance.
  4. Dementia is more than memory loss. Dementia is a term that we generally associate withr loss of memory. But dementia also includes problems with  language, general problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia.
  5. Plan for the future. Deciding on next steps helps you cope when the time comes for you to take action. Planning ahead assures a clear thought process – one that is reasonable and not based on emotion. Please check out our video and discussion with Susy Murphy, owner of Debra Levy Eldercare. Her discussion with Steve Lorberbaum may help answer any questions you may have.

Assisting Hands Home Care Potomac specializes in treating Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. In Montgomery County, Maryland, we serve Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Gaithersburg, Olney, Germantown, and beyond. In Northern Fairfax County, Virginia, we serve Annandale, Dulles, Dunn Loring, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, McLean, Oakton, Oak Hill, Reston, Tysons Corner, Vienna and beyond.

Learn more about these important facts to consider when approaching your role caring for someone with dementia.