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Caring for Someone With Dementia: 5 Things You Need to Remember

Caring for Someone With Dementia: 5 Things You Need to Remember

Caring for someone with dementia can sometimes be a challenge. However, by keeping the following things in mind, you can be sure that your loved one is well taken care of, and all of their needs are met daily.

Caring for Someone with Dementia

1. Make sure they have a healthy diet

Having a healthy diet is very important for everyone, but more so for people with dementia. The reason behind this is that having a balanced diet helps keep their body healthy and also helps mitigate the effects of dementia.

It’s also not uncommon for the elderly to have other health problems, so making sure they eat healthy food can help with managing their other conditions as well.

Prioritize fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, and healthy nuts like almonds and pistachios. Limit their intake of fats, meat, as well as processed foods, and foods high in sugar. It’s also a good idea to lessen their intake of sodium.

2. Don’t forget to give their medication

There are certain types of medication that doctors prescribe for patients with dementia. While these might not cure dementia, they can help slow down its effects. So it’s important to make sure that your loved one is taking their medication on time and in the right dosage.

As memory is affected by dementia, it should be the caretaker’s responsibility to see that their loved one takes the right medication at the right time. It helps to write these down, and take a daily inventory of their medication to help keep track of it.

3. Organize their daily activities

Another important thing to remember is that you need to create a regular schedule of activities. Patients with dementia benefit a lot from having a set routine. It also helps keep their minds active, especially if there are a number of different activities that they do every day.

Even simple things such as watching their favorite shows, going outside for some fresh air, or just talking to them can help with their condition.

It’s also a good idea to make sure they sleep and wake up at set times every day. They shouldn’t stay up too late, and ideally, they should have at least 8 hours of sleep every day. You could also encourage them to take naps in the afternoon, though this can sometimes make it more difficult for them to sleep at night.

caring for someone with dementia

4. Make sure they get enough exercise

Check and see that your loved one gets enough exercise. Light walking, light stretching, and non-strenuous activities are recommended to prevent them from hurting themselves or falling down.

If they’re unable to walk, you can massage their legs, and stretch them gently so long as it’s not painful for them. This also helps maintain circulation and keeps their muscles healthy. For those who are bedridden, it’s important to remember to help them sit up while propped up on pillows during meals to avoid choking. Caregivers should also see to it that they are turned often while lying down in bed to prevent bedsores.

10 Bone and Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for Older Adults

5. Be patient with them

Dealing with the sudden mood swings and behavioral changes of someone with dementia can be difficult. Be patient and understanding of their condition.

People with dementia also have a tendency to wander around, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them at all times. Having them wear an emergency bracelet or any ID with important contact details is recommended especially when going out.

It can get frustrating at times, so try to stay calm. Remember, their behavior is an effect of their condition, and they’re not doing it to hurt you on purpose.

Key Takeaways

These 5 tips offer a simple guide on how to care for someone with dementia. If you feel that you might need professional help, don’t hesitate to look for a caregiver or ask someone else to help you.

Talk to your loved one’s physician and ask for advice on how to better support the patient and ensure the quality of life.

Learn more about Dementia here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Daily Care | Alzheimer’s Association, https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/daily-care, Accessed January 13, 2021

Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors | Family Caregiver Alliance, https://www.caregiver.org/caregivers-guide-understanding-dementia-behaviors, Accessed January 13, 2021

Looking after someone with dementia – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/carers/, Accessed January 13, 2021

Caring for someone with dementia at home | Age UK, https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/caring-dementia/, Accessed January 13, 2021

Caring for a person with dementia: A practical guide | Alzheimer’s Society, https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets/caring-person-dementia-practical-guide, Accessed January 13, 2021

Caring for someone with dementia | My Aged Care, https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/caring-someone-living-dementia, Accessed January 13, 2021

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara on Jan 13
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