Dementia is not a disease, it is a disorder related to loss of mental function due to certain disease mostly affected older people, old age is the largest risk for dementia. 1 in 4 people aged 85-89 have dementia. Some of the risk factor are: old age, unhealthy lifestyle, head injury, and improper management of Depression. Caring for elder patient with Dementia is very challenging for caregivers and families. Dementia patient has difficulty remembering things, family member, mood swings, or to look after of themselves s because they neglect personal safety, hygiene, and nutrition, and repeatedly asks the same questions, becomes disoriented in familiar places and date or time, and unable to follow instructions.
Communicating with Dementia will experience difficulties and one of the most upsetting aspects for the Caregiver. These are tips that may help Caregiver to manage patient with Dementia.
Recognize the reason of the behavior problems what, how and where is coming from, set a positive mood for interaction because action speaks louder than words, tone of your voice and show your feelings of affection to them. Avoid any distraction when you are talking to them and state your message clear and concise so that they can easily understand. Ask simple questions and ask one question at a time, much better if you give them choices when asking questions. Listen attentively and give them time to answer you back, watch out for some nonverbal cues while talking. Give them step by step instruction and assist with the through the steps. Always reassure people with dementia because they are confused and anxious. Remind them about their past, they may enhance their memory and the information more likely to be retained. Dementia patient may retain social skills that usually laugh along with you so may maintain your sense of humor.
Dementia people may change their behavior every now and then, Caregiver must know how to handle them: we need to accept the person example, if he wants to eat ice cream in the middle of the night give them just a little bit, we cannot control or change the behavior we just need to accept it. Always seek Doctor for their help, dementia may have predisposing factors and there may be some medications to manage the problem. Assess what triggered the behaviour of the patient it doesn’t occur just sudden it is always something it could be physical, environmental or emotional. Give them different activities every day you will not give the same work today as yesterday, to manage troubling behavior on its progression of the condition. Engage them to some institution or organization that cater with same condition.
As a live in caregiver you need to be kind, understanding compassionate and patient when dealing and looking after with Dementia patient. Caring for someone with dementia really test your patience. Remember that it is not the person creating the dilemma but rather the disease. People with dementia are for the most part caring, smart, funny and always wanting to help others. They respond to kindness and they need a lot of patience. Use diversion. Attend support groups and seminars, and know them that they are not alone.