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The Basics of Taking Care of People With Dementia

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Dementia is a common term for loss of memory and other intellectual abilities that can affect the daily activities of the person suffering from it. Confusion, poor concentration, depression, language problems, behaviour and personality changes are some of its common early symptoms that may also develop slowly and can even go unrecognised for a long time, a reason why it seems very difficult to deal with.
If you are a caregiver or have a family member that is suffering from this condition, it is very important for you to know and understand everything about dementia and be prepared for any unforeseen challenges you will encounter, so you can provide better care for them. Apart from having the right attitude, there are also strategies that can help you look after them.
What You Need to Consider
Yes, memory loss is a symptom but dementia is actually more than that. A person suffering from it may develop difficult moods and behaviour. It can affect the area of the brain that controls balance, coordination and motor skills. Patients can become incapable of doing daily activities like getting dressed and going to the toilet, and even become unable to recognise loved ones.
Always consider the person’s behaviour. Usually, they cannot tell you what they really want or need, so it is best to accommodate them as much as possible. Bear in mind that every behaviour has a purpose whether a patient wants to take all the clothes out of the closet or wear the same clothes on a daily basis.
What you can do is become a sensible caregiver and make sure that the patient or person you are attending to is comfortable, happy and safe. Be compassionate and actively empathise with them when they are becoming more confused or agitated. Help them to maintain a healthy and positive outlook to achieve a better standard of living.
Never be scared to ask for support. If your loved one wishes to stay home for their own comfort and convenience, you can seek help from agencies who provide live in care. Make sure that they possess proper dementia care training and experience so that your loved one will be provided with the appropriate care and attention that they need.
Consider Their Perspective
Every person is unique and has their own likes, dislikes, personality and history. When taking care of a person with dementia, it is very helpful to have an understanding of what effect it may have on that person, it may be their behaviour or ability to think and feel. Stay focused on what the person still has instead of abilities that he or she may have lost, and provide assurance that they are safe and you are there to help.
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