Caring for a Senior with Dementia: Where to Begin?

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Steps to Take When Caring for a Senior with Dementia

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on September 19, 2016

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you may have a difficult time adjusting to changes in his or her abilities and learning how to provide the best care possible. However, there are a few things you can do to make the journey less challenging for both you and your loved one. 

Appoint a Primary Family Caregiver

Choosing a primary family caregiver is one of the most important initial steps you can take when providing Scottsdale dementia care for your loved one. The primary family caregiver can handle your loved one’s medical and financial affairs, and you should also select a secondary caregiver in case the first is unavailable during an emergency situation.

Learn How to Communicate Effectively

As your loved one’s dementia progresses, you will notice changes in the way he or she communicates. Your loved one will often be confused, irritated, and nervous, and you need to be prepared for sudden outbursts as well. Regardless of what your loved one says or does, always remain calm and remember these important communication tips:

• Speak slowly 
• Keep sentences clear, simple, and short 
• Repeat words as often as necessary 
• Make eye contact and use hand gestures 
• Avoid yelling
• Do not sneak up on your loved one 
• Do not patronize your loved one

Make the Proper Living Arrangements 

You will need to decide if your loved one will live with you or other family members or if he or she will remain at home while receiving Scottsdale senior care. If your loved one is currently living far away from you or another family caregiver, he or she will likely need to move closer. Once you know where your loved one will be living, you need to determine if the home he or she will reside in is safe. Here are some of the things you should do to prepare the home for your loved one:

• Place nightlights throughout the house 
• Keep walkways free of clutter 
• Remove throw rugs and other items that may cause a fall 
• Install grab bars in the bathroom
• Place nonslip mats in the bathtub 
• Keep sharp, dangerous objects out of reach 

Hire a Professional In-Home Caregiver 

Caring for a senior with dementia can be overwhelming, and you will likely need additional support. You cannot provide adequate care for your loved one if you do not take care of yourself, which means taking time off to relax, go on vacation, sleep, and handle personal or professional commitments. Consider hiring an in-home respite caregiver in Scottsdale who understands the behaviors of seniors with dementia and can keep your loved one calm and safe while you take a break from your caregiving duties.

To learn more about caring for a senior loved one with dementia, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to keep their minds sharp, socialize more often, and maintain a sense of calmness and purpose, all of which are crucial when living with dementia. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today.