Coping with Dementia: Tips for First Time Caregivers

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What to Do When You’re Suddenly Caring for a Senior with Dementia

By Ted Holmgren, 10:59 pm on February 6, 2015

The Scottsdale senior care experts at Home Care Assistance know how difficult a dementia diagnosis can be for the whole family, but they also know it can be especially difficult on the caregiver if it’s his or her first time caring for a senior with dementia. Below are some tips to assist the first time dementia caregiver.

Tip #1: Talk About It

People who are newly diagnosed with dementia typically have many moments of lucidity. In your loved one’s lucid moments, talk to him or her about dementia and his or her fears or concerns relating to the disease.

Tip #2: Educate Yourself

There is a wealth of knowledge about dementia available at the local library as well as online. Read as much as you can on the topic to better prepare yourself for the progression of dementia.

Tip #3: Ask for Help

No one expects you to do this alone. Know your limitations and ask for help when you need it. Keep your family and friends informed so that they can assist you. If you do not have family and friends available, you can hire in-home dementia care in Scottsdale to assist your loved one in your absence or when you need a period of respite to care for yourself.

Tip #4: Dementia Proof Your Home

Some dementia patients like to wander outside the home. They forget that they are no longer able to leave without supervision or take the car to the store. You can purchase door alarms to alert you when your loved one leaves the home, and/or invest in a bracelet, necklace, or even shoe soles with GPS tracking to keep tabs on your loved one’s whereabouts. Additionally, you may need to hide your car keys and arrange for your senior loved one’s driver’s license to be revoked. If you do not feel comfortable doing this on your own, you may talk to his or her physician about it or contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles anonymously.

Tip #5: Think Outside the Box

Seniors with dementia may fixate on strange things. For example, your loved one may believe that his or her toe is dirty when it is really bruised. They may ask you repeatedly to clean their toe. By covering the bruise with a flesh tone Band-Aid, he or she may believe their toe has been cleaned and move on.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia and you need additional help, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale. We provide both live-in and hourly care in Scottsdale, and are experts in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our compassionate and trained caregivers can provide assistance with bathing, grooming, cooking, cleaning, transportation, and medication reminders. Most importantly, our caregivers promote your loved one’s health and ensure their safety. Call us today at (480) 448-6215 to schedule a free in-home consultation.