If you’re acting as a caregiver for someone with dementia, you may feel overwhelmed. Whether your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, the burden of providing dementia care around the clock can be great, and it can take a toll on your emotions and physical health. By arming yourself with knowledge about the disease, you can take intentional actions to provide the best possible care even as you care for yourself.
Understand what to Expect with Dementia Care
Individuals suffering from dementia experience progressive, significant loss of their mental function. Alzheimer’s disease causes most cases of dementia — between 60 and 80 percent in the United States. Symptoms of dementia can vary depending on someone’s age and other factors. However, dementia eventually leads to changes in behavior and personality, memory loss, physical deterioration, loss of judgment and reasoning abilities, and death.
Keep a Realistic Attitude
As the disease progresses, try to be realistic in what you view as success. If the person for whom you’re providing dementia care is comfortable, safe and as happy as possible, you’re doing well. Expect good and bad days, and understand that Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will get worse over time regardless of the loving, attentive care you provide.
Create a Routine
Adhering to a daily schedule as much as possible will help the person you’re caring for, and it will help you as well. Take a look at your daily activities to determine if you can implement some routines to help things go more smoothly. For someone who is increasingly confused due to dementia, having an idea of what comes next can create a calming atmosphere.
Make Use of Music
Research has found that music can help lessen problematic behaviors among dementia sufferers, including aggression and agitation. If you choose to play music, make sure it’s a genre that the person with dementia likes, rather than what you would prefer. Playing a favorite music type is one of the most effective forms of dementia care.
Reach out to Others
If you’re providing dementia care or Alzheimer’s care Maryland, it’s important to think about your own health and wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for support. You can turn to a number of national groups, along with state and local support groups for dementia care Maryland. By joining a support group, you can express your frustrations in a nonjudgmental group setting and learn about available resources.
Think About the Future
When you’re providing dementia care for a loved one, the only certainty is that change is inevitable. At some point, your family member may require dementia care in a senior living community; it’s prudent to spend some time considering when that point may be and finding a community you trust. A community like Gull Creek provides compassionate, professional memory care as well as levels of living to provide for your loved one’s needs at each stage of life. To learn more, contact us for a personal consultation about dementia care in Maryland.