How to Take Care of a Dementia Patient
When dementia strikes, it affects not only the patient, but also the patient’s family. The challenge is not only to cope with seeing a loved one suffer, but also to provide all the love and care that a dementia patient needs. Taking care of a dementia patient is not an easy task, but understanding the disease and following a few steps can definitely help.
Sometimes, conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other related diseases are the main causes behind dementia. Patients who find themselves in such a situation also experiences progressive brain disorder. This in turn makes them unable to remember things, think clearly, communicate, and take care of themselves. The situation only worsens with time. Apart from these, dementia can also cause severe mood swings, and can completely alter a person’s nature and personality.
Nobody is born with the knowledge of how to communicate with a dementia patient. The good news is they can always learn. Although each patient needs something very unique and individual, yet, good communication is often the primary key. Maintaining a friendly and respectful tone and manner always helps.
While interacting with a dementia patient, it is always advisable to speak pleasantly and to use non-verbal mode of communication such as touch and visual cues. It should always be remembered that action speaks louder than words, and more so when the person being spoken to is in a fragile state mentally.
Getting the attention of a dementia patient is important. Choosing a quiet place to communicate, closing the doors, and turning off the radio and the television may be helpful. It is also important to communicate in short and easy sentences. The ones that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ works best. However, simply asking question is not enough. One has to be very patient and wait for a reply.
A dementia patient may have a hard time in replying. It is then perfectly fine to help with words. Any nonverbal cue that the patient gives should be followed. Compassion is the key and there is hardly anything better than love to treat a loved one suffering from dementia.
Despite all the efforts, things may become too difficult to be handled by family members. It does not mean there is any dearth of love and patience; it only means they need external help. There are many homecare facilities that offer a host of care services that can prove to be very beneficial for a dementia patient. You may visit Caring Hands Homecare to see how they can help your aged parent or loved one.
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Written by Paul Cooke for Caring Hands Homecare.