How to Deal With a Family Member With Dementia
Over 6 million Americans are currently living with dementia. That number is expected to rise as life expectancies rise. With an aging baby boomer population, the prevalence of dementia is sure to rise.
If you have a family member with dementia, you are not alone. There are many ways to help with dementia symptoms and also to make day-to-day care a little easier.
Wondering how to deal with a family member with dementia? Keep reading to learn more!
Table of Contents
Understanding the Signs of Dementia
Being a family member of someone dealing with dementia can be challenging. It is important to monitor and understand the signs of dementia.
Speak with a doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider when there are concerns about the physical, mental, and emotional health of the person.
Be aware of changes in personality, such as confusion, irritability, and forgetfulness. Monitor everyday activities such as dressing, eating, and drinking.
Communicating and Connecting
When attempting to communicate and connect with a family member with dementia, it is key to be patient and understanding. Acknowledge their emotions, rather than dismiss them. Listen while they tell stories, even if they may have been repeated many times before.
Offer validation by showing respect, even when there is confusion or agitation. Engage your family member in activities that they enjoy, like listening to music or looking through photo albums. It is also helpful to remain consistent in routines and engagements with them.
A familiar face and consistent environment can provide comfort to someone with dementia. It is also important to maintain regular contact, even if it is over video calls or window visits. Most of all, it is vital to remain positive, as that can make a world of difference.
Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment
Creating a safe and supportive environment for a family member with dementia can be a major challenge, but also an incredible opportunity. Start by providing emotional security, listening intently, and removing any stress from the family dynamics.
Respect their privacy and space as best you can, as well as keep their environment familiar when possible. Implement safety measures such as childproof locks, room alarms, and installing railings. Set up a support system, whether it be hiring a professional caregiver or having another member of the family take shifts.
Be physically and emotionally available when possible, addressing any anxieties or anger they may be feeling with calm and easy communication. You can also look through gift ideas for dementia patients for surprise presents to make them feel loved.
Managing Difficult Behaviors
Managing difficult behaviors in a dementia patient can be challenging for their caretaker, especially if it’s a family member.
Try and understand what triggers the behavior. Dementia Patients’ may behave differently due to fatigue, fear, or pain, so if you can figure out what is causing the behavior, then you can address the issue directly.
Don’t be afraid to take a break. Even the most patient and understanding caretaker can become overwhelmed by difficult behavior. It’s important to take time for yourself and take care of your well-being.
Learn How to Deal with a Family Member with Dementia Today
Taking care of a family member with dementia can be challenging, but it can also be a meaningful experience. Learning how to deal with a family member with dementia will make them feel loved, comfortable, and safe.
With patience, understanding, and support, you can provide the best care to your family member.
Did you find this article helpful? Check out the rest of our blogs!