To begin with, dementia is not an illness but rather a condition or syndrome that is commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease and old age. Its symptoms include difficulty in solving problems, memory loss, and struggling in remembering languages and processes.
Taking care of someone with dementia can be stressful and challenging. However, with the proper knowledge and understanding of what type of care and needs they require, caring for them can turn out to be satisfying and rewarding.
Care Needs For Dementia Patients
1.Dementia Patients Need Help with their Everyday Tasks:
As the symptoms progress, the person suffering from dementia may feel stressed, scared, and anxious about not being able to concentrate, follow conversations and remember things. This makes them lose their confidence and even be afraid to continue their social life.
When this happens, it is important for you to help them perform their everyday tasks, such as shopping for groceries and household items, maintaining the cleanliness of their homes, and even taking care of their pets.
You can also help them remember by placing memory aids like signs and labels that can help them recall where their things are located and even how things work.
It is also advisable to adapt to how they talk and communicate in order to better understand what they want and need.
2. Dementia Patients Needs Assistance with Drinking and Eating:
People suffering from dementia most often don’t realize when they are hungry or thirsty. This is why it is important for the caregiver to ensure that their patient maintains a healthy and nutritious diet.
You can accomplish this by setting aside enough time for them to finish their meals and provide them food that has a stronger taste and flavor.
If their motor functions are affected, you can offer the food in smaller portions, provide them finger foods that are easier to handle or provide their liquids in an easy-to-hold cup.
3. Dementia Patients Needs Help Using the Toilet:
Relieving themselves and going to the toilet is a common problem encountered by people with dementia. They often forget that they need to go to the toilet or where it is located.
This can be upsetting for you if you don’t know how to handle these types of situations.
To avoid these problems you can put a sign or label on the toilet doors to help them remember where it is located. You can also learn to identify signs that the person needs to use the toilet to relieve themselves so that you can assist them in performing what they need to do.
4. Dementia Patients Needs Help Cleaning Themselves:
Some patients neglect to maintain their hygiene because they are either scared of bathwater, becomes irritated from the water that comes out of the shower, they fear falling from the slippery bathroom tiles, or is embarrassed about undressing in front of other people.
You can help them maintain their cleanliness by asking them how they want you to help them. It can also help to reassure them that they won’t get hurt, or you can even change the showerhead in their bathrooms to make them more comfortable in taking a bath.
5. Dementia Patients Needs Help Sleeping:
Sleep patterns are affected by dementia. This condition can affect their “body clock” causing them to repeatedly wake up and become disoriented during night-time. Some even get dressed up because they fail to remember that it is still dark.
You can help them sleep better by placing a “friendly” clock beside their beds to make them realize what time of the day it is. It is also advisable to give them plenty of activities during the day so that they can sleep better during night-time.
Another good tip would be to reduce their caffeine intake and limit their day-time naps.