Did you know that dementia isn’t a specific disease? Rather, it’s a general term describing a loss of memory and other impaired cognitive functions that interfere with everyday activities. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and while it primarily affects seniors, it’s not a natural part of the ageing process.
If someone close to you has recently been diagnosed with dementia — whether it’s Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia — they’re going to need your love and support, and help from compassionate, professional caregivers. Many people with dementia prefer to receive dementia care services at home from a home healthcare agency. Living at home encourages independence and provides a familiar space for your loved one to enjoy life.
There’s currently no cure for dementia, so increasing quality of life by offering comfort and compassion becomes a priority for caregivers. Let’s look at some home care support tips from professional dementia care providers.
Do Your Research
One of the most critical things you can do for your friend or family member is to know as much about their illness as possible. Dementia and its specific diseases are incredibly complex, and it’s important to recognize various symptoms and signs. Ask your loved one’s doctor or caregiver about the type of dementia you’re dealing with and about the progression of that specific type.
For example, what are the stages of the disease and are there any red flag signs that your friend should visit the hospital? You’ll also want to know how to manage challenging situations, such as what to do when your loved one doesn’t remember who you are. They’re tough questions to ask, but being prepared for difficult moments can alleviate significant stress on you and your loved one.
Learn How to Communicate Effectively
As your friend or family member’s disease progresses, communicating with them will inevitably become increasingly challenging. As dementia advances in the brain, communication circuits weaken, and people with the disease can lose track of time and space. In the later stages of dementia, people can also lose the ability to speak.
Talk to your loved one’s at-home caregiver as soon as the caregiving services begin to learn how to react to such situations in the best and most effective way possible. While it can feel disturbing, you’ll slowly learn to accept the reality of the disease and how to manage your thoughts and feelings.
Safeguard the House
Dementia causes cognitive decline, which means that people living with the disease can become confused and disoriented quickly. Do a little research on how you can safeguard your loved one’s home. For example, consider setting up a motion detector system to monitor their movements and safely keep sharp knives tucked away when not in use.
With the help of an at-home dementia caregiver, you’ll also have professional supervision and support, and if needed, you can request these services 24-hours a day.
Dementia is not something anyone can experience alone. Further to professional medical advice from doctors, your loved one will also need compassionate and loving support from friends, family, and professional caregivers.
Talk to your healthcare experts today to see how you can provide such vital necessities to give your friend or family member the support they need.