Loving someone with dementia can be a challenging task, one that puts a lot of pressure on a caregiver. However, if you take care of someone struggling with a memory disease, you know that the position can also be extremely rewarding. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind:
1. Be Realistic
When it comes to expectations for yourself and for your loved one, try and set realistic goals and anticipate that not everything will go as planned.
2. Develop a Routine and Schedule
Those with dementia can struggle with confusion and frustration. Especially as the disease progresses, it is important to create a solid routine and schedule to provide some predictability and help keep some peace of mind.
3. Let Things Go and Don't Argue
Take a breath and let things go. Arguing with someone who struggles with memory will just further promote confusion for them, not to mention a lot of frustration for you. Learn to accept and move on to the next thing.
4. Focus on Nutrition
There is a strong connection between lifestyle choices such as diet and memory diseases. Be sure your loved one has plenty of healthy options including leafy greens, whole grains, berries and cherries, Omega 3s, and a variety of nuts and seeds. It is also important to limit refined sugars as much as possible. These small daily choices will make a big impact overall!
5. Remember to Still Have Fun
Don’t let life get too serious!. Laughter is its own type of medicine – and an effective one at that! Find ways to enjoy the day, whether that be a weekend trip to a museum, playtime with the grandkids, or an afternoon at the zoo.
6. Ensure Daily Activity
Making sure your loved one is getting in some sort of movement each day is also critical. There is a direct correlation between the health of your mind and the health of your body. Physical exercise can make a huge difference in someone dealing with dementia, so find an activity they enjoy and try it with them!
7. Lean on Friends and Family Members
Remember: You’re not alone in this. Loving someone with dementia is a lot to take on by yourself. Make sure to rely on friends and family members during the rougher days, and never be afraid to ask for extra help and support.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Try to dedicate some time out of every day to yourself. This can look different for everyone: going for a walk by yourself, meeting a friend for coffee, trying that yoga class you’ve always wanted to do. After some “me time”, you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the day.
9. Focus on Their Independence
No matter how big or small the task is, allowing your loved one to perform some of them on their own provides a sense of empowerment to them. Whenever possible, give them the chance to do so.
10. Research Memory Care Communities
Sometimes the task of caring for your loved one can be too much. A supportive memory care facility might be the best option. At Brightwater Senior Living, we provide superior care to all of our residents. To find out more about the services we provide, visit our website.