A caregiver refers to anyone who delivers care for another person. In the United States, there are millions of people who are taking care of a family member or friend with dementia. In some instances, the caregiver lives with the person or close by.
If you’re the sole caregiver of a loved one with dementia, tending to their every need and keeping them safe and secure is paramount. With that in mind, here are some tips for providing the best care and support possible.
Carefully Prepare Meals
As your loved one progresses through the stages of dementia, what they eat and drink will be limited. Many people with dementia develop dysphagia, which makes it difficult to swallow food and drink. This means you may need to use a thickening agent like SimplyThick LLC to avoid the risk of choking. You’ll need to carefully prepare meals and ensure your loved one is eating well while being safe in the process. If you’re unsure what foods and beverages to give, consult with a doctor first.
Make the Home Safer
If you are living with a loved one with dementia, there are all sorts of hazards around the home that could be putting them in harm’s way. As the disease progresses, unfortunately their mobility will begin to decline. This means they’re at a heightened risk of a slip and fall. You can make adaptions in the home, such as installing grab bars and anti-slip mats which can make a real difference.
Bring In Outside Help
For those who have never cared for someone with dementia, the endless tasks, pressure, and responsibility on your shoulders can be too much to bear. Rather than suffering in silence, don’t be afraid to ask for outside help. Whether you call on another family member or hire outside caregivers, don’t be ashamed for asking for support.
Find Time for Yourself
With so much of your time focused on your loved one with dementia, it can be easy to forget about your own needs. If you’re living with your loved one 24/7, this gives you little time for yourself. Once you bring in outside help, use this as an opportunity to do the things you love. Whether you take up a hobby, run a hot bath, or catch up with friends, make sure you factor in some time for yourself.
It can be emotionally and physically exhausting caring for someone with dementia, meaning you’ll be forgiven if you’re not constantly enthusiastic. However, there are powerful benefits to thinking positively. If you remain upbeat and positive, this can help you perform your care duties better, and keep you in good spirits.
Seeing a loved one’s cognitive function decline before your eyes can be overwhelming to witness. Sadly, dementia is a cruel disease that isn’t forgiving, so if you’re in charge of caring for a loved one, make sure to use the tips above to ensure they’re well looked after.
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