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5 Methods for Helping an Aging Loved One with Dementia Maintain Dignity

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In the early phases of dementia, seniors may feel several negative emotions. They’re often fearful of how others view them when their cognitive impairment becomes noticeable. Older adults may feel sad, frustrated, or angry when forgetting how to perform once simple tasks. As the disorder progresses, there are health and safety issues family members must consider. However, there are ways to ensure an older family member with dementia ages with dignity.

1. Be Supportive

Older adults often experience depression as they grieve over losing their cognitive abilities. When your loved one is sad, offer reassurance and compassion. You may notice your loved one becomes angry or frustrated while aware of the physiological changes altering cognitive abilities. Your loved one must know he or she is loved and accepted regardless of the changes he or she experiences or exhibits. Help your loved one focus on the positive aspects of his or her personality, and offer praise for the activities he or she is still able to perform.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

2. Respect Choices

Although seniors living with cognitive impairment gradually need more assistance over time, they must be able to retain some semblance of control over their lives. Encourage your loved one to make choices. Listen to his or her desires and respect his or her opinion. Allow your loved one to choose what to wear each day, provide options at mealtime, and resist arguing over trivial matters.

3. Exercise Patience

As dementia progresses, your loved one may repeat sentences or questions. It’s not uncommon for family caregivers to feel frustrated or stressed during these episodes. Dementia affects the region of the brain that stores short-term memory. As a result, your loved one might not remember a conversation that took place minutes before. Understand that your loved one cannot help the cognitive changes occurring. Thus, you need to remain patient and compassionate. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Edmonton, AB, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Ensure Safety

As cognition decreases, seniors with dementia become more vulnerable. They may go for a walk and easily become lost, as the environment mere blocks away is unrecognizable. Implement precautionary measures such as putting locks out of reach or installing motion detectors. At some point, seniors with dementia no longer realize the difference between night and day. As such, they may wander at night. Motion detectors in the bedroom can alert you when your loved one awakens and rises from bed. The changes occurring in the brain may cause vision difficulties, which necessitates better indoor lighting.

5. Build a Caregiver Network

One person cannot realistically provide care for a senior with dementia 24 hours a day. In time, your loved one may require constant care and monitoring. Multiple family members may opt to pitch in to provide care in the home, run errands, or perform other tasks. You might also want to consider enlisting the assistance of professional caregivers who offer the type of services your loved one needs. 

Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Edmonton senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337 to learn more about our customized care plans.