Caregiving is a difficult job that is made even more difficult when the person you care for is experiencing dementia. It creates situations that are challenging to handle, which is why caregiver support is so important.
Many caregivers have been in this position before and can offer advice based on their experiences. They also can share tips based on what they wish they had known before they cared for someone with dementia.
Here are some of those tips.
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There is no point in arguing with someone who has dementia. When they enter certain states, the person you knew is not present. They say things that are untrue or illogical but believe they are true because their brain tells them that is the case. However, there’s no use in upsetting both of you by trying to correct these errors. This is one of the most important areas of caregiver support to remember.
Seek Medical Advice Immediately
It’s tempting to ignore dementia symptoms and hope for the best when a parent or older relative starts to experience cognitive issues such as frequently forgetting things or making errors in judgment. However, the best course of action is to get into see a trusted doctor as soon as possible and get a professional opinion. While there is no cure for dementia, there are ways to slow its progress and improve the quality of life.
It’s Never Too Let To Improve Brain Health
Even after a diagnosis of dementia, older adults can do things to improve their brain health. These include getting regular exercise, doing things that are stimulating for the brain like reading and doing puzzles, and participating in engaging activities.
Caregiving is a tough job. It becomes even tougher when the person you are caring for has dementia. It’s emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Don’t hesitate to seek support as you take on this important but difficult duty. Ask friends and family for support. Seek out caregiver support services that offer the chance for rejuvenation and provide support from peers who understand what you are experiencing.
Take Time For Yourself
Even if it’s just 15 minutes, a half-hour or an hour, try to take time each day to do something that is just for you. This can do wonders in keeping you fresh and will keep you going when you don’t have the time or opportunity for long vacations.
Remember You Can’t Control Their Behavior
Dementia damages the brain. It impairs how it functions and leads to a loss of memory, judgment and can even completely change a person’s personality. It does not have anything to do with you, nor can you change it. You can only find better ways to deal with the issues that come up. Another thing to keep in mind: Even those with dementia can enjoy a high quality of life. The caregiving you do for them is a big part of that. So, what you do is very important. Just remember you are not in this alone and make sure to seek the caregiver support you need.