What is dementia?
“Dementia,” is a progressive loss of mental function due to a certain illness that affects the brain. According to the research, 80% of U.S dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Sometimes, it becomes hard to handle because caring for someone suffering from the disease can be stressful. Of course, it’s not an easy task to bear the burden of care giving, as it puts you at an increased risk for your health. Dementia’s caregivers experience sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and exhaustion. But it is necessary to give proper attention to Alzheimer’s patients.
Symptoms of Dementia
There are multiple symptoms of dementia. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Losing their belongings
- Short term memory loss
- Not remembering appointments
- Getting lost in the neighborhood
Alzheimer’s is mostly found in aged people, so if you see someone is experiencing memory difficulties or changes, then immediately consult a doctor.
Studies have found that dementia is permanent and worsens over time, thinking, and memory problems are further accelerated by the following conditions:
- Thyroid problems
- Use of alcohol
- Side effects of the medicine
- Lack of vitamins
What can we do to help?
For dementia patents, medicines are important, but you should take care of the problem with some essential tips and natural activities to improve memory. Here are a few more ways that caregivers can take care of dementia patients naturally:
Help them stay calm
Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the caregiver to make the patient feel calm and to help them focus because dementia patients panic easily. Patience and affection are key to helping them relax.
Have creative conversations
Boring talks may irritate the person who is suffering from memory loss problems. Caregivers or family members should try to come up with exciting activities, or arrange a get together where you can invite their friends to entertain the patient with some exciting things to talk about.
Make dressing & grooming easier
Adaptive wear can help ease the difficulty a caregiver may have while dressing or undressing the dementia patient. Having to dress the patient with clothes that have narrow necklines or to pull up pants can be challenging and can also lead to the dementia patient feeling very frustrated. Searching for essential nursing home apparel will ease the task for family members, caregivers, and staff at skilled nursing home facilities, and it will also make them feel comfortable throughout the day.
Don’t wait for them to ask for help
Dementia patients expect help from their caregiver. It means you need to take care of what they need. Do not wait for them to ask for the support, try to proactively think and arrange for their needs so that they can feel relaxed and satisfied. Try to fulfill their expectation by providing them with food to eat and take them out for a walk for some fresh air.
Help with memory loss
Dementia patients may feel lonely, depressed, or mentally sick. Caregivers and family members can help them remember by talking about the things they did together. Some memories may be painful for them to remember, but it can be helpful as a mental exercise.
Give Them Care
Care is a must for the dementia patient. A caring attitude can help them feel encouraged, inspired and capable. Provide all necessary items that make them feel happy. Come up with healthy food ideas that helps in building their immunity and gives them strength. Help them do some light exercises, serve lunch and dinner on time, take care of their medicine and motivate them to do minor tasks that are not too overwhelming.
Think of motivating activities
Activities that are inspiring and enjoyable are always suitable for the person who has dementia. You can arrange sports and indoor activities for them to make them feel fresh and healthy. These activities are also ideal for physical health. Kate D. Stevens, Health blogger at King Essay says, “One who wakes up early and goes for jogging, exercises regularly, and takes an active part in sports activity are the one who is the healthiest person in the universe.”
Monitor sleep patterns
Another important thing is to manage the behavior and sleep problems of a person who has dementia. It would be beneficial to make a sleep chart and note any changes to the sleep pattern. These notes will be helpful when discussing the patient with the doctor. If you notice any odd behavior in sleeping patterns, inform the doctor so he can make suggestions and provide solutions for better sleep.
Spend quality time with them
It may be very difficult for caregivers to allocate time for other activities, but dementia patients need time, attention and constant reminders. Caregivers and family members can talk about nature, family, and daily news so that they can talk about current matters and even share a good laugh over a joke.
Develop a regular routine
You can develop a day to day routine for the patient so they feel inspired and motivated. The daily routine can be made to suit both a caretaker and a person who is suffering from dementia. Before you make the plan, consider their likes, dislikes, strength and abilities so you can structure the activities accordingly.
Be a good listener
There are times when dementia patients can repeat themselves and it can get hard for the caregiver. As a caregiver or family member caring for a patient with dementia, speak clearly and slowly so they can understand. Make eye contact with them when you are communicating, ask questions and try to have a different topic to talk about when they repeat themselves. Giving them time to respond will help them relax.
Show Your Affection
It is a challenging but handy tip for the caregiver. Show as much love and affection to the person as you can. Your love, friendship, and gratitude will make them feel secure. Try to be positive around them so they can share whatever is on their mind.
Prevention is better than cure, and according to studies, adopting healthy lifestyle choices like healthy diet, avoid smoking, and regular exercise may decrease the chances of dementia. If you know anyone who is suffering from dementia, these tips are good for both the caregiver and the patient.