Caring For a Loved One With Dementia
Patients with dementia have needs that are both unique and challenging. Depending on the level of independence a dementia patient has, he or she may need assistance with certain activities such as grooming, eating, bathing and toileting. In order for a caregiver to provide personal care for dementia patients, a caregiver must have the right skills, experience and patience.
Helpful Tips for Dementia Care
One of the first things that caregivers can do to ensure that the personal care for dementia patients they provide will be well received by the patient is to complete activities on a schedule. For example, help the patient brush their teeth at the same time every day and help them with their grooming at the same time. The activity should also take place in the same location if possible.
By establishing a routine, the patient will become comfortable with the activity. Complete all bathing and grooming during the most relaxing times of the day for the patient.
Respect the privacy of the patient. Close doors and cover windows before, during and after bathing and dressing. Maintain the patient’s dignity by only expose body parts that are being bathed at that time and cover all other body parts.
While providing care, it is also important to allow the patient to complete tasks on their own if possible. Give the patient time to complete tasks such as combing hair or brushing teeth. Also, after completion, praise the patient’s efforts.
Dementia and Eating
Encourage the patient to eat on their own if possible. Finger foods are easy for dementia patients to handle on their own and should be available as often as possible.
Plenty of healthy fluids should be served to provide hydration, and adaptive equipment should be available to patients who have trouble holding silverware or cups.
Perhaps the most important tip is to never try to force the patient to eat. Try to find out the reason why the patient is not eating, but never treat the patient like a child.
Eating is only one aspect of personal care for dementia patients. Caregivers also need to provide assistance with hair care, dental care, toileting and bathing. Make sure safety measures are in place to promote independence and to prevent accidents. By providing dementia personal care, patients overall health will improve.
Our professionals will create a personal care plan based on the needs of your loved one and the family. In the University area, contact us for more information or for a free assessment today.