There are many challenges ahead for family caregivers that agree to care for an aging relative with dementia. However, with the right strategies in place and plenty of support, family caregivers can create a comfortable environment for their loved one and keep their own needs in balance. Here are 5 strategies that family caregivers can implement to keep their loved one clean, safe and loved.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Too often, family caregivers set their sights too high on what they think they need to accomplish. Dementia is a cruel disease that robs the senior of personality, memories, and logic. Family caregivers cannot fix the situation, but they can set up realistic goals for taking care of their loved one, the house, and the finances. Working with an elder care provider, community senior organization and the senior’s doctor can help family caregivers establish proper caregiving.
2. Focus on Safety
Seniors are more likely to get hurt around the home than any other age group. From slip and fall accidents in the bathroom to wandering away, elderly adults with dementia are at risk of serious injury because their comprehension and judgment are impaired. Family caregivers should make changes to the home as needed. Examples include installing grab bars in the shower and by the toilet, clearing any tripping hazards from walkways, and installing locks on any doors that lead outside.
3. Arrange for Help
Too many family caregivers shoulder the burden of care themselves and won’t ask for help. However, doing too much can lead to chronic stress and caregiver burnout. Common sources of help include family members, clergy, community senior services, and friends. Elderly adults with dementia need to be supervised always, yet still allowed to do as many tasks independently as they are capable of.
4. Hire Elder Care Providers
Elder care providers are trained to take care of elderly adults with physical and mental disabilities. They can step in and do things like bathing, dressing, grooming, housekeeping, meal preparation, pet care and more. Having elder care providers come in on a regular basis gives family caregivers the respite they need to focus on their other responsibilities, like a job or children.
5. Arrange for Regular Medical Care
Elderly adults with dementia need regular medical care but may not be able to share any symptoms or how they are feeling. It’s important for family caregivers to make plans for regular visits to the doctor so that their loved one’s health can be monitored and treated. It can be a real challenge to work with seniors with dementia so family caregivers can talk to the doctor about coping strategies on all things medical.
There’s no doubt that caring for a family member with dementia will bring about good days as well as bad. With strategies in place to do what is best for their aging relative as well as for themselves, family caregivers can find a balance that works for everyone.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Geneva, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.