Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Top tips to remember when caring for someone with dementia

Caring for someone with dementia is never an easy job, but it's a role that many people take on. When you are looking after a parent, grandparent, partner, or another relative (or even friend), there are plenty of challenges you can face. It can be difficult to know if you're getting it right and how to get the best support. However, you can find plenty of advice and support to help you manage the responsibility of being a carer for someone with dementia.

Keep reading to find out about some of the top tips that will help you do a good job and provide the best care for your loved one.

Support Is Available

Being a carer for someone with dementia can feel lonely and stressful. Even when the person you're caring for still seems like their usual self most of the time, you can still feel like you're going it alone. Fortunately, there are different types of support available, both for them and for you as a carer.

As a carer, there are several ways you can get the support you need. It's a good idea to register as a carer with your GP, and you may wish to apply for a carer's assessment to identify things that could make your life easier. You could also be eligible for certain benefits for carers, such as Carer's Allowance and Carer's Credit. Local support groups are also a very helpful resource, giving you a place to discuss how being a carer affects you.

As for the person you're caring for, it's important to make sure you explore all avenues for support for them too. You might want to explore dementia care in London to identify the best services to meet their needs. Care at home or in a care home could both be options for you and them to consider.

You Can Provide Different Types of Help

You can often feel helpless when you're caring for someone with dementia, but there are multiple ways you can help them. You can provide assistance with everyday tasks, such as shopping, cooking, dressing, and more. You can assist with eating and drinking, washing and bathing, and other issues related to dementia, such as incontinence. You may not be able to do it all, but you can help in many ways.

There Are Ways to Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

When you live with someone with dementia, one of the best things you can do is to make your home more dementia-friendly. Navigating ordinary environments can become challenging for someone who has dementia, but you can make adaptations to your (or their) home to help them. For example, better lighting can help to reduce the risk of falls, prevent confusion, and create a generally healthier environment.

Using contrasting colors is another example of a change that might help. People with dementia can find it harder to tell the difference between colors, so contrasting shades can help. You can also put up signs and labels as reminders of where things are, what things are, and important people too. Any signs you put up should be clear, and appropriate words or pictures should be used that contrast with the background.

You can also explore household items designed to help elderly people and people with dementia. These could include clocks with large LCD displays, phones and remote controls with larger buttons, and devices designed to give reminders for important things such as medication.

Dementia Can Cause Issues with Food and Drink

One of the most challenging things to manage with some people who have dementia is that their food and drink intake can be affected. They might not drink enough because they don't realise that they're thirsty, and they can have problems such as not being able to recognise foods or forgetting what food and drink they like.

There are several ways you can help with this. You can involve the person in preparing their meals if they're able to. Allowing enough time for meals gives them the opportunity to eat at their own pace without any stress or pressure. Smaller portions offered more regularly can be helpful, and you should try to offer foods you know they like.

Options Are Available for Getting Out and About

Caring for someone with dementia doesn't have to mean being at home all the time. There are options for getting out of the house, such as memory cafes and day centres. These places provide an opportunity to meet other people with dementia or caring for someone with dementia, as well as talk to experts.

Remember that there are plenty of resources for support to help you care for a loved one with dementia.

This is a guest blog entry.

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