As memory changes in our loved ones, it can make even the simplest things really frustrating and heartbreaking. It is very difficult to see our parents or loved ones start to fade and become dependent.
You might find it very difficult to cope with them, but it is also very frustrating and difficult for them, as well. But there are ways that you can make their daily routine less stressful and easier for everyone.
5 Tips for Memory Care Caregivers
When a person’s memory starts to change, so does their behavior. Their way of thinking, acting, and reacting all become different and completely out of their control.
Remaining calm is going to be key for caring for someone with dementia. If you lose your patience, which is shockingly easy to do, you will only stress out your loved one and make them even more frustrated or anxious.
Remain calm and don’t overextend yourself. It’s important that you understand their abilities and their limitations. This will make it easier for everyone involved.
This often means that you will need more than just one caregiver. If the family can help, that’s great, but you may need to engage a professional caregiver. If you do, let them be in on the decision-making, even if that is difficult.
Establishing a routine in their daily life is the best way to keep things on an even keel. Bathing, mealtime, social time, and other household tasks. This makes life much easier.
When they become used to the routine, there is less chance of unwanted behavior. There are likely enough things during the day that can set them off, so try to keep everything to a schedule.
If there is to be an appointment, start telling them in advance, depending on their advanced state. This way there are no big surprises and they won’t fight it so hard or make a big fuss.
3. Memory Aids
Making little reminders for your loved one can be a big help to get them through their day. It can be very frustrating to not remember where things are or what certain items even do.
Little notes on various items can help a lot. They can see these every day and it can give them the little hint they need to know what these things are, where they are, and how something functions.
You can also talk them through the situation if that works better. You can also have charts, maps, and diagrams of things that are needed or used every day as gentle reminders for them.
4. Make The House Safe
It’s important to make their surroundings as safe as possible. Lift up smaller carpets or rugs that may cause them to trip or fall. Remove furnishing that has sharp edges or breakable surfaces, like glass-topped tables.
You may need to safeguard certain appliances like the stove, microwave, and anything potentially dangerous. Remove or hide sharps like knives and scissors, and lock various cupboards or drawers, if needed.
Put in small nightlights or motion-activated lights. If wandering off is a problem, then you may need to lock doors and close off staircases when there is a chance they may be on their own.
Make the bathroom safe. Consider a walk-in tub or shower stall so they can easily get in and out and sit while bathing. Loose-fitting clothes and shoes with Velcro fastenings instead of buttons, laces, or small zippers.
5. Keep it Simple
Try not to overcomplicate things. It’s going to be a long haul anyhow, so find ways to make everything you all do easy. Look for hobbies or household items that will help them.
Large-print books, jigsaw puzzles with oversized pieces, large button remotes, and access to things they need without a lot of bother. Let them try to enjoy what they can out of the day and don’t put on any pressure.
If you are worried, you should consider a medical alert device. This allows them the freedom to do what they like and still be within reach of medical attention, should they need it.
They will have all the information they need about your loved one, your contact information, and can allow peace of mind for everyone.