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Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

January 30, 2024

Dementia is not a single illness but a collective term for a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia is a progressive, debilitating condition that affects not only memory but also the ability to learn, reason, and process information.

After a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, families are faced with many difficult decisions about how to care for them. Options for dementia care services include: 

  • In-home care services
  • Adult day centers
  • Assisted living homes 
  • Nursing homes 
  • Hospice care

Dementia Home Care

Do dementia patients do better at home? It depends on the individual's needs and the family's capacity, but in many cases, dementia home care services are a good option.  

Many families choose to provide care for their loved one in the person's home. Because this is a familiar setting, it helps maintain the person's dignity and independence. Providing dementia home care for someone has its challenges; here are a few tips. 

Establish a Consistent Routine

A structured day can bring peace to a mind that's battling disorientation. Adapting everyday rituals create a framework that fosters a sense of familiarity and security. This might include:

  • Waking
  • Eating
  • Sleeping at set times

Maintaining consistency, minimizing disruptions, and planning activities that integrate the individual's interests and encourage social engagement is important.

Communicate Simply and Clearly

When a loved one has dementia, it's important to speak in clear, familiar terms. Adopt a pace that allows for response time without pressure. Gestures, expressions, and body language are also important communication tools. 

By slowing down and communicating clearly, a caregiver can show support and patience even when their loved one struggles to articulate their thoughts or emotions. 

Provide Daily Care Tasks

A Personal Care Assistant (PCA) can be a friend, family member, or other certified individual who provides care for a person with dementia. From mind-stimulating games and activities to help with daily living skills, a PCA can bring stability and expertise. Moreover, PCAs can help ensure a safe home environment to prevent falls and wandering. 

PCA providing dementia care services to elderly woman.

Plan for the Future

Providing care for a loved one with dementia will inevitably lead to a difficult crossroads. Decisions about long-term and end-of-life care must be considered. The transition from home to care facilities is fraught with emotions. 

When evaluating options, look for reputable facilities that treat their residents with the utmost care and respect. The facility you choose should also be certified in Memory Care, which means it has the staff and training necessary to care for people with dementia. 

To explore non-home care options for your loved one, we recommend consulting Alzheimers.gov and the Alzheimers Association. You'll find resources and support for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Stay Connected with Best Care

As you navigate this challenging season of life, remember that Best Care is here to help with all your questions related to family caregiving. From daily support to planning for the unforeseen future, we believe in caring for your loved ones with the compassion and respect we would want for our families.

PCA talking to elderly couple.
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