Living with dementia doesn’t have to prevent older adults from remaining active and independent. The condition affects many of their abilities, but with a proper care plan and adequate changes in place, seniors with dementia can maintain independence for a longer time. Below are some ways family caregivers can promote independence in a senior loved one with dementia.
Base Activities on Their Strengths
Although dementia causes seniors to lose individual skills over time, aging adults can maintain many of their abilities even as dementia progresses. For example, if your loved one is good at maintaining personal hygiene, encourage him or her to take charge of his or her bathing and grooming. It’s a good idea to try new activities that stimulate the mind, but even new tasks should be based on your loved one’s strengths, not his or her weaknesses.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Limit Choices and Encourage Slower Pacing
Seniors with dementia can become overwhelmed when weighed down with information and forced to move too quickly. Limit your loved one’s choices and encourage him or her to go slowly. Mealtimes are often the most challenging for seniors with dementia. However, when you offer only two food choices based on your loved one’s preferences, it may be easier for him or her to decide without displaying aggression. Allowing your loved one to eat at his or her own pace could also increase independence and prevent him or her from walking away from the table altogether.
Make Changes to the Home
Navigating the home becomes difficult for seniors with dementia as their brain cells deteriorate, their memory decreases, and they encounter balance problems. However, adapting rooms throughout the house can keep your loved one active and boost his or her independence. For instance, if your loved one has difficulty remembering where certain items are located in the kitchen, keep the commonly used utensils in the same place to prevent him or her from walking around the kitchen and frantically searching for bowls, spoons, and various tools.
Simplifying activities doesn’t make them less meaningful. It merely increases the ability to complete each project. Simplify instructions when introducing new hobbies or household chores, making it easier for your loved one to keep up and reducing the odds of verbal or physical outbursts. When tasks are simplified, seniors can often handle them with little or no assistance from family caregivers, which boosts their confidence and cognitive health.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Fort Worth families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
Offer Emotional Support
There will be days when your loved one wants to give up, but you should motivate him or her to keep going. Having emotional support could enhance your loved one’s mental and physical health and increase independence. Instead of stepping in when your loved one is facing difficulty with a task, sit back and watch. As long as his or her safety isn’t at risk, don’t try to take over. Instead, cheer your loved one on as he or she tries to complete a task. When you step in and take over, your loved one could feel inadequate and give up.
A highly trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Fort Worth elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. If you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (817) 720-5556.