Caregiving for a loved one with dementia can be challenging at times. Those suffering from dementia often experience frustration, confusion, and sadness. Sometimes they may take their anger out on those that are closest to them, including their caregivers. This can make caregiving especially difficult. However, the Crisis Prevention Institute has compiled a list of 6 tips for caregivers who care for loved ones with dementia in order to ease any burden or challenge.
- Speak simply and ask "yes" or "no" questions. This reduces any confusion and prevents the person with dementia from feeling overwhelmed by long, open-ended questions.
- Be very patient. Rushing your loved one will only cause confusion and agitation.
- Make the person's environment as peaceful and organized as possible. If a room is cluttered, too busy, or loud, your loved one may experience a sensory overload. They may have a difficult time processing information and become overwhelmed, which can lead to negative behaviors.
- Recognize the power of touch. Don't be afraid to stroke your loved one's face or hold their hand. Loving touches send powerful messages of trust.
- Be sure to laugh often. Joking around with your loved one not only lifts spirits, but it also relieves stress which is important for improving moods.
- Take at least 20 minutes per day to perform cardiovascular exercises. Studies have suggested that regular exercise is good for people with dementia and may slow down brain aging. Exercise also improves moods.