What are the effects of dementia on daily living?
Dementia in itself is not an actual condition but is a term used to describe more than 100 different degenerative conditions, including the most common, which is Alzheimer’s Disease. The most common dementia effects include memory loss, declining cognitive function, changes in personality and a shorter attention span.
The effects of dementia can cause a huge impact on a person’s daily life as they become more reliant on care over time. It can be challenging and difficult for them to adjust to needing care. Because dementia is a progressive condition, it should be expected that it will become worse over time. Your loved one will need more support as time goes on. When a person is first diagnosed with dementia, they may need just a simple prompt now and again to remind them to do something like take their medication or brush their teeth. But over time, the need for help will be greater. This can reach the point where a person will become reliant on another caring for them continuously. For family members, it can be distressing to see a person living with the later-stage effects of dementia. It can also be exhausting trying to manage the full-time care of your loved one while keeping your own household in check and holding down responsibilities like work and childcare.
Since 2002, Mumby’s dementia carers have been providing help and live-in care to families. Our carers take the time to understand as much about your loved one’s condition as they can, which is why personal live-in care with us is a great option.
How can family members help dementia patients with everyday living activities?
It can be difficult to know how to help those living with the effects of dementia. We all want our loved ones to have as much independence as possible in later life. But dementia effects can make this more challenging. It is important to stay calm and take things slowly. Remember that the condition is affecting your loved one’s brain and is creating changes that they cannot control. Be patient and understanding, and try to see things from their point of view as much as possible. For example, if your mother or grandmother is wandering around aimlessly, try to consider that they may be looking for something because it wasn’t in the right place originally. Use humour appropriately and try to make light of a situation. Laughter is, after all, great medicine.
Communication with dementia patients
If you are trying to get your loved one to do something, give one direction at a time to avoid overwhelming them. Use questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Remember that their short-term memory is in decline, so don’t be surprised or frustrated if they forget what you just said to them. If verbal communication is difficult with your loved one, use small sentences and words and use gestures, body language or hand signals to communicate, as you may find this easier. Maintain eye contact with the person, as this will help them to keep their focus on you. If you are stressed, frustrated or angry, take a five-minute break to calm down, so that your tone does not reflect your feelings. Using an angry, impatient or frustrated tone may distress your loved one, and they won’t understand why you feel the way you do.
How dementia affects performing tasks
Allow extra time to do tasks together like washing, bathing or personal grooming, as this will decrease stress in both your loved one and in yourself. Keep tasks simple, and break them down into more manageable pieces. If things are not going well, feel free to take a break and try again later. Keep in mind that your loved one may be experiencing a very different world in their mind, and this may be scary or confusing for them. Focus as much as possible on what your loved one can do, as this will increase their confidence and self-esteem, which can be challenged as their dementia deteriorates. Offer as much positivity and encouragement as you can, and focus on doing tasks they genuinely enjoy. Participation in the task is better than its completion. When you have found activities your loved one enjoys doing, do them every day as part of a routine. This will help to trigger memory and will enable them to get more comfortable and familiar with doing the tasks. This can be anything from painting, to puzzles or going out for a short walk together.
Dementia and independence
As a person’s dementia worsens, they will naturally become more reliant on the care of others. This loss of independence can be difficult to come to terms with for both you and your loved one. However, there are ways to make the process easier for everyone involved. Try as much as possible to find ways to support the person in doing things for themselves. This may mean placing reminders around the home or installing home aids where needed. These will help your loved one to maintain their confidence and sense of dignity. In addition, they are likely to be more cooperative about the changes that are happening. Try not to make your loved one feel like you are ‘taking over’ their life or situation, as this may cause distress and a lack of cooperation because they feel they do not need help. Our carers at Mumby’s will help you to balance your loved one’s independence with their dementia needs, so they can stay happy, healthy and in their own home.
Knowing your caregiver
It is vital to establish a good connection with your loved one’s carer. In doing this, you can work as a team to keep your loved one happy and in their own home. We build strong relationships with the families of our clients based on trust, honesty and respect. Our staff are highly experienced in managing the transition to live-in care. You can select the right carer for your loved one based on their interests, personality, background and experience. We try to offer the opportunity for clients to get to know their carer before the placement begins. Your caregiver is there to make your and your loved one’s lives easier. Communication between you and the carer will be important in the early stages of placement. The carer will want to get to know who they are looking after on a deeper level, such as their likes and dislikes, knowing what cheers them up, calms them down, what they find funny, and their interests. This helps the person with dementia to have a valid connection with the person looking after them, so they see them as a friend and companion, rather than a caregiver.
How a live-in carer can help people with dementia effects of daily living?
It can be a worrying time if you have been told that your loved one has dementia. You may wonder how as a family carer you can continue to meet their needs. By opting for live-in care, your loved one receives the support they need within the comfort and familiarity of their own home. This eliminates the stress and disruption that can come with moving to a care home. Staying at home where your loved one has memories can improve their quality of life. They will also receive one-to-one care from a professional and experienced carer. Chores can be taken care of as well as personal care and grooming, pet support, organising meals, shopping and outings. This is all provided whilst developing a strong personal connection with the person they are caring for.
Mumby’s live-in care offers support for the effects of dementia
Our team at Mumby’s is highly experienced in caring for people who are living with dementia. We are passionate about the care we give. We believe that the best place for your loved one to receive care is at home. They are surrounded by people they love in a familiar and comforting environment. The effects of dementia can be worrying, but our outstanding live-in carers will help your loved one to live the most independent life they can while getting to know them and their everyday routines.