Medical Condition: Dementia Care Tips (Part 2)

Later stage Dementia-

With the age progress, a person may fully depend on you for personal care like bathing, toileting, and other activities. It may become too demanding and be draining to cope with it along with your own daily duties.

So it is worth considering getting help from others. There are some individuals who will be more prepared to accept personal care from a Care worker, especially someone in a care’s uniform. They are more comfortable with the help provided from Care workers than from family members due to the expertise care workers have in this area. On your part, it is not a sign of weakness in accepting others’ help but an acknowledgment that others can give your loved one better care.

What to do?

  • Maintain patience and calmness while caring for your loved ones. Demonstrate and explain what you want the person to do, step by step. Do not rush the person- if you become anxious so will he/she be.
  • Learn to laugh together about small things that occur. Develop a sense of humor.
  • For their safety remove locks from bathrooms and toilets. Avoid using bath oil; it may make the bath slippery. Remove mirror to avoid them thinking there is more than one person assisting them. Make sure all electrical, sharp objects and harmful substances are locked away. Concerning the most suitable types of equipment such as bars, shower chairs etc consult a therapist before buying and installing them.  A health advisor can help with pads; plastic covers to protect bed and types of underwear for incontinence problems and how to dispose of it.
  • To respect their privacy and modesty, it is advisable for the helper who is bathing the person to put a towel over their shoulders and lap, so they feel less exposed. Encourage the person to do as much as possible themselves by guiding them. While giving bath distract them by talking about- TV program, news about someone they know or something you are going to do together later.
  • Some individuals have mobility problems and need help in getting in-out of bed, chair etc so use as much as possible mechanical and other aids for assistance. Ask the health advisor or occupational therapist to give you some training in how to do these tasks without hurting yourself. Some care centers may also provide training courses in handling and moving. First aid manuals which are often available in libraries can also provide illustrative guidance. It is most draining and taxing work and can be extremely frustrating when things don’t go as hoped. Professionals, relatives or loved ones may not always react as you expect. Learn to be more patient, kind and loving; the feelings of anger, resentfulness and low feelings disappear. Maintain your sense of humor.

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