Caring for an adult with dementia may be much easier if you do not have decades of history and a personal relationship with the person. Caring for a parent with dementia can be difficult because the loving parent you once knew, now seems like someone you do not even know or recognize. The progression of dementia or Alzheimers takes many years, so immediately putting them into a facility is not always the best option for the beginning stages. Your parent will need your patience as they navigate the waters of their regressing brain. Here are some tips as you both navigate this process together.
Dealing With Stubbornness
It can be stressful and frustrating to deal with stubbornness, however stubbornness will be a common occurrence. Try to not let it bother you, and if possible, redirect the situation to something else, and return to the task or topic later.
Keep The Conversations Simple
Conversating often with your loved one with dementia is important, however, try to avoid big words and complex ideas. Taking to them often will be good for their brain, but confusing conversation could cause them to become agitated. Keep sentences short and simple, and try talking about a subject you know they enjoy.
Let Them Eat The Cake… For Breakfast
A poor appetite and lack of a full stomach could lead to increasing stubborn behavior. Oftentimes, those with dementia will not be interested in eating and even forget to eat. If encouraging eating seems to be a battle, there is no harm in offering something that may spark their interest like cake. Sometimes something in the stomach is better than nothing. Your loved one might develop childlike behaviors again, such as wanting dessert for breakfast, and that is just fine.
No one likes to be corrected, so why would someone who is struggling to remember things like to be? There is no point in arguing, so let them be, and continue to just listen to them with love. They will likely not remember your conversation anyways, so save the debate for someone else.
Write Things Down
Just like anyone who is forgetful, writing things down is always helpful. Try to leave notes or write down reminders for your loved one. Some of them can just be positive notes of encouragement, and some can be reminders. If they are all reminders, it may feel like the notes are overbearing. Writing down important things like “take your medicine at 5” would be a great way to remind them.
Look Through Photo Albums Together
Looking through photo albums will be a great brain activity. Visual reminders of events will help them to recall their loved ones and their past. Try telling them a story to go with some of the photos. They will love listening and reminiscing.
Creating positive interactions and making new memories will help the mood of your loved one. Taking them to get their hair done or their nails done, or taking a trip to get ice cream could be the thing to put them in a great mood. Who is not happy when they are being pampered?
Seeing different faces each day will be good for your parents brain. Encourage family members or old friends of the past, or even one of your own friends who does not know your parent to come for a visit. Trying to recall a face for have a conversation with a new person will be a great brain activity.
Brigham City Memory Care
If you are needing extra help, there is no harm or shame in it. Taking care of someone with dementia is a difficult and full time task. Brigham City memory care or any assisted living facility will be able to direct you to where you need to go and can help you with whatever level of help you may need.