Dementia Caregiving: Why Consistency is So Important
Feb 15, 2018 by Comfort Keepers Denver
If your loved one has dementia and you or other relatives are unable to provide consistent care for them, think about hiring a professional caregiver. It may mean a world of difference in keeping them happy and ensuring they’re living their best life.
Here are just a few reasons why hiring a routine caregiver for your senior with dementia is a great idea:
Even though your loved one has dementia, adhering to a routine may actually stick in their muscle memory, and provide them a sense of independence, as well as comfort. A caregiver can help establish and enforce routines so as to ensure your loved one is getting the care they need, without making it strenuous or confusing for them.
Faster, more efficient care.
Caregivers are professionally trained to spot cues and act quickly in the case of needed care or any emergencies. This same sense of urgency and efficiency can be explained to the family so that both relatives and caregivers are providing the same care to your loved one, ensuring consistency of care all around.
Familiarity Is Key
Typically with a dementia patient, only one or two caregivers are assigned. This is to reduce the anxiety that comes with seeing new faces repeatedly, as even though your loved one may not remember their name, they’ll begin to recognize the face over time. This gives them a sense of comfort.
Having the same one or two people provide care also ensures the same care is being given each visit, instead of informing different caregivers of your loved one’s needs and hoping they’ll provide care in a similar fashion.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in an uncomfortable situation with your loved one. Perhaps they’re fluctuating between being aggressive and depressed, and you just don’t know what to do.
The caregiver, on the other hand, does, and can help manage their changing moods even before they are triggered.
Caregivers can also provide monitoring for those who wander (a huge danger to dementia patients) and have trouble with sundowning, in which they sleep during the day and get more awake and anxious at night.
Sometimes, the hardest part of caring for a dementia patient is effectively communicating with them. The changes in their brain may make it harder to understand what they’re saying, or make it difficult for them to understand you.
Additionally, they won’t communicate their needs in the same ways that they used to, if at all. This is where the caregiver comes in. Someone who is versed in finding body cues and the patient’s specific tell-tall signs of when they need something can pick up those hidden messages and give your senior the help they need.
The caregiver may also be able to help foster better communication between the senior and their family. That way, the family can learn to adapt to the client’s changing forms of communication, while avoid any feelings of anxiety or frustration.
At the end of the day, a caregiver can provide support and consistency that your senior needs that you may not be able to provide full-time. Look into hiring professional help today.