Darian Dalsen, External Care Coordinator for Comfort Keepers In-Home Senior Care of Madison, WI shares important tips for helping seniors who are experiencing dementia.
"Hi, my name is Darian. I'm the external care coordinator at Comfort Keepers and today I'd like to offer you some tips on common problems that people have related to dementia and concerns that people have related to dementia.
The first concern would be about hygiene, many times people with dementia are not necessarily eating on a regular basis or interested in eating. Some of the tips I would provide would be to be able to make things in a slow cooker, have things that you bake in the oven, have small meals offered throughout the day. Doesn't matter if you're gonna have breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast, just offer periodic food and liquids throughout the day.
Second thing would be related to showers, many times people with dementia do not want to be able to shower on a regular basis. What I would encourage you to do is to be able to have a periodic time throughout the day to encourage the person to take a shower or a bath. They may have not wanted to take a shower in the morning but will take a shower in the afternoon. Make sure you warm up the shower as well to be able to make sure that it's at a good temperature. Make sure the person is warm and there's music playing or there's things that they enjoy, that they have access to, to make that time more enjoyable and be able to just provide a good experience for that person.
The next thing would be sleep, many times people with dementia do not have regular sleeping patterns. What I would encourage you to be able to do is to have a set time that you have a routine for getting someone to bed. Be able to turn off the TV, turn down the lights, have medication or snack at specific times and encourage the person to be able to go to bed on a regular basis and encourage them to sleep throughout the night.
The next thing would be medication, medication is important and I would encourage you to contact a pharmacist to be able to do a comprehensive medication review just to make sure that there are no adverse drug effects that may occur. Uh, the last thing would be with exercise and socialization. Having that person be active as much as they possibly can. Taking short walks throughout the day whether that's inside the house or outside, or get involved with groups that are in your community. Even if it's for short periods of time many times people won't want to go out because they don't think they can have an opportunity to be out the whole entire time, many times just being out for a short period of time is enough to be able to provide that level of socialization."