Although there isn’t an exact figure, it’s estimated that there are between 400,000 and 460,000 Australians living with dementia. If a loved one is part of this statistic, seeing them deteriorate and feeling helpless can be heartbreaking. Whether it’s a parent or another family member, you may want to take control and look after them at home. Should this be the case, here are some useful tips to ensure your loved one is receiving the best care possible.
When caring for a loved one living with dementia, you shouldn’t ever be afraid to ask for outside help. If you’re the sole caregiver, you may find joining a support group helpful. Speaking to those in the same boat as you can be a big help and allow you to share tips and techniques with other members which will ensure your loved one is being well looked after. If you have family close by, make sure that they join in on the caregiving to give you a well-deserved break. You shouldn’t be expected to do everything on your own, as this can cause you to burnout quicker.
Know the Stages
There are various stages of dementia that you need to research about so you can get a vague idea of where your loved one fits into the equation. Each person with dementia will be completely different from the next, so knowing the signs and keeping a close eye on your loved one will help you deliver the correct care and treatment. As they progress through the disease, they will lose cognitive function which can be difficult to witness. However, having an understanding in advance will help you prepare somewhat.
Have Time for Yourself
You can’t be expected to deliver excellent care to your loved one if you aren’t looking after yourself. You mustn’t feel guilty about having some time away to do the things you love. After all, you do have your own life, needs, and priorities that need to be put at the forefront. Whether you take up a hobby, practice relaxation exercises, or catch up with friends, make sure you have some time away from your caregiving duties. Although your loved one may not be able to communicate with you, they’ll want you to have breaks too.
Keep Them Comfortable
If you’ve decided that you want to care for your loved one with dementia at home, you will naturally want to avoid any hospital visits along the way. When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, most people move around in bed. However, in the later stages of dementia, you may find your loved one moves a lot less which can increase the risk of painful pressure ulcers. Bosshard Medical pressure care has a range of mattresses that can support your loved one and reduce the risk of injuries as they sleep.
Dementia care can be daunting and exhausting, so if you’ve been tasked with looking after your loved one, you should always make sure there are other people around who can help alongside you. Dementia is a debilitating, cruel disease. However, there are things you can do to alleviate any pain or suffering your loved one is in.