Dementia is a very particular condition that affects especially seniors, as a consequence of Alzheimer’s disease, in most cases. Since there is no known cure for dementia, the situation for patients and families can be very difficult, since the best caregivers can do is to alleviate the symptoms and create a better environment for the sufferer.
Dementia care is a very delicate issue, as the patient’s feelings must always be taken into consideration, even if they have a tough time expressing them. The best course of action for families is to hire a trained professional who knows how to deal with dementia patients, so they suffer as little as possible.
Here is some advice for families and caregivers in case they are looking after such a patient. The rule of thumb for dementia care at home is to preserve a certain familiarity and routine to everything that happens during the day and involves the sufferer. One symptom of dementia that is quite common is confusion, and patients can easily become confused if there are too many things that change rapidly. Give the person in your care a sense of familiarity and structure and dementia bouts will happen less often.
Do not forget that these patients are not disabled in all their mental and physical capabilities. Do not patronize or treat them as they are children. If there are things they can do on their own, empower them by helping them to do them independently and offer direct help only for those they cannot carry on their own.
Use various cues to let the patient know about the different times of the day. For instance, you can draw the curtains to let the light in, in the morning, or put some soothing music in the evening, to signal that it is time to go to bed. This way, the patient will be able to cope with the frustration and confusion that manifest as symptoms of this condition.