Overcoming the Challenges of Living with Dementia: Tips for Caregivers

Overcoming Challenges

and Health

Caring for someone living with dementia can be a great challenge and responsibility for caregivers and health professionals. Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, language, problem-solving, judgement, and eventually even physical functions. The result is an inability to function normally in everyday life. As a person’s dementia progresses, the challenges they and their caregivers face can become greater.

Focus on the Quality of Life

It’s important to focus on increasing the quality of life for someone living with dementia. Caregivers should remember to show love, understanding and respect for the person, despite any memory or language issues. Even just spending time with them, and engaging in activities to boost self-confidence, can be incredibly beneficial.

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Be Prepared for Challenging Behaviours

As dementia progresses, challenging behaviours may begin to occur. This can include aggressiveness and agitation, anxiety, confusion, disorientation and difficulty in communication. It’s important that caregivers recognize and understand these behaviours, as they can be a sign of distress and frustration stemming from the fear and confusion that goes along with dementia.

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Create a Safe Environment

An important part of caring for someone who is living with dementia is creating a safe environment. This includes avoiding potential hazards in the home, such as sharp edges, furniture or objects that may pose a danger to the person. It’s also important to ensure that basic hygiene, such as bathing and clothing, are taken care of.

Encourage Positive Behaviours

It is important for caregivers to model positive behaviour and help encourage positive behaviours in those living with dementia. This includes offering verbal and physical praise for positive behaviours.

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Take Care of Yourself

It’s essential for caregivers to take time to take care of themselves and look after their own health and well-being. Dementia care is demanding, tiring and stressful, and it’s important for a caregiver to take regular breaks and look after their own health.

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