Tips and Tricks For Caring For Someone With Dementia

Guest Contributor Marne Amoguis on Memory Cafe Directory

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Tips and Tricks For Caring For Someone With Dementia

Submitted by Guest Contributor:
Marné Amoguis

Caring for someone with dementia can be difficult for you and the person you’re taking care of. Before you start caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you should learn all that you can about it so you know what to expect. There are many online resources available to help you learn how to care for a loved one with dementia and give you a place to talk to others about solving common issues. Here are tips to help you care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Remain Consistent

Setting up a routine can help both you and the person you’re caring for know what to expect each day. If you’re not caring for the person in-person, you can call the same day at the same time each week. You can also remain consistent by doing the same things with the person at the same time every day. For example, you can choose to cook dinner at 5:00 pm every single night. Engaging in activities such as puzzles and looking at photo albums which can be beneficial for the person you’re caring for.

Keep it Calm

As a caregiver for someone with dementia, you’ll need to keep the person you’re caring for calm to help them remain comfortable emotionally and physically. You can try soothing music and soft voices to create a healthy environment for someone with dementia. You should also consider dimming the lights to promote calm and keep things that help them stay calm, such as a blanket, on hand to minimize agitation.

Be Patient

While you might feel frustrated trying to communicate with someone with dementia, consider how they feel. They’re probably more frustrated than you are when communicating because they’ve started losing cognitive abilities. Patience is key for handling situations when they’re having a difficult time communicating with you or understanding what you’re saying to them.

Avoid Too Much Stimulation

Overstimulation can increase agitation, so try to limit stimulation as best as possible. For example, when you’re talking to someone with dementia, consider turning down the television or radio so they can focus on what you’re saying. You should also stand directly in front of them so they know you’re talking to them. Doing so will also give them cues you have started talking to them so they won’t get startled.

Have Compassion

People with dementia can experience anxiety and not be able to communicate their feelings. You should be aware of the person’s sleep patterns and daily diet, which can impact anxiety for better or for worse. By being reassuring and providing compassion with care, you can help ease their anxiety and make them feel loved.

Monitor Food Intake

Proper nutrition is necessary for everyone, especially those suffering from dementia. It might be beneficial to give them small meals throughout the day and monitor their water intake to avoid them getting overwhelmed.

Stay Calm

While it’s important to keep the person you’re caring for calm, it’s even more important for you to maintain your composure. If someone with dementia is confused or even hallucinating, you shouldn’t tell them they’re wrong because it can increase their anxiety. Instead, you can tell them you don’t hear or see what they are experiencing while reassuring them that it’s okay.

For example, if someone calls you the wrong name, resist the urge to tell them that they’re wrong. Instead, continue the conversation with them so that they don’t get confused and upset.

Reduce Aggression

Individuals with dementia can become aggressive due to their emotions. If the person you’re caring for becomes aggressive, keep your distance while keeping an eye on them until they calm down. You should also remove any sharp objects in the room so the patient doesn’t end up hurting themself.

While you can’t always prevent aggression, you can keep yourself and the person suffering from dementia as calm as possible for long periods so that when they feel anxious, it won’t turn into aggression as often.

Help Them Get Exercise

Exercise can be good for the aging brain because it stimulates blood circulation. Try to get the person you’re caring for up and abound so they can get a workout for at least twenty minutes a day to keep them focused and increase clarity. Never overstimulate them, though. There’s no need for a vigorous workout. Instead, a stroll around the block should be enough.

Get Help

Sometimes caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming, especially if you have other responsibilities like work and your own family at home. However, you should never feel guilty about asking for help. You can ask a friend or family member to come over and take care of your loved one for a few hours while you run errands or pick your kids up from school.

You can also hire a caregiver to take care of your loved one when you can’t be there. For example, if you have a job but want to make sure your loved one with dementia is cared for at all times, you can hire someone to work full-time and watch over them so you don’t have to worry about them when you need to focus on other tasks.

There are many caregivers specialized in dementia patients; just make sure you interview them thoroughly and check references to ensure they’re the right person to take care of your loved one. While some insurance will cover dementia, if your loved one had a spouse with life insurance who passed away, you can ask them to use anything left to cover the payments for a live-in caregiver.

Final Thoughts

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be stressful and emotionally demanding. While you want to be with the person for as long as possible, you can’t be by their side constantly, which can make you feel guilty. Instead of feeling guilty, make sure you ask for help when you need it. The best thing you can do for someone with dementia is be understanding and compassionate while helping them get through their periods of anxiety and agitation.

Marné Amoguis

Marné Amoguis

Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing.

Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.



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