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How To Handle a Family Member With Dementia

Caring for a family member who suffers from dementia can pose as a serious challenge.  Even trained experts find moments difficult, so it’s perfectly natural to feel overwhelmed.

The first thing that you should know is that dealing with your loved one’s condition doesn’t have to be a burden as long as you stay committed and compassionate.  With enough resources, you can make it through and help them to be as comfortable as possible during the process.

Here are some of the best tips to see you through caring for your family member with dementia.

Reach Out For Help

Assuming you have a job and family to look after yourself, you probably don’t have the schedule to be able to care for your family member day in and day out.  You will need to find help in order to care for all their needs.

You should consider assisted living or hiring a live-in nurse to make sure they are cared for.  If your budget doesn’t permit, then try to reach a compromise in schedules amongst all of your other family members.  By everyone contributing as best as they can, you can find time to take shifts to care for your family member.

Try To Remain Positive

Just because your loved one has a brain disorder doesn’t mean that they can’t pick up on basic human emotions.  The way that you treat them can have a profound effect on their state of being.  Try not to arrive agitated or angry. Try to smile as much as possible even though you may be stressed.

Try to remember that they can’t help most of the behavior they’re displaying, and they need you more than ever to be a compassionate friend without losing your patience.  Try to put yourself in their shoes and act accordingly.

Use Simple Language

It’s vital that you try to communicate in simple terms.  It helps to imagine that you are talking to someone with a limited understanding of language.  Use your words carefully and avoid using overly complicated language or concept.s

Be reassuring and friendly rather than condescending, and if you have to repeat questions several times, try to remain patient.

Distract and Redirect During Difficult Moments

If your loved one starts to get flustered or starts to show signs of agitation, rather than trying to rationalize them out of it, distract them with something else.

Try to change the subject and redirect their attention to something more pleasant.  Perhaps you can engage in an activity which they enjoy, or you can talk about something which they seem to have retained in their memories as a positive part of their past.

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