Being a caregiver may not be an easy task and may not always come naturally. Some may need training, while others may need a to-do list.
Professional caregivers train and study for taking care of the elderly, and they are well-skilled in taking care of elderly with dementia. However, it does not come easy for every caregiver. Learning to take care of those who have dementia takes time to understand and get used to, and there are pointers that one should consider.
An important thing to remember when caring for someone is that people who suffer from dementia have an altered belief on reality because of their brain does not function normally anymore. Train of thought, memories, belief on past and recent events, and even language may change. Because of this, people who suffer from dementia may constantly start arguments with you and with others because their reality may be different.
It’s not worth it to argue with someone who has dementia
People who suffer from dementia may have a different version of their reality, including factual events. Arguments often start from this, and because dementia affects all functions of the brain, logical reasoning may also be affected. If you are caring for someone who has dementia, avoid engaging in an argument as much as possible. This will only make you feel stressed out while they do not exactly understand that they have affected you in that way.
Giving medication to those with dementia may pose as a challenge as they do not remember that they are taking medication and may even oppose your care-giving ways. It is essential to practice patience and understanding in this aspect of your work. There are instances when they may refuse to take the medication. You must learn to be patient enough to talk them through it and make them understand why it is important.
It’s never too late improve brain health
Working with people who have dementia will make you be more aware of your brain health and how you will need to also take care of your own. It will make you realise that mental and brain health is just as important and necessary as physical health. Start studying about brain health and how to maintain your quality of life. This means you can have a greater understanding of health, and how to best improve the quality of life for those living with dementia.
Ignoring symptoms won’t make them go away
Caring for someone will make you feel closer to them. It may become harder to accept when they start showing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease because you know that this is a road that they may not return from anymore. However, ignoring these symptoms will not help those you care for and may even become too difficult for them as time passes. When they show early symptoms, see a doctor immediately to get treatment that can delay the progression of dementia.
When a person has dementia, uncomfortable conversations can become a normal and constant thing. Just like having arguments, logical thinking and reasoning become diminished and it is important to stay patient and understanding to also preserve your emotions.
Share your challenges and get help
Dementia may be an added challenge when you are caring for a friend or loved one, but it certainly is not unheard of in many cases of being a professional caregiver. Talk to someone, a friend or a group who also care for those suffering from dementia, share your challenges and get the help you need. Do not hesitate to ask.