Caring for Seniors with Dementia in Bethesda MD
As a caregiver, it can be difficult to know how to help seniors with dementia. Dementia is a disease that slowly deteriorates their memory, sense of time and place, ability to carry out daily activities, and even their personality. There is a lot of information out there about what they need. But just because you have read the books and done your research doesn’t mean that you will always know what they want or need on any given day. Dementia is a difficult disease to understand, and despite the extensive research that has been done, there is still so much we don’t understand. This post discusses some of the most important things to remember when caring for a senior with dementia in Bethesda MD, including 5 tips for caregivers!


What to Expect When Caring for Seniors with Dementia in Bethesda MD:

– They struggle to remember recent events, or even what happened a few minutes ago.

– They can be easily agitated and have a higher risk of wandering off.

– They may have trouble understanding what’s going in the environment around them.

– They often do not feel safe in their environment and need someone with them who is mindful of this.

– They might not be able to do simple tasks that were once easy for them like brushing teeth.


Tip #01: Being Patient

Dementia is a progressive disease that changes from one day to the next, so it can be difficult or even impossible to predict what they will need or want on any given day. They may ask you about things that have happened months ago and may also forget about things that you just told them five minutes ago. Dementia is a scary thing for any person, but staying patient and calm will help the senior feel more comfortable in their own skin and decrease some of the fear caused by this disease.


Tip #02: Reminiscing

Sometimes it can be helpful to find pictures of events or people from their past so that they can try to remember details about life. Seeing their own life from this outside perspective can kickstart their memory and bring things to mind that they had previously forgotten. Simple mental exercises like this can provide a sense of calm because it reminds them who they were before their memory began deteriorating.


Tip #03: Understanding their World

Dementia can have different effects on each individual, so it is important to understand how their dementia affects them specifically so you can offer them the best care. It is also important for caregivers to be patient, understanding, and compassionate. This is an incredibly difficult time for them. Seniors with dementia may not always have what they want or need on any given day so it’s important to communicate with them as best you can. Understanding the world from their perspective will help you offer the most appropriate and compassionate care possible!


Tip #04: Being Aware of the Environment

One of the many symptoms seniors with dementia may experience is difficulty understanding their surroundings. As their caregiver, being mindful of the environment around them is vital. Try to make the space as comfortable as possible. You may need to turn on lights for them so they can see and be more aware of their surroundings.

Recognizing their physical limitations and appropriately avoiding activities they are unable to do without assistance is another way to be aware of the environment, and create one that is conducive to their abilities. It can be challenging for seniors with dementia to stay engaged in their environment. They may need assistance with hygiene, eating, and dressing. However, it is still important that they are involved as much as possible in activities around them so that they don’t withdraw from life.


Tip #05: Providing Gentle, Compassionate Care

It is important for caregivers to understand how difficult this time could be for a senior with dementia. They are going through many different changes in their life that cannot always be controlled. Providing care that is gentle, such as helping with bathing or showering, can make a huge difference in their day-to-day life. Try to create a routine that they can follow easily without confusion. They may be able to do certain tasks on their own if given enough time and practice in the right setting. These basic tasks actually provide a mental exercise as they engage with the world around them through self-care and other simple tasks.


We hope this article has given you some great tips on caring for seniors with dementia in Bethesda MD, and we encourage you to share it with your friends or family members who may be in a similar situation. Dementia can make life difficult for both the person living with the disease as well as their caregivers. Finding relief from some of these difficulties can help ease one’s burden while caring for them and keep everyone involved feeling healthy and happy! If you need more information about dementia or Alzheimer’s care, respite care, or any of our other services, don’t hesitate to call Care At Home in Bethesda and Rockville, MD any time.

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