Looking after someone with dementia has many challenges. There are big decisions to make, unusual behaviors to manage, and lots of emotions to pass through - all of these do not come naturally. Amid caregiving, sometimes it is hard to believe that patients with dementia still have abilities despite the decline in their cognitive functioning. That's why it is essential to adapt to tried-and-true care techniques that help both caregivers and the older adult. Kerr Medical brings you some excellent advice for dementia caregivers. Here's what you can do to manage and look after someone with dementia at home.
Identifying the cause of the unfamiliar behavior
It isn't uncommon to notice troubling behavior and unfamiliar personality changes in a loved one who has dementia. Behaviors such as wandering, sleeping difficulties, aggressiveness, hallucinations, and other changes occur commonly in dementia patients, making it all the more difficult for the caregiver to perform their role.
However, it is essential to remember that such patients are not being tough deliberately. Often, their behavior worsens by their surroundings, inability to communicate, or difficulty dealing with stress. See such loopholes as challenges that should be resolved straight away as it's best for their well-being- as well as for the caregiver. Let's take an example - for a dementia patient who has an unintentional urge to wander out of their room frequently, you will need to monitor their movements with a wireless motion sensor. In this way, you will be able to track their activities and have peace of mind, even when you're at a distance from them.
The first and foremost step to resort to behavior problems is by finding out the triggering factors. Identify the causes of their troubling behaviors and personality changes. This way, you can understand how to assist and look after them in an improved manner. Below are some questions you should ask yourself that will help you identify the causes of their complex behavior.
- What led to the change in their body language? Did something trigger their behavior and response?
- What are they feeling or trying to express?
- Are all their needs being met? (check if they are thirsty, hungry, or in pain)
- Is the environment not soothing enough?
- Which behavior of yours are they most likely to feel comfortable with?
- Should you keep an eye on their movements by a wireless motion sensor with a silent alarm from time to time?
Strategies to manage dementia behavior effectively.
Make changes in the environment: Reduce potential stressors, if there any, that may disrupt their comfort and create frustration. Stressors include: reflecting surfaces, pesky lighting, patterned wallpaper, or loud noise. If your loved ones tend to get up and walk out of their room frequently, consider installing a remote motion sensor. With these sensors at home, your loved ones will never be out of your sight.
Reconnect them with their earlier life: Indulge with your loved ones in simple activities such as cooking, watering plants, or driving, which may help manage their stress. If they had some favorite things to do, then go for those activities. Your loved one may still gain pleasure from tasks connected to their earlier life.
Be patient: Getting upset about the patient's unusual behaviors can increase their stress. Remember to focus on the emotions that are being communicated by their behavior. Be flexible and relaxed while handling them. Even if you find yourself getting frustrated, take some time to cool down.
Music therapy: If you know your loved one's favorite type of music, use it as a plus point. Play calming music as a way to calm them when they are agitated.
Tuning the environment and providing dementia patients with the proper care can make a huge difference. If you are preparing for dementia patient care at home, get Kerr Medical's high-quality wireless motion sensors to ensure patient safety even from a distance.