Taking care of someone with dementia can be taxing, especially when coupled with other inevitable tenants of old age such as decreased mobility and declining physical health.

According to a report published by CDC, “each year, more than 16 million Americans provide more than 17 billion hours of unpaid care for family and friends with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. In 2019 alone, these caregivers provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of care.” While you may feel morally obligated to care for someone with dementia, you may get overwhelmed and experience burnout sooner or later.

Here are a few ways to help you make your caregiving journey as rewarding as it is challenging.

Install Safety and Accessibility Equipment

Decreased cognitive function also brings along other risk factors such as falls and injuries, posing a serious threat to the patient’s health. Taking care of someone with Alzheimer's or dementia entails more than just catering to the medications. It also involves creating a safer environment for them to mitigate the risk of falls and injuries.

To begin with, you can remove any scattered elements such as untugged rugs, loose wires, or extra furniture. You can make a few changes in your home to prevent falls, such as installing handrails or grab bars in the bathroom and other vulnerable areas. Bed alarms for dementia patients are a great option that allows the caregiver more mobility and peace of mind while providing the patient with a more peaceful and safer environment.

Additionally, bed alarms for fall prevention come with a wireless alarm and sensor pad that alert the caregiver whenever their patient is trying to get out of their bed.

Be Flexible With Them

As you watch your loved one’s memories disappear and skills erode, caring for them can often seem to be a series of stressful experiences. Amidst this grief and helplessness, it is crucial to cater to the emotional well-being of your patient and yourself. It is essential to be empathetic towards them and help them navigate through their conflicting emotions. Feelings of anger, frustration, and grief are prevalent factors in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia — for both the patient and the caregiver.

Let your loved ones express what they’re feeling and encourage them to continue their daily activities so they are not ambushed with a sense of void.

Reduce Frustrations and Triggers

For someone dealing with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, it is not uncommon for them to feel inept and emotionally drained. You might notice the patient is more agitated and frustrated during the early stages, especially when once-simple tasks become difficult. To avoid them feeling this way, you can start by establishing a daily schedule wherein you thoroughly plan their daily activities, from taking medicines to medical appointments

We understand that taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can get overwhelming as it involves paying close attention to every minute detail of their health and needs. Considering that dementia is progressive, and they only get worse with age also adds to the stress. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is often your caregiving support that makes the biggest difference to your loved one’s quality of life.