Estimates predict that the number of people living with dementia in the UK will have risen to over one million by 2021. There are more than 200 types of dementia, with the most common one being Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the range of the illness, all patients share some common symptoms such as memory problems, and an inability to process information and communicate.

Dementia affects each patient in a unique way. The illness may cause mood swings and change the patient’s personality and behaviour towards other people. This poses challenges to people living with dementia, patients and their caregivers. Below are a few tips that should help you cope with the difficulties.

1. Set a positive mode

It is important to set a positive mood around your loved one. Keep their surroundings clean, neat, and tidy. Use a positive tone in conversation regardless of the topic. Your body language should also communicate feelings of affection and reassurance. A joyful environment elevates the patient’s self-esteem and reduces stress.

2. Ask simple questions

Always keep your questions short, answerable and straightforward. It’s not about toning down the questions but making them simple to answer. For instance, avoid open-ended questions and leaving too many choices. If possible, use visual cues to illustrate your questions. Sometimes, complex questions may be incomprehensible.

3. Break down every activity into simple steps

Whenever you want to engage him/her in an activity, make sure to break it into a series of steps. This makes the task manageable and easy to follow — complete one step before moving on to the next.

4. Don’t argue

Avoid arguing with a dementia patient. They may not understand your point of view, and you may not understand theirs. If you detect disagreement, find a way to steer the interaction away from confrontation and bring them around to a common understanding. Be persuasive instead of rigid.

5. Keep up with medications

Follow up on appointments and medications. Continued treatment slows down the progression of dementia, and helps the patients cope with their day-to-day lives. Sign them up for supplementary therapies to maintain physical and mental health.

Are you struggling to keep up with the needs of your loved one? Caring Hands Home Care is here to help. We offer professional home care services that ensure every one of their needs is taken care of. Give us a call today and let us assist you in nursing and caring for your loved one.

Photo: Goodbye by DanielaC173 licensed under Creative Commons 4.0