Green Line Senior Care

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HOW TO HELP seniors who are struggling with Dementia to stay more healthy and happy?

 

Staying mobile is one of the keys to stay healthy and happy. Whatever approach you choose, try to make it dependable, and as much pleasant as possible, so it will be comfortable and reassuring instead of new and challenging. Here are some suggestions:


Don’t leave the person at home alone


Try to keep your loved ones connected to people who are important to them and your relative 


Go with them for walks and stop for snacks or drinks


Go to the places of interest, which often trigger old memories and interesting  conversation


Drive in the country or just around the neighborhood can be soothing too


Limit errands to one or two a day.


Regular exercises can slow the progression of dementia by promoting a good flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Exercise them earlier in the day to avoid disrupting sleep. On early stage of dementia go to the gym together.
At a gym people with dementia can look and feel normal when they do the exercises that don’t require too much talking and thinking. It will increase their confidence.

Biking and swimming are great! Biking is wonderful activity to be active outside as well as to be connected to the nature plus opportunity to keep the balance. Swimming is an incredible relaxation plus exercise!

Make things easy. 
When giving tasks to your loved ones to keep them active or in shape, break these tasks into easy steps. Remember to praise successes and minimize failures. It is not advisable to teach them new information or ask to perform tasks they should not complete in the past since it will only result in frustration. You should not test their memories either.

Speak slowly, articulately and simple. Always wait for them to reply without rushing them. 

Try to always behave pleasantly. You might be feeling stressed or angry, but you must not let it show. Speak to your loved ones in a calm way, and if he or she feels unrest due to failure, give him or her reassurance and distract some other activity.

When your loved ones becomes aggressive, the golden rule is to always stay calm and talk to till they return to a peaceful state. Your own calmness will be soon reflected on them

Have daily routines, especially concerning seniors' meal and sleep times. They will help them to feel safer and day more organized. 
Keep the environment of your loved ones consistent and simple. Any changes can cause unrest.

Establish set times of sleep. It is important not to deviate from specific times of sleeping, since that will likely lead to restlessness. Although the most important goal is to get seniors to sleep well, oversleeping should not be encouraged.You should be mindful of the waking up time too.

Limit naps. Your loved one might need a nap, typically after lunch. If it is the case, make sure it  is short, since that will likely disrupt his or her sleep during the night. These naps should be taken in a couch, not on the bed, so the person does not associate the bed to night time sleep.

You might have some reservations about putting your loved ones under the care of others, but if you carefully choose the person, it will end up being a great help and relief for you, especially, if you are tight on time and have other obligations. The hired caregiver can develop strong bonds with the family.

Honor who the person is now and who she or he was before the disease.


Give the person a purpose and feeling to be needed.


Love. Give a lot of love. It makes the person feel safe and cared for.


Don’t let your fear that he may make a mistake in public stop you from trying a potentially enjoyable activity. 

If something goes wrong try to stay calm. People with Dementia or Alzheimer’s are more sensitive to your response that to the mistake.


Try to ignore any rude comments, or stares  that may come your way and revel in the kindness you will encounter.


Never argue with the person with dementia. It causes agitation for both of you and makes  everything harder.


Be patient, It can take someone with dementia longer to understand your question and come up with an answer.


Redirect. If the person is frustrated or upset, try changing the topic. Suggest a favorite activity.


Simple. Keep sentences simple to facilitate communication. Talk about things from the past. Recent memories will fade more quickly


Validate feelings and thoughts

“Yes, It is Tuesday (even if it is Friday) but today we are going to do a Friday activity” Do not tell the person that he or she is wrong.


Be empathetic. He or she is frustrated by the disease too.


Follow the lead. If the person with dementia wants to tell the same story or wash the same dish  over and over again, let them.


Investigate. If the person is agitated, he or she may not be able to tell you why; Is she hungry, or thirsty? Tired? 


Keep eye contact. It establishes trust and helps you make a connection.


Person with dementia should be involved in doing home chores. Even if it is done wrong, the  person will feel worthy and useful.



Every day is a new day. A bad day yesterday does not mean a bad day today.