Dementia is one of those diseases that is really difficult to prepare for. Even though you may have a dementia care strategy in place, there will more than likely be something little that you miss from time to time.
To try to help you better understand these things, I have put together this blog to shine a light on them.
One of the things you may overlook if you are not providing full-time care for the person suffering with dementia is their sleep patterns, often people with dementia don’t particularly sleep well and will have a very disturbed sleep, and this isn’t helped by the likes of arthritis and other such ailments that make sleeping particularly uncomfortable.
To help with this it is best to focus on sleep hygiene as part of your dementia care strategy, make sure the person you are caring for doesn’t take naps during the day and steers clear from caffeine and alcohol at night-time.
Eating And Exercising
These things can often. In terms of exercise, you may want to use a memory box as part of a dementia care strategy. In this box you may want to include pictures of a local park or place of interest. You can then use this as a way to encourage the person you are caring for to get out and about. Regular exercise is important, as is encouraging hobbies and interests. Visiting friends or relatives could be another way to go about encouraging a bit of exercise; it also gives the person you are looking after a chance to carry on with a routine.
Eating is another thing that becomes more of an issue with those suffering dementia. They may forget what food tastes like or what foods they like in the first place. A regular healthy diet is just as important to someone suffering from dementia as it is anyone else, and if you don’t encourage it, the person you are caring for could then find themselves suffering from other troubles as a result.
If you offer them a helping hand, perhaps putting the cutlery in their hands or helping prepare the meals, and put aside a reasonable length of time for a meal, you will really help the person you are caring for.
Your Own Well-being
Perhaps most importantly and a little thing so many carers overlook, is their own well-being. What may actually start as a little thing can soon become more serious if not addressed.
You really should look to take care of yourself as well as the person you are caring for. If you suffer bad health as a result of not taking time for yourself, it is detrimental to both you and the person in your care.
Respite care is a great way for you to take a break from your care duties, without having to worry the person you are taking care of is not receiving an adequate level of care in your absence. It also means you can have a holiday, go into hospital, or basically take a break to get yourself fit and healthy again before going back to your duties.
Louisa Jenkins is a care specialist. She blogs on a number of topics from preparing an adequate dementia care strategy to the benefits of home care over a care home.