My Grandad recently passed away from having Dementia. So I understand the huge responsibility of being a loved one’s caretaker. Especially if your loved one is diagnosed with dementia. Whether you assume the responsibility of being your loved one’s caretaker, or you work at specialist dementia care homes and this is what you do to make a living, it is a huge undertaking. At times it may be really challenging. As long as you educate yourself on dementia, your stress levels will not be as high. Here are some things you must know when caring for someone with dementia.
You cannot do this all by yourself. Remind yourself that you should never be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of support groups out there that can provide you with a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. Support groups surround you with people who are going through the very things you may be experiencing while being a caretaker. They can also provide you with some important resources that can improve your caretaking and educate you on dementia. Just because you are a professional caregiver does not mean you do not need help from time to time. This can be a really challenging job, so having someone else you can lean on will be useful.
Remember that you are a human and so is the person you are caring for. They may be going through a rough time just like you are. To put your frustrations into perspective, try putting yourself into their shoes. Some people with dementia are often confused about their whereabouts. They can even be confused about the time period they are living in. Could you imagine being in a constant state of confusion? That would make you irritable as well. Keep that in mind when you are finding yourself having a difficult time.
Know that there will be some good days and there will be some bad days as it pertains to your patients’ success during the progression of dementia. Be grateful and hold dear those good days, and in those instances where all you have are good moments, be grateful for them too. You should also be realistic about the progression of the disease. Most kinds of dementia are progressive and there is no cure. That means their symptoms will only get worse with time.
There are several types of dementia cases with all kinds of symptoms. Not only will you patient likely experience memory loss, but they may also go through personality changes. Sometimes your patient may have one or the other type of symptoms. Some may experience difficult behaviours and moods as well as hallucinations and delusions. It all depends on the type of dementia they have. The more you know about their specific type of dementia, you will be more knowledgeable about the symptoms as the disease progresses. You will be prepared for anything that may manifest itself due to their illness.