Monday, September 16, 2013

Dementia Care: Coping Strategies for Care Providers

Providing care for elderly individuals who have dementia, which is also known as dementia care, is a major responsibility for both professionals and family members. If you offer eldercare to your loved one who suffers from dementia then you are certainly well aware of the unique challenges this form of care can present.

Understanding Dementia
In order to cope with the stresses of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia care, the Alzheimer’s care, Chapel Hill, professionals know that it’s important to really understand what your elderly loved one is going through. Dementia changes seniors because it directly impacts the brain, making it difficult for them to remember certain details, perform certain tasks, and even simply orient themselves. This can make them feel vulnerable, uneasy, and frustrated. As such, seniors may experience a change in personality and they may take out some of their frustrations on those around them, even if they don’t mean to.

By understanding why your elderly loved one is acting this way it can be easier to provide the care that they need. Through your efforts, you can help your senior feel more secure in an environment that may seem unfamiliar to them.

Keeping Yourself Healthy
One of the most important things to remember when providing dementia care is that you cannot take care of your senior if you don’t take care of yourself first. This responsibility is demanding, and though it is just as rewarding as it can be stressful it is important to make sure that you see to your physical and mental wellbeing as you take care of your loved one. Below are a few ways for you to do so.

  1. Take at least one day off per week. If you need to bring in a respite care professional to do so, make it happen. This day will allow you to recharge and rest so that you can keep from burning out. 
  2. Exercise compassion. It is important to not only be patient with your senior but to also try to understand what they are going through in order to best cope with the situation. 
  3. Talk about your experiences. Sharing with friends, family members, or even professionals can prove extremely therapeutic. 

With these coping mechanisms in mind you can better care for your loved one.

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