Someone in the early stages of dementia may be able to continue to live independently, but as a family member of the patient, you'll ideally be able to play an active role in his or her care. Hiring an in-home caregiver is an important step to take in this process. Doing so not only gives your loved one professional healthcare in the familiar surroundings of home, but can also alleviate the pressure that you've perhaps felt in the prior weeks and months. When a dementia patient is calm, he or she is easier to manage. Conversely, stress can make the dementia symptoms worse. Here are some ways for you to reduce stress for your family member.
Take Difficult Tasks Away
Hiring an in-home caregiver can definitely decrease the dementia patient's stress levels, but there are other things that you can do. Talk to your family member about the daily or otherwise regular tasks that are difficult, and then come up with plans to take them off the patient's plate. For example, he or she might get extremely anxious about taking care of finances or grocery shopping. You can step in to manage your family member's finances, while the caregiver can shop for groceries and run other needed errands.
Reduce Household Stimuli
The in-home caregiver will likely talk to you about the dementia patient's immediate environment and point out things that you can change. Crowded environments can feel hectic, and this may cause unnecessary stress to your family member. Although you don't want to upset him or her by dramatically changing the look of the house, you should be able to reduce some of the clutter and thus help to make the home feel calmer. Your caregiver can report the degree to which this change has impacted your family member, and you can make the necessary adjustments in the future.
Limit The Need For Decisions
Making decisions can be difficult for some dementia patients, resulting in high stress. You and the caregiver can work together to reduce some of the decisions that your loved one will need to make over the course of the day. For example, instead of having to decide what to eat, the caregiver can simply prepare a meal that the patient will enjoy. Cutting down on the availability of clothing, too, can make getting dressed a task that will cause less stress for your family member with dementia.
Contact companies like Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living for more information on the benefits of assisted living and home care.