Tips on Empowering Seniors with Dementia

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How to Empower Aging Adults with Dementia

By Lesa Hardiman, 9:00 am on

Seniors often fear losing their sense of purpose when they receive a dementia diagnosis. However, dementia care has come a long way from the outdated notions and care techniques that were used in the past. Today, seniors with dementia can enjoy a high quality of life when their caregivers provide them with a sense of empowerment. Here are a few simple ways to empower older adults with dementia.

Offer Purposeful Activities

As dementia progresses, caregivers may have to provide seniors with purposeful activities. Provide your loved one with daily tasks he or she enjoys helping with, such as folding towels or wiping the table after a meal. Staying engaged in meaningful activities can also prevent negative behaviors that stem from boredom.

Engaging in meaningful activities is one of the many ways older adults can slow cognitive decline and boost their overall health. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional non-medical in-home care. Grand Rapids, MI, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Use Effective Communication Techniques

Seniors with dementia may face difficulty understanding complicated sentences. You may notice your loved one forgets the meaning of certain words or fails to recall what was said earlier. It is important to catch your loved one’s attention by saying his or her name or patting his or her arm. Then, speak directly to your loved one while making eye contact and using short sentences. Your verbal exchange should also include listening to the response so your loved one knows his or her thoughts matter.

Provide Verbal Cues

You can help your loved one stay oriented by providing verbal reminders about what is happening throughout the day. For instance, you can say something about how great the lunch was and then follow it up by saying it is now time to take medication. Keeping your loved one aware of the time and setting can help him or her navigate better through daily routines.

Break Down Complicated Tasks

Seniors with dementia can accomplish many things independently with only a few verbal instructions. However, it is best to break complicated tasks into simpler steps. For example, you might tell your loved one to get his or her toothbrush, then remind him or her to put the toothpaste on the brush. After that, you can suggest your loved one brushes his or her teeth. Visual aids such as charts outlining each step also promote independence among seniors with dementia.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help managing daily tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Grand Rapids respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Encourage Decision-Making

No one likes to be told what to do all the time, and seniors with dementia should be given the same respect. Encouraging your loved one to make decisions can stimulate his or her cognitive skills. Prevent frustration by limiting the options to two choices. For example, you could ask your loved one if he or she wants to wear a purple or a blue shirt. Alternatively, you could offer the choice between eggs or oatmeal for breakfast.

Older adults can slow cognitive decline and stimulate their critical thinking skills by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional at-home caregiver. Grand Rapids families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at 616-243-0835 today.