Saturday, January 28, 2023

Dementia Care During The Pandemic: How To Help Your Seniors

The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s lives. No one can leave their homes or walk in the neighborhood since the pandemic broke out. While it’ll enable people to work from home, those who thrive in social interaction might have a more challenging time adjusting to the new normal.

People who are suffering from dementia will struggle with the sudden shift. It’s because they won’t be able to exercise their minds enough as they’re locked within the four walls of their home. But this shouldn’t stop you from trying. If you’re living with a senior suffering from dementia, below are some ways you can help them:

Enroll In Online Care Training

One of the best and most selfless ways you can help your senior experiencing dementia is by enrolling yourself in online dementia care training. This training course focuses on how you can help your aging loved one strive through. It can also teach you how to look for better ways to provide support and care as they go on with their lives.

With this training, you’ll have a better insight into what you should and shouldn’t do, which can help them improve their condition. Luckily, online training allows you to learn more about dementia, which is the perfect setup for the pandemic. Hence, you no longer have to brave the outdoors as you can conveniently do them in the comforts of your own home.

Establish A Daily Routine

Dementia can develop aggression, agitation, and restlessness, among other undesired behaviors. To prevent or limit them from happening during the day, it helps to establish a daily routine they can follow. This way, they’ll have something to look forward to rather than just waiting for what could happen next.

To ease them into a routine, it may be helpful to minimize their daily activities. Concentrating on the parts of their routine they’re not yet familiar with can benefit them. It could be taking a walk in the park or hanging around the backyard to do some light gardening.

Establishing a routine helps to keep everything in order and may improve their condition as they remember what they need to do next without any reminders.

Maximize Indoor Activities

Since it’s still the pandemic, try to maximize indoor activities as much as possible. While you can always take them out once in a while, it’s best to keep them from going outside as they might get lost or catch themself in trouble.

There are plenty of indoor activities they could get themselves busy with. These activities may include solving a sudoku puzzle, gardening, yoga, painting, or knitting. You can join them to learn new skills if you have spare time. More engagement will help them to be more attentive to what they’re doing and improve their attention span.

Create A List Of Instructions

As much as you want to help your senior loved one to make their lives more comfortable, it’s still best to allow them to do things independently. This can be as simple as brushing their hair, dressing up, or lathering lotion on their skin. However, for some activities that require more steps, it would be better to create a detailed list of instructions for them to follow.

You can include instructions on operating a microwave, answering a call from their tablet, or turning on the TV. You can create a book of instructions they can rely on in case they forget. Moreover, it’ll be helpful to increase the font size and make it accessible for your seniors to read and comprehend.

Give Choices

Giving your senior loved one a choice allows them to think more and use their brain for exercise. As you offer them options, try not to overwhelm them. It would be best to limit their choices to two. This can be what they can wear for the day or what kind of drink they prefer. You can incorporate them into their daily routine so they can exercise their brain.

Reduce Distractions

Since you’re forced to stay indoors during the pandemic, all you have is your home to entertain yourself during the day. While this might work well for you, overstimulation might distract your senior loved one and make it difficult for them to focus.

For instance, you can use headphones to listen to music or move to a different room. If you notice that they’re currently engaged in an activity, try to minimize the distractions in their surroundings. It could be turning down the volume of the TV or limiting unnecessary conversations and letting them focus.

Lock Cabinets

Seniors who have dementia can’t keep track of what they shouldn’t do, especially if it looks normal and safe. Thus, locking the cabinets around your home is essential to keep your seniors from accessing dangerous chemicals or items.

You can lock the cabinets with alcohol, medicine, toxic cleaning supplies, flammable materials, a knife, or a gun. Even if it seems too uptight, this step can help guarantee their safety.

Keep A Clean Environment

The pandemic requires everyone to keep a clean environment at all times. You can never know when someone will catch the virus, especially when they step outside. However, you can’t expect your senior to do the same, as they have no idea what the pandemic is all about or might have difficulty understanding it.

For their sake and your own, it’s best always to maintain a clean environment. This includes monthly disinfection and wiping the front door clean with alcohol.

Prioritize Home Safety

Since everyone is encouraged to stay indoors, it would be best if you could prioritize their home safety. This way, you can be at peace knowing they won’t stumble, fall, or slip as you’ve carefully designed your home to prevent accidents from happening.

You can add railings on the walls so they can easily navigate your home. In addition, switching your floors into carpets prevents slips. Adding a sturdy shower chair will keep them safe and comfortable as they bathe.

Takeaway

Helping your seniors who are suffering from dementia during the pandemic can be quite tricky. Since you cannot take them out to exercise their brain, you’ll be forced to make some adjustments at home.

But with so many options, you can ensure that their brains are stimulated as much as possible.  While it might require a few adjustments, allowing them to do things independently can help them significantly.

 

 

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