Dementia is an umbrella term for disorders in the brain that cause memory loss, personality change, and impaired intellectual functions. Compared to normal memory loss from old age, dementia will have a profound effect on a person’s relationships and other elements of their day-to-day life.
Dementia comes on slowly, but at some point, the person affected is likely to need some level of care. Some of the most common signs of dementia like memory loss, impaired judgement, confusion and faulty reasoning can cause difficulties and dangers in that person’s life, meaning that they need someone to keep an eye on them.
If you’re faced with the task of caring for someone with dementia, then you may be feeling a little daunted. Like anything in life, the more you do something, the more natural it will come- and it always helps to be as prepared as possible beforehand.
Here are some tips for caring for someone with dementia:
Find available support
Caring for someone with dementia can be an emotional experience, and it’s easy to overlook your own feelings when you’re focused on being responsible for someone else. It’s completely normal to feel guilty, sad, angry, confused or any other emotion- but you don’t have to sit with these feelings by yourself.
While you might not be able to talk to the person you’re caring for about how you’re feeling, there are many different support groups online where you can talk to other carers who are going through the same thing as you.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed with the task of caring for your loved one, then you should never feel guilty about asking for help. Most people find that bringing in an at home carer helps to put their mind at ease. You should consider a home care service like this specialist, who will care for your loved one from the comfort of their own home. Abney & Baker will be happy to provide an experienced carer who will help to make both you and your loved one’s life much easier, removing a huge weight from your shoulders.
It’s a difficult conversation to have, but making future plans while the person still has the mental capacity to do so helps to make you feel more relaxed about the future. A person with dementia may be okay with managing their finances when it comes to direct debits, but if it starts to get too much for them, then it may be worth you taking over.
If it’s possible, then set up a third-party mandate to give you permission to manage your loved one’s bank account. Usually, if you contact banks and explain that you’re caring for someone with dementia, then they will be happy to help.
Finding out that your loved one is losing their memory is a hard pill to swallow, but it helps to be realistic about the disease. Do your research so that you’re aware of the facts, and try not to feel downcast if the person you’re caring for has a bad day. Dementia comes with good and bad days, and once you’ve accepted that, things can be a whole lot easier to cope with.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post