A lot of countries around the world have an aging population and, because of this, the number of people suffering from dementia is increasing. Most of the people living with dementia are taken care of by loved ones or caregivers in some cases. For family and friends who do not have any specialized training in taking care of people living with dementia, this can be very difficult. Below, we are going to look at some of the things family members and friends need to know about caring for someone with dementia so they can know what to expect.
Symptoms Will Get Progressively Worse
One of the saddest facts about dementia is that it is a progressive, degenerative disease. In the early stages, most people with dementia can keep living their lives. But, as the disease progresses, their personality, ability to communicate, and ability to care for themselves are affected. This is the stage at which caregivers come in.
The carer has to adjust to the level of progression to know how to provide the best type and level of care as the disease progresses. The progression of dementia remains one of the most challenging aspects of taking care of a loved one with dementia.
Carers Need Help Too
Caring for someone with dementia is very difficult. This is especially true for carers taking care of loved ones, who start to feel like their loved one is slipping away and being replaced by someone else. Also, as dementia progresses, carers find that they need to offer more help and support which leads to them not having enough time for their personal lives as their lives start revolving around their loved one.
Carers who experience the progression of dementia first-hand start battling sadness and feelings of guilt over their inability to do anything to help their loved one. At this point, their level of care might start falling and they and their loved one will be affected by it.
Carers who find they can no longer offer the support and care their loved one needs should consider a different arrangement such as finding a memory care facility for their loved one. Memory care facilities offer loved ones living with dementia the care and support they need, helping them live their lives to the fullest and freeing carers to live their lives without the effort required to take care of their loved one. In many cases, loved ones find that memory care facilities offer better support and care than they ever would as their loved one ends up in the hands of professionals and specialists.
Small Changes Make a Huge Difference
People with dementia will often act agitated or aggressively and most carers do not understand why. In those moments, something in their environment is likely causing the agitation. Reframing or changing some aspect of their environment or changing the environment altogether is usually the best way to reduce anxiety and the agitation and aggressiveness that comes with it.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is harder than a lot of people realize, especially those taking care of their loved ones for the first time. It takes a lot of understanding, getting ready for when things change, and knowing when your loved one requires a lot more care and support than you can offer.