When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, help them be safe, active, and comfortable.
- Step 1: Find emotional support for yourself, as your own life needs become secondary and routines radically change.
- TIP: If you are caring for someone you are not close to, and it strains your ability to be empathetic, forgive yourself.
- Step 2: Place the person in a facility when they require constant care and attention. Know that you are still caring for them the best way you can.
- FACT: Did you know? By far the largest category of cognitive dementia in America, Alzheimer’s victims are estimated at up to four million.
- Step 3: Laugh often, and don’t worry about whether the person understands your humor. The important thing is bringing joy for a moment.
- Step 4: Find activities, such as art, gardening, or walking, that are geared toward safety and are easy to accomplish. Simplify tasks such as dressing, eating, and washing.
- Step 5: Establish routines, even for using the toilet. Maintain any social contact you can for the sufferer. Schedule home visits and remind them of who is coming rather than disturb or confuse them.
- Step 6: Speak slowly and clearly, face to face, once you have their attention. Show love with hugs but don’t jerk or move too quickly, which may scare them.
- TIP: Be near the person, which can make them feel secure, even if you're not speaking.
- Step 7: Remove slippery rugs and install safety strips in the tub. Remove knobs on the stove and install child safety locks on cabinets for medicines or cleaners. Check or install fire alarms.
- Step 8: Accept behavioral problems with a positive, even temperament instead of taking things personally. Don’t argue. Be patient if they repeatedly ask the same questions.