Caring for someone who is suffering from dementia can be incredibly challenging. If a family member is experiencing memory loss, constant confusion, and mood swings, you want to make sure your home environment is as welcoming and comfortable as possible. If you aren’t home regularly, you may need to look into hiring caregivers to be in the home when you cannot, which means introducing new faces to your household. Take a look at how you can provide the right kind of care to enable those with this debilitating condition to live an active and fulfilling life.
Prepare the right kind of food and drink
Providing healthy meals in the most accessible way possible is key to fostering excellent physical condition in dementia sufferers. Consider serving dishes that provoke positive memories, such as roast chicken and potatoes during Sunday family gatherings or turkey and dressing during holidays. This can encourage your family member to get into the habit of a routine and increase their appetite.
Pick foods with textures that best suit their preferences. If you’re caring for someone suffering from late-stage dementia, they may be experiencing dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing. You can cook with softer ingredients or purée their meals altogether. There are also powders that can be mixed into liquids to make swallowing easier.
Make sure that safe kitchen items that are used on a regular basis (such as towels or kitchen rolls) are accessible. Sometimes, you’ll need to use cutlery that is a different color from the meals you’re serving or even the tablecloth on which you’re serving them to prevent any complications during mealtime. Dementia patients can be picky, so experiment with different tastes, smells, and stimulants when it’s time for a meal.
Engage in activities that stimulate memory
Organizing regular activities can be an effective way to promote memory retention and encourage sufferers to connect with past hobbies and interests. You can help them put together a scrapbook or memory box, which will allow them to reflect on poignant experiences and cherished moments. If you’re taking them out of the home, visit their favorite restaurant or park.
It’s important to take advantage of the technology available to dementia patients today. If it’s accessible to you, you can purchase a virtual reality kit and transport your family member to familiar locations. This can encourage them to talk about past experiences and trips across the globe. A simpler online activity is researching your family tree. You can engage their cognitive capacities or merely remember heartfelt moments shared with parents, cousins, or aunts and uncles.
Visiting a memory cafe
Dementia carers are undoubtedly dedicated to their patients and can become emotionally invested over time. Like any other medical professional, carers deserve a moment to relax, which is where memory cafes come into play. These are safe and comfortable environments where patients and caregivers can come together to socialize.
Memory cafes also aim to provide caregivers the emotional support they need, whether that be through music, food, film, literature, or any particular activity. What we tend to overlook is how caregivers become emotionally affected by the experiences they go through with their patients. Thus, daily life should be just as fulfilling to them as it is to the patients.
When caring for a dementia patient it can be difficult and time-consuming to come up with a routine of your own. That may mean having to outsource a dementia advisor who can provide your family member with the care they need. If you’re living in Houston or Dallas, give us at Complete Dementia Solutions a call. We provide you with no charge consultations on dementia services and memory care living services that are personalized for your family’s needs! Let us help you today.