Q:

How do you care for an elderly person with dementia?

A:

Quick Answer

Caring for an elderly person with dementia involves implementing a set of strategies, which include improving communication, working with troubling behavior and wandering, improving nutrition and hygiene and controlling incontinence. Communication is an important part of dementia care and begins with setting a positive mood with an elderly individual.

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Full Answer

Other strategies include avoiding distractions during communication because it is often difficult to receive attention from people with dementia. It is also important to articulate words and speak in simple and clear sentences. When a message is not understood, wait a few minutes and reformulate the sentence in order to help the individual with dementia understand what is being communicated.

Troubling behavior, such as sleeping on the floor, is a common part of dementia. In most cases it is better to accommodate unusual behavior and not fight it. The caregiver can place a mattress and blankets on the floor because it is easier to change the behavior of the caregiver than that of the dementia patient.

Some dementia patients walk and wander aimlessly because of boredom, the side effects of medication or because they are looking for someone or something. This often poses a challenge and strategies such as regular exercise, installing locking door knobs and barriers, child-safe doorknob covers, and a security system are helpful tools that can help avoid dangerous situations.

Strategies that help with incontinence involve establishing a bathroom routine, using signs that indicate the location of a bathroom, supplying a commode in areas where the individual is a present, and using clothes that are easy to remove. Nutrition also requires routines and scheduling small meals five to six times per day is better than providing three daily larger meals.

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