How Do You Care for a Person With Dementia?

How Do You Care for a Person With Dementia?

How Do You Care for a Person With Dementia?

During the early stages of dementia, or Alzheimer's disease, care partners are treated as important sources of companionship and support, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Patients with early-stage Alzheimer's can require assistance with short-term memory issues, such as remembering names, meeting obligations, managing finances, recalling familiar people and doing daily routines. Care partners also provide emotional support by encouraging the patient to share his feelings or join a support group.

Caring for a patient with dementia requires good communication skills, explains the Family Caregiver Alliance. Showing a positive attitude and open body language helps to set a positive mood and improves the quality of a caregiver's relationship with a patient. To get the patient's attention, limiting outside noise and distractions is important. By breaking down tasks and activities into smaller, achievable steps, caregivers can make routines more manageable for patients. Communication is also easier when caregivers use clear sentences and ask one simple question at a time.

As a patient experiences moderate dementia, caregivers need to make several home modifications, such as adding safety latches and locks, placing a commode in the bedroom and removing throw rugs and other furniture that patients can trip on, according to WebMD. Palliative care is important during this stage, and this involves focusing on a patient's comfort and resolving issues that cause emotional or physical pain.