My grandfather has dementia and is finding it hard to live by himself, particularly since my grandmother has passed away. It looks like she had been doing a lot of the care for him in the house, and since she's passed away, the house is getting messier and less safe. We want to know that he is safe and being looked after all the time, so we are placing him in a nursing home. I think the process can be quite hard for families, but seeing your grandparents happy and healthy in the right environment is a good feeling. This blog is about choosing a nursing home.
Managing confusion and anxiety in elderly people who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's disease is a common problem for those who provide homecare services. Helping sufferers to cope with these troubling side-effects can be challenging, but is essential if vulnerable people are to be able to continue living at home, rather than moving into residential care.
Here are some useful tips on how to help dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers to cope with confusion and anxiety.
A flexible attitude
Even though you may have a routine that you have to work to, and you may have multiple calls to make each day, you must learn to factor in a degree of flexibility when dealing with dementia and Alzheimer's sufferers.
Their ability to cope with the simplest of tasks will gradually decline and could even begin to fluctuate by the hour, causing further distress and confusion. Being able to offer some flexibility with carrying out tasks will help to reduce your charge's anxiety and agitation.
Managing time and scheduling
One thing that's almost guaranteed to upset and cause stress to a dementia or Alzheimer's sufferer is an unpredictable day. People with these conditions are better able to cope if they have a set routine for things such as meals and your daily care visits.
As the disease progresses, more complicated tasks such as taking a bath or going out to the shops can take longer. Make sure that you allow extra time for tasks like these and pick a time of the day when your charge is likely to be at their most settled and calm.
It can be helpful to remove distractions, such as turning off the TV or radio, whilst carrying out more complicated tasks like dressing; the fewer distractions there are the easier it will be for the person to focus on the task in hand.
Dignity and involvement
It can be very stressful for Alzheimer's sufferers if they begin to feel that they are no longer involved in making decisions and are losing their independence and personal dignity. For example, when it comes to showering or bathing, always encourage the person to undress themselves as much as they can, and perhaps leave them in privacy to do so, only interjecting if they ask for help.
Instructions and guidance
If you need to give instructions to someone with dementia or Alzheimer's disease to enable them to carry out a task, break these down into simple, individual steps. If you fire off a whole list of instructions, the person may become confused and stressed because they can't process all the information you've given them quickly enough.
When faced with a wardrobe full of clothes, someone with dementia or Alzheimer's may just stand staring in confusion, unable to decide which outfit to wear. This can be extremely distressing and upsetting for the person concerned. You can help here by laying out a nice outfit on the bed in the order in which the items should be put on. This takes away the issue of confusing choice and also allows the person to dress themselves without you having to give continual instructions.
Anxiety and stress can be managed by home caregivers through employing a few simple techniques, such as those described above. For more information, contact companies like Bromilow Home Support Services Pty Ltd.