Simplify clothing choices by putting out an outfit for the care receiver to wear, or give an option of two outfits. Do not ask open-ended questions like, "What do you want to wear?"—this kind of question can overwhelm someone with dementia.
Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Poor dental hygiene may lead to heart disease, gingivitis, stroke, osteoporosis and respiratory disease. In addition to causing bad breath, it can also affect one's ability to eat, chew and talk. Certain medications can cause "dry mouth." Dry mouth makes it more difficult to eat and swallow, produce saliva, and causes tongue irritation.
People respond to our body posture, facial expression and tone of voice more than our actual words. Your upbeat mood can help keep the person you are dealing with remain calmer.
You need to pay attention to the non verbal clues the person you are caring for is giving you. Understanding his/her feelings may be more important than the content of the conversation. Acknowledge feelings whenever possible.
How to Compensate a Family Member for Providing Care
Many families reach a point when they recognize that an ill or older relative needs help. There are usually warning signs: difficulty with daily activities; memory problems; trouble with banking and finances; multiple falls; problems with driving; forgetting medications. Sometimes an elderly or ill loved one needs more than occasional assistance — they need full-time care.
Do you help to care for a family member or friend who is frail, disabled, has a chronic illness or cognitive impairment? Then it's back to school for you! Our popular Caregiver College for learning and sharing is offered in two ways: as a day-long program, or in a series of 4 classes on consecutive weeks. Class is open to anyone, is FREE, and includes valuable information and hands-on practice on transferring skills, incontinence care and toileting, bathing, hygiene, grooming and dressing, dental care, feeding and nutrition, dealing with behavioral issues, and caregiver self-care.
My husband and I care for my grandma, age 94, with dementia. She moved in with us April 2013. I also go to another lady's home for one hour in the morning to get her showered, dressed and fed and for one hour in the evening for physical therapy and to get her into bed in the evening.