If you are the caregiver of an elderly parent who is in the beginning stages of dementia, you may be seeking out ways to help your parent stay independent for as long as he can.
Since dementia mainly affects short-term memory, helping your parent build routine into his daily life will help him transition better as well as keep a sense of the time of day, as well as the day of the week. These consistencies will provide him the comfort and security he needs to enjoy his days and reduce his anxiety. As his caregiver, it’ll also help you to know what to do when and to plan around your parent’s day with a little more structure.
1. Keep any routines already established in place. Now is not a good time to start introducing a lot of new routines if you can help it. If your parent has always read the newspaper with a cup of coffee each morning, keep that going by providing his daily paper and coffee. Those types of consistent routines will help his mind adjust to a new day beginning. If you have specific days of the week for tasks or visits from his senior care provider, do your best to keep those the same as well.
2. Make them a part of the routine. If your parent can participate in a routine, it will provide him a source of significance for each day. On laundry day, if he can no longer fold the clothes well but can match up the socks, make that his task each laundry day.
3. Incorporate mundane tasks into the daily routines. Something as simple as getting the mail can become a focal point for your parent to find sense and purpose in his day. Even though it might be easier for you to grab the mail as you enter his home if it’s a routine that gives him purpose, save that mundane task for him each day.
4.Add an exercise routine. Physical activity will benefit your parent both mentally and physically. If you can’t always be there to accompany him on his after breakfast walk around the block, have your senior care provider help on the days you aren’t able, or ask someone else to join him. It’s important to both keep him active, but also keep him safe as he is active.
5. Have activities that establish a sense of time. Helping your parent be aware of what time of day it is will give them a more solid grip on reality. If your parent always watches the local news before bed, that routine can remind him that it’s evening and help him transition to bed each night.
6. Be flexible. As capabilities diminish, some routines may need to be altered. For example, in the beginning, he might have been able to walk around the block safely, but over time, it might become clear that he needs an escort. Keep the routine but alter the way it is done to stay in line with what he can do.
Living with dementia can possess many difficulties but it can also be a great time to connect with your parent in ways you never knew you would. By taking efforts to control the areas that you can, you’ll be better prepared for the unexpected.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Media PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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