Effectively Help Family Members with Dementia Adjust to Change
It’s no secret that dementia is one of the most devastating conditions facing humankind today. Unfortunately, “There are over 55 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2020. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050” (Alzheimer’sAlzheimer’s Disease International).
These statistics mean that the demand for in-home dementia and memory care is rapidly growing each year! While these facts are staggering, they can give those with family members who have dementia a sense that they are not alone during these challenging times.
Whether your family member has suffered a brain injury that is causing dementia or they have developed Alzheimer’s disease, there are strategies you can adopt to help them adjust to their new life. Most likely, if you have a family member in any stage of dementia, you have probably been considering the option of onboarding the help of a care company.
Helping someone who is suffering from dementia adjust to change can be difficult. With memory loss and confusion being prominent in their lives, change can be both frightening and frustrating for them. While most of us can reasonably understand why these changes are a necessity, someone who is experiencing dementia may be disoriented by any adjustments to their schedule and environment.
We’ve done the research, so you don’t have to! Here are the top ways you can help your family member with dementia adjust to change:
Choose In-Home Care
It has been proven that keeping dementia patients within their comfortable living space has better long-term effects on their health and happiness. In fact, it has been concluded that dementia patients who are able to receive care in-home tend to live longer!
Think about it. If you were suffering from memory loss and confusion, would you be more likely to function normally if you were living at home or if you were sent to live in a strange facility? Most likely, you would be more comfortable and at ease within your own personal home.
The benefits dementia patients experience when they are given in-home care:
- Physical reminders from their surroundings,
- Ability to build strong trust with caregivers,
- Less likely to become confused and manic,
- More likely to maintain a content demeanor,
- A more fulfilled and comfortable lifestyle,
Green Pastures Home Care is a leading in-home care facility for the Charlotte, North Carolina area. They hire only the most compassionate caregivers who strive for greatness in every task they perform for their clients.
Keep Their Space Consistent
To further help your family member adjust to change, you can ensure their living space stays consistent. Now is not the time to arrange rooms, replace furniture, and redecorate! Even if they see you making these changes, it is likely they will later forget and become confused by the unnecessary alterations to their home.
If changes to their environment must be made, try to make those adjustments in slow increments rather than all at once. The goal is to allow your family member suffering from dementia to stay grounded and feel safe in their living environment. Too many changes at once can lead to confusion and a disoriented reality.
Remain Positive and Upbeat
Although it may seem overly simple, there is a lot of power to remaining positive and upbeat! Understandably, individuals suffering from dementia often feel anxious and depressed by their deteriorating memory and mental state. Being the bright and unwavering guiding light in their lives can help them remain in good spirits.
In a study written about on Scientific American, it was ” [found] that people imitate not only the particulars of positive actions but also the spirit underlying them. This implies is that kindness itself is contagious and that it can cascade across people, taking on new forms along the way.” Therefore, even in times of distress, maintaining positive actions and words will work wonders in helping your loved one adjust to change.
Communicate Clearly and Often
Life happens, and we often fall into a routine of rushing about to meet deadlines and complete our tasks for the day. As such, it is common for family caregivers to fall into the habit of treating their loved ones with less dignity than they deserve. Although they may be suffering from memory loss and confusion, dementia patients still deserve to retain as much independence as possible.
In addition, they can and will pick up on when they are being rushed or when their independence is being taken away. To prevent your loved one from developing a negative perception of being taken care of, be mindful of communicating clearly and often when changes are being made, or plans are pivoting. This will lead you to more positive and peaceful outcomes!
For more information about helping family members with dementia, we invite you to Contact our Green Pastures Home Care team any time. We offer full dementia in-home care services backed by field experts and a positive local reputation!