When you care for your loved one who has dementia, you offer something unique: an unmatched level of support. The AARP tells us that approximately 40 million family caregivers provide nearly $470 billion each year in unpaid care to their adult relatives. This sizeable number shows how vast the caregiver community is and how far it reaches. Sadly, someone struggling with dementia may struggle with everyday tasks, temperament and communication. Because dementia is progressive, you may need to increase the amount of time you spend assisting them. While challenging at times, this caregiving gives you an opportunity to nurture your relationship with your parent and be that trusting support they need.
5 Tips for Caring for Someone with Dementia
Creating a meaningful connection while caring for someone with dementia is of vital importance. When you develop a strong bond, it can help to grow your relationship with your parent and even lessen some of the symptoms of dementia. Below are a few ways you can build a connection with your parent through caregiving.
1. Enjoy a Hobby or Activity Together.
Enjoying a hobby or activity together is a great way to strengthen your bond with a loved one. This can be something as simple as knitting or crocheting together, playing a game of checkers or participating in a group or club. Whatever you choose to do together, be sure it’s something you’ll both look forward to.
2. Adapt to Your Loved One’s Level of Communication.
As their disease progresses, your parent’s level of communication may decline. They might have difficulty forming the ideas they want to convey on their side of the conversation. This struggle can frustrate them, leading to social withdrawal. Remember to have patience with them and adapt your communication, as needed, so your loved one continues to feel like they can socialize effectively.
3. Work on Non-Verbal Communication
As the verbal communication between you and your parent declines, you may need to rely on more non-verbal cues to converse with them. When you understand the ways dementia affects their ability to interact with other people, you make a significant step towards fostering a meaningful relationship with them. Simple displays, like placing a hand on their shoulder or arm or offering a warm embrace, are positive, non-verbal cues that can have significant meaning for your loved one.
4. Reflect on Past Memories and Create New Ones.
Dementia will slowly take away one’s ability to remember moments in their lives that they treasured. Reminiscing with them about past events they are fond of through photos or stories is a wonderful way to enhance your bond. Of course, you don’t only want to only focus on things from the past — your parent is still living their life! Make time to create new memories through the time you spend together and strengthen your relationship.
5. Make Time for Yourself.
It may not seem like it, but making a point to take time for yourself can impact your relationship with your parent in a deep and meaningful way. By taking time for self-care and doing the things you enjoy, you can be the best version of yourself when you’re with them, thereby improving the bond between the two of you.
Experience Caring and Dignified Dementia Support at Garden Plaza of Florissant
At Garden Plaza, our specialized memory care services mean you can keep building upon the relationship you have with your loved one without the stress of being a full-time caregiver. Memory care in our vibrant community means seniors with dementia can live life with dignity while still receiving the care they need. They’ll enjoy an environment that’s both secure and home-like, care plans that are individualized for the highest level of care and assistance with daily tasks. Our team is specially trained in dementia care, so you can have peace of mind that your parent will always be well cared for.
Contact our team today to learn more about how you can build your relationship with your loved one with the help of Garden Plaza of Florissant.