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Maintaining the Dignity of an Elderly Person with Dementia

Caring for a senior with dementia may feel like you are caring for a minor. However, it is important to make sure you treat your loved one with dignity. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional home care in Georgetown, SC, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Here are some of the ways family caregivers can help senior loved ones with dementia maintain their dignity.

1. Listen Carefully

Listening to what your loved one has to say prevents confusion and helps you determine what he or she needs at any given moment. Allow yourself to go into your loved one’s world and start watching and listening to him or her with empathy. By listening, you can provide the care he or she needs at any given time, even if you do not truly understand why he or she wants it. As long as it does not compromise his or her health, this is a great way to preserve your loved one’s dignity.

2. Assign Chores

If your loved one has dementia, his or her ability to comprehend and interact may change on a daily basis. However, there are still some things your loved one can do. Allow your loved one to independently do as many activities as possible, including light chores, bathing, and feeding. Step in only when needed. Letting your loved one do as many of his or her own chores as possible could slow down the progression of the disease.

Some seniors with dementia may not be able to handle daily chores because of limited mobility or cognitive decline and may require a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Georgetown, SC, 24-hour care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

3. Build Self-Confidence

You can build your loved one’s self-worth by creating a stable and warm environment. When he or she has done a good job with a task, compliment him or her on a job well done. Make sure you set tasks for your loved one that are easy to accomplish because it will impart a sense of purpose and build his or her self-confidence. Do not expect too much from your loved one, and always remain patient. Answer all of his or her questions, regardless of how many times you have to repeat your answers. This is a sign of respect. Being patient, kind, and complimentary can increase your loved one’s self-esteem.

4. Avoid Condescending Language

Do not use a parental tone with your loved one. This can come across as condescending. Your loved one can feel disrespected if you talk to him or her like you would to a child. Watch your tone and word choices. Always speak to your loved one as an equal. Use words that are easy to comprehend, but do not use words that are considered juvenile. For example, refer to a diaper as an undergarment, and to a bib as an apron.

5. Prepare Others

Before taking your loved one to a friend’s home or out to eat, try to prepare other people for his or her special needs. For example, carry a customized card that details how the server should speak to your loved one, or let the server know if you will be ordering for your loved one. When people come to the home, or if you take your loved one to visit others, call ahead and let them know if he or she requires special seating or additional lighting. This allows your loved one to be more relaxed when going out, and it lowers the chances of experiencing embarrassing issues.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you may want to hire a trained caregiver. In Georgetown, SC, dementia care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses. Contact us at (843) 353-3105 to learn more about our services and set up a free consultation.