Sadly, many people start to develop dementia to some extent as they age. While some people might have memory issues that progress into things like Alzheimer’s, others might just have problems remembering certain things as part of the aging process. Whatever their dementia turns into, it’s good to know how you can continue to care for and support your loved one at the beginning of these changes.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for supporting a loved one starting to develop dementia.
Make Their Safety A Priority
Once you begin to notice that your elderly loved one is having problems with their memory, you should take measures to ensure that they are able to remain safe in their environment. If this means moving into an assisted living facility to get the care that they need, start getting things ready for this transition as soon as possible. But if they’re able to stay in their home, you might want to help them make some safety changes.
If there are tasks that are dangerous for your loved one to continue doing on their own, try to find ways to make these tasks safer. Additionally, you may want to install some safety features in their home, like grab bars and extra lights, to help them stay safe now and into the future.
Try To Stick To A Routine
When seniors begin to have a hard time remembering things, what can be incredibly helpful to them is to have certain routines that they stick to for things in their daily life.
To best start this new routine process, try to make simple modifications and changes to the routines that they already have in place. If you can make their day into something that is familiar to them and in which they always know what is coming next, you can help them keep their emotions in check and feel safe in their own world.
Listen To Their Opinions
If your elderly loved one realizes that they are having memory problems, it can be very hard for them to cope with this knowledge. They might be defensive about any help that you want to give them and support that you show. So to help keep your relationship intact, you should take their opinions and suggestions into account as often as you can. Give them choices about things and allow them to make whatever decision they want. This can help them to feel like they still have some control over their lives and are still respected by their loved ones.
If you have a loved one that’s starting to show signs of the beginning of dementia, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how you can best support them.