Caring for dementia patients at home
Here at Guardian Angel Carers, we know that the best home care services balance safety concerns and comfort with dignity, compassion, and understanding. When caring for people with dementia at home, this balance is particularly important.
The processes involved in caring for dementia patients at home go best when the carer’s relationship with the person with dementia is a positive one that is based on trust. For example, when a person with dementia refuses care, it is useful to try to understand the resistance to care as a sign of confusion or as a request to build the relationship to ensure a feeling of greater safety.
Here are some more insights into caring for dementia patients at home.
Compassionate cooperation is key
When caring for dementia patients at home, every caring gesture presented in a spirit of compassionate cooperation has a better chance of success than gestures presented in an authoritative manner. A sense of control is important for dementia patients, as dementia can cause confusion and a feeling of overwhelm. As well, dementia can lead some patients to misinterpret situations or to experience strong emotions, and in these moments, carers who demonstrate patience and empathy can do wonders.
A person’s sense of Identity and autonomy is linked with routines
Every individual has a sense of routine that has formed over any number of years. Investing time to get to know a person’s preferences and routines, both daily and nightly, can lead to an increased sense of mutual respect and independence. Sometimes, a person with dementia may refuse care at a certain point in time because it is not the time at which the person is accustomed to completing that particular task. Learning about personal preferences and routines can go a long way in building a trusting relationship.
Relationships built on trust are a must
When caring for dementia patients at home, the refusal of personal care, food and/or medication can be an upsetting experience for everyone involved. Dementia can cloud a person’s thinking, which can lead to suspicious thoughts and fears. In these situations, clear language that the person with dementia understands, delivered by someone the person trusts, can often help.
In other situations, other explanations for the refusal of personal care, food or medicine may warrant more thorough and sensitive investigation. Sometimes, a person may have a hard time swallowing or be experiencing mouth pain, or pain elsewhere in the body. The visual appearance of the food and the vessel in which it is presented may cause confusion. Unpleasant but unacknowledged medication side effects may also impact the experience of care. No matter the reason behind the refusal, forcing care upon another person is never an option. Building trust, however, and seeking ways to connect better with the dementia patient is always an option.
If you need any support caring for dementia patients at home, please feel you can contact Guardian Angel Carers for friendly, knowledgeable advice as well as information about the visiting, overnight, and live in home care services we provide. A member of our friendly staff is standing by to offer you and your loved one’s support, compassionate care, and the peace of mind that our unique brand of care has been delivering for over ten years.