5 Ways Dementia Caregivers Can Defeat Exhaustion

Many of us saw our parents as superheroes during our childhoods. They were there when we needed them. They kissed away our cuts and scrapes, destroyed scary shadows, and fought the boogie man. We never imagined anything could defeat them. Then we grew up, and our parents got older. Now, it’s time for us to be the superheroes. The enemy, however, is strong. Dementia is a terrible test of our resilience, and exhaustion is a very real challenge. In this article, we discuss 5 ways to give dementia caregivers a helping hand.

senior woman, 62 years old, dressed as superhero - caregiver concept

We Put on the Superhero Cape

We caregivers have our own lives to live. Our homes need cleaning, our spouses and children need our attention, and our careers have their own demands. Despite our resolve, we still get tired at the end of the day.

Super Tips to Try

At David York Agency, we understand your concerns. Below, we share some of our favorite tips for dementia caregivers.

  • Get plenty of rest. If you’re not rested, then you won’t have the energy to handle all the demands of caregiving. It’s equally important for you to recognize the specific signs of burnout. When you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or fatigued, ask for help. Take a day off and relax. Spend time with a friend or participate in your favorite hobby to unwind.
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Dollar Menu cheeseburgers and French fries may be tempting when you’re rushed or tired, but these foods often leave you feeling sluggish. In the long run, your health will suffer.
  • Have fun with your loved oneLaugh! Make the day enjoyable for your loved one as well as yourself. For example, if your senior loves to bake, make favorite recipes together. Keep the conversation light while you work.
  • Help them to develop a pleasant routine. Everyone has preferences. Learn when your senior likes to perform daily activities and make the necessary accommodations. Stick to the routine as much as possible, and make allowances for difficult days.
  • Set alarms on their cell phone. Many seniors don’t like relying on someone else to tell them what to do and when to do it. So, be sure to put descriptive labels on each alarm. If you or your senior need help with technology, David York Agency has qualified staff who can help.

The best caregivers are always learning. Try the wonderful resources at the Alzheimer’s Association website. Also, be sure to talk to your doctor for information specific to your situation.

Superheroes Need Some Sidekicks!

Dementia caregivers need not fight alone, for David York Agency is here to help. Our qualified staff of professional RN’s, LPN’s, and Personal Care Aides (PCA) are ready to provide assistance.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 877.216.7676. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

For more helpful tips and information, contact us today.

Simple Tips for Healthy Dementia Care

Healthy Dementia Care Strategies

Dementia is a difficult condition to live with, but it also affects caregivers. Caring for patients with dementia leaves many caregivers overwhelmed and exhausted. Hard to understand and often invisible to the eye, dementia makes it hard to determine whether care is effective. But, if you practice healthy dementia care, you can reduce or overcome the intrinsic challenges and provide necessary care to the patient.

Senior woman with her home caregiver. Healthy Dementia Care concept

Use Smart Communication

Communicating with dementia patients requires simple, straightforward methods. Use easy-to-understand words and suggestions, and don’t overload your loved one with a string of questions or commands. Give them time to process your words so they don’t become overwhelmed or agitated. Simple yes or no questions or one-step directions are far more helpful than complex queries or multiple-step demands.

 

Play Music

Music has a profound effect on many people with dementia, particularly if that music is familiar. Music can soothe agitation, improve mood, and reduce stress. Even people with advanced Alzheimer’s have responded to music therapy when nothing else has worked, indicating that musical memories outlast other kinds of memories.

 

Practice Self-Care

Although people with dementia are not deliberately trying to test your patience, they often end up doing so. Caring for a person with dementia requires patience, compassion, and energy. Therefore, those who care for people with dementia must take the time and effort to preserve their own health.

It’s easy to let regular exercise and proper nutrition slide, but maintaining these habits is vital. The healthier the caregiver, the healthier the patient. People with dementia need a reliable, healthy person to depend on, so don’t forget to take care of yourself.

 

Understand Aggression

Dementia can often drive sufferers to respond aggressively. Unfortunately, this aggression is often directed at those who are trying to help. In these moments, it’s important not to take the person’s anger personally. Remember, though you can’t see it, the patient is in pain. Aggression is often a result of physical discomfort, confusion, poor communication, time of day, and environmental factors.

Never respond in kind and do not ignore the aggressive behavior. Instead, try to determine the cause of the aggression. Is the person in physical discomfort? Does the aggression always happen at a certain time of day or within a certain environment? If so, is there a way to relieve pain and discomfort, alter the environment, or plan ahead by scheduling naps or eating patterns to reduce sundowning?

 

Get Help from Professional Caregivers

Caring for a person with dementia is challenging, but it does not need to be overwhelming. Keeping a few of the above tips in mind can help you face the task with confidence and help you provide the support, and the quality care your loved one needs. If you find you still have questions or would prefer to work with a professional caregiver, David York Agency is here to help.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. We aim to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.