Once you have to take care of a person with dementia, you have to learn about how to take care of them. This article helps you know how to deal with certain behaviors associated with dementia patients. Regardless of whether you are a caregiver or a family member, caring for a patient who has dementia is not a walk in the park. Consequently, becomes necessary. That’s because of several reasons. One of them is the nature of the disease.
Dementia and the likes, another similar condition known as Alzheimer’s disease, affect the brain. Victims hardly remember anything. Thinking as expected, communicating, and taking care of themselves becomes hard. Mood swings become the order of the day, and behavior, as well as the personality of the individual, can make an about-turn. Since they need someone to take care of them, mandatory training for nurses online comes in handy.
This article can help you be well-equipped in caring for a patient with dementia. Check it out.
Tips on How to Communicate with a Dementia Patient
Here are some of the best ways of communication with someone suffering from dementia:
The Mood Should be Positive and Pleasant
Never underestimate the fact that body language and attitude can help tell a person about what you are thinking and your emotions. For that reason, the mood should always be positive when communicating with a person with dementia. Always be respectful and pleasant when talking. Let your tone of voice and facial expressions show the same. Physical touch can also help.
Avoid Noise and Distractions
With the likes of noise from outside, TV or radio, it will be hard to grab the attention of the patient. However, maintaining eye contact, getting down to their level, using nonverbal cues, closing curtains, shutting the door, and residing in quiet areas can change that. Whatever it takes, make sure that you get his or her attention before speaking to the patient for excellent communication.
The simplicity of words and sentences is key. In addition, the message should be relayed slowly and if need be to repeat it over and over with the same wording. Never raise your voice. You can also achieve that by breaking a long message down. For instance, ensure that an activity is split into various steps.
Use cues and visual prompts when asking questions. Only ask one question at a time. Preferably, let them have ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers where possible. Answers should also not be from a few minutes or hours ago.
Listen Attentively and Respond Affectionately
Listen without becoming impatient and suggest words if they are really struggling to construct a sentence or response. Be observant because they can also use body language and nonverbal cues to communicate. When it is time to respond, do it appropriately. Equally important, don’t show them that they are wrong. Instead, let the responses show reassurance, support, and comfort.
As long as you are not making fun of them, people with dementia will always appreciate the humor.
How to Handle a Troubling Behavior
Dementia causes people to change their behavior and personality and definitely not for the better. That comes with consequences and challenges. Since we cannot change that person, a caregiver has to learn how to go about it. First and foremost, consult the doctor. Keep in mind that it could be a way of communicating. Therefore, always strive to identify what triggered the behavior or what the patient intends to bring across with that. Last but not least, get all the help that you may need.
How to Deal with Wandering?
Before looking into that, you should understand the reasons that trigger the behavior. First, the patient could be looking for someone or something. Secondly, they could be bored. Last but not least, it could be one of the side effects of the medication. Below are ways of avoiding that or rather dealing with it.
How to Handle Incontinence?
With no control over bowel and bladder, one can expect the patient to pee on themselves. Nevertheless, that can be avoided by establishing a toilet routine, managing fluid intake, making washroom well marking, and using diapers can save them the embarrassment.
- Stubbornness and rebellion
- Talking vulgar, threatening and arguing
- Doing weird things such as undressing in public
Those are challenges that affect persons with dementia and how to go about them. Besides learning how to deal with dementia patients, you must also learn how to give basic life support and manual handling of the patient. Ensure the training center you choose can offer a wide range of courses and are compliant with the latest regulations and laws in the healthcare industry.