Watching someone you love age or experience physical or mental deterioration is never something you want to do. However, with age often comes these kinds of challenges. So since you can’t run from them, the best thing you can do is learn how to cope with them and work through them, especially when it comes to things like dementia.
If you’ve started to notice that your loved one is experiencing things like memory loss or confusion, here are three tips for caring for someone with early signs of dementia.
Allow Them As Much Independence As Possible
While your loved one will likely start to need more and more of your help to handle tasks that they could once do with ease, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends that you try to allow them as much independence as possible for as long as possible.
Not only will continuing to view your loved one as capable of doing things and taking care of themselves in certain ways help them find ways to cope with what they’re dealing with, but it can also be a healthy way for the two of you to slowly transition through the way your care for this person will likely change more and more in the future.
Build More Time And Flexibility Into Your Schedule
One of the hardest parts about dealing with the onset of dementia from a caregiving standpoint is that it’s hard to anticipate how your loved one will be feeling on any given day and how that will affect your schedule or routine.
With this in mind, the Mayo Clinic suggests that as you start to notice your loved one having more and more difficulty with things, you try to build more time and flexibility into your schedule and routines. By planning for things to take longer than they did before and allowing yourself the flexibility to cancel certain things or change the way you’ve always done something in the past, you’ll find that both you and your loved one likely have a lot more patience for one another.
Start Looking Toward The Future
While you might be able to handle the care your loved one needs right now, it’s very likely that there will come a time when you can’t do things on your own anymore. So rather than be taken by surprise when this happens, HelpGuide.org shares that it can be wise to start looking toward that future now. To do this, you may want to start scoping out some of the memory care facilities in your area or learning about your insurance options for home health care or other alternatives.
If your loved one has started to show signs of early dementia, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you adjust your care for this person.