Best Ways to Manage Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors of Concern

caregiver comforting senior womanAwkwardness. Discomfort. Disbelief. Shame. Each one of these feelings can cycle through a family caregiver’s heart when someone you care about with Alzheimer’s disease showcases disinhibited behaviors, for example:

  • Rude or tactless comments
  • Inappropriate sexual advances or remarks
  • Removal of clothing at improper times
  • And other socially unacceptable actions

The complicated changes that occur to the brain in Alzheimer’s can cause a complete turnaround in an older adult’s personality and behaviors, for example, a formerly genteel grandma suddenly swearing like a sailor. For somebody who is disoriented, uncomfortable, confused, or has essentially forgotten social graces and skills, these behaviors are actually quite common, consequently it’s crucial to know how to best manage them if and when they develop in someone you love.

Responsive Home Care’s Alzheimer’s care specialists recommend trying the following tactics:

  • See if there’s a solvable problem creating the behaviors, such as a physical illness, medication side effects, the need to utilize the rest room, environment-induced anxiety, etc.
  • Remind yourself that the dementia is to blame, and respond patiently and gently, without overreacting or lashing out in anger.
  • Help the senior loved one remain involved in appropriate activities in accordance with his / her particular interests. If the person becomes agitated with a specific activity, switch to something else, or move to a new room in the house or outside when possible.
  • Pay attention to clothing choices if removing clothes at inappropriate times is an issue. If the older adult has been wearing pants without zippers for comfort and ease, you might want to change to something a bit more challenging to remove when out in public, for example.
  • Be certain that each of the individual’s physical needs are met to circumvent problematic behaviors. Maintain a comfy temperature in the house, keep plenty of healthy snacks and drinks handy, and recommend regular physical exercise and movement.
  • Offer proper physical contact often such as hugs, holding the person’s hand, or rubbing his/her back, when welcomed by the senior, communicating reassurance to relieve anxiety.

It is also beneficial to ensure you’ve got enough time for scheduled breaks to tend to your personal self-care needs and ease the stress that is frequently inherent in taking care of a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Responsive Home Care’s caregivers are thoroughly trained and experienced in effective, compassionate dementia care, and are here for you with as much or as little respite care as necessary. Call us at 954-486-6440 for additional helpful resources as well as to schedule a free of charge in-home consultation for more information about how we can help.

Caregiver Tips for Dementia: False Accusations

caregiver consoling senior womanIt can come seemingly out of thin air: you place your loved one’s favorite tuna sandwich on the table – light on the mayo, no onions – something which typically brings her joy. But today, she pushes the plate away and will not take a bite, insisting that you’ve poisoned the meal.

Or, you have provided the senior with a meaningful activity that links her to a significant time in her past career, sorting paperwork. Out of the blue, she charges you with tampering with the documents in order to steal money from her bank account.

How can you most effectively diffuse situations like these dementia false accusations?

  1. Keep a controlled, gentle, understanding tone. It may be instinctive to be defensive and refute the accusation, but appropriate responses may include something such as, “I see that you are feeling afraid, but I will not let anything bad happen to you. Let’s enjoy this food together,” or, “Oh no, are you missing some money? The bank is not open at the moment, but let’s go there right away tomorrow to get it straightened out.”
  2. Move into a welcomed distraction. After sharing in the senior’s concern, transition into a pleasant topic or activity that your loved one likes, or move to another area. In the case of the suspected food poisoning, you could engage the senior in going to the kitchen and helping her prepare a fresh sandwich. If you’ve assured the senior that you will stop by the bank together tomorrow, a walk outside to look at the flowers and birds, or playing some favorite music, can help.
  3. Never argue or try to reason. These approaches very often escalate agitation in someone with dementia. It might take some time and experience to develop the approach that works best, and that strategy could need to change from one day to another. The goal is to stay calm, patient, and empathetic, validating the senior’s feelings and offering comfort.

Responsive Home Care’s home care experts are highly trained and experienced in effective, creative dementia care techniques, and can help with managing challenging situations and behaviors, enabling a senior loved one to experience a greater quality of life, and providing family caregivers with relief and peace of mind. Reach out to us today at 954-486-6440 for more information about our home care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding area or to inquire about additional resources to help you better care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s.

Managing the Common Dementia Behavior of Rummaging

Rummaging through cupboards and closets is a common behavior for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Rummaging through cupboards and closets is a common behavior for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Looking through boxes, cupboards, and closets, pulling out odds and ends from drawers, and sorting repetitively through a number of items can be frustrating for individuals providing care for a member of the family with dementia, but in fact these actions are fulfilling an objective. Rummaging can supply a degree of comfort for individuals with Alzheimer’s, along with the reassurance of identifying familiar objects and finding purpose and meaning.

The important thing then is not to deter rummaging, which may trigger agitation, but to better manage this common dementia behavior if it becomes disruptive. The following tips can help:

  • Keep rummaging to a specific area. Assemble containers of items the senior seems especially drawn to, for example, keys, paperwork, a wallet, tools, gardening equipment, sewing implements, sports memorabilia, and so on. Whenever your senior loved one starts to rummage in other places, pull out one of the bins and guide his/her focus there.
  • Establish an activity aimed at rummaging behaviors. Let the senior know you could really use his or her assistance with a particular activity that takes advantage of these behaviors, for example, folding towels or socks, sorting nuts/bolts in a toolbox, or placing paperwork into folders.
  • Identify other stimulating activities to ease boredom. Rummaging may be the response to feelings of uneasiness, loneliness, or boredom. Try out assorted activities you can do together with the senior, including arts and crafts, puzzles, going for a walk, listening to music, etc.
  • Keep valuables out of reach. Understanding that your loved one has the tendency to rummage, be certain that any essential documents, jewelry, keys, credit cards, etc. are all kept securely away. It is also a smart idea to tuck away the mail when it arrives, to be certain bills along with other items aren’t getting tossed or misplaced.
  • Step up security precautions. Now is a very good time to evaluate how hazardous objects are stored in the house, such as sharp knives, cleaning products, even certain kinds of foods, such as raw meat that the individual may unintentionally mistake for another food product and ingest. Keep all items that could potentially cause the individual injury in secure places, ideally locked away.

Responsive Home Care can assist with the professional in-home care services that offer companionship and engagement in creative, enjoyable, and fulfilling activities for those with dementia that lead to fewer challenging behaviors. Call us at 954-486-6440 for additional information or to schedule an in-home assessment for home care in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas.

The Different Types of Dementia: Is It Alzheimer’s or Something Else?

different types of dementia - ft lauderdale caregivers

Different types of dementia share similar symptoms, but need different treatment.

A senior who exhibits loss of memory, confusion, poor judgment, repetition, and problems with performing daily activities has the distinguishing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, right? Actually, what appears to be a clear case of Alzheimer’s may really be one of several different types of dementia – in particular, one that has just recently been identified. 

Known as LATE, or limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, this diagnosis has nearly identical symptoms, but the underlying cause is another story. Instead of the buildup of amyloid plaques and tangles inherent in Alzheimer’s, LATE is diagnosed by deposits of TDP-43 protein, as reported by Dr. Julie Schneider, associate director for the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 

And TDP-43 protein troubles happen to be quite common in elderly people, with as many as one in four people over age 85 affected enough to cause noticeable cognitive and/or memory issues. Yet it remains an under-diagnosed condition, which could result in misdiagnoses, and therefore, inappropriate treatment. 

The newest guidelines call for people who have been determined to have LATE to be pulled from Alzheimer’s medication research, concentrating research alternatively on establishing biomarkers to better recognize LATE, to find therapeutic intervention methods, and to expand testing to include a wider variety of diverse populations, in order to improve both prevention and treatment. 

Becoming familiar with the different types of dementia is vital to proper treatment, and according to Dr. James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “This evidence may also go some way to help us understand why some recent clinical trials testing for Alzheimer’s disease have failed – participants may have had slightly different brain diseases.”  

Key aspects of LATE include: 

  • Mainly affecting seniors over age 80 
  • A much slower advancement than Alzheimer’s
  • Usually only affects memory
  • Could be accompanied by Alzheimer’s disease, which leads to a far more rapid decline 

Whether Alzheimer’s disease, LATE, or some other type of dementia, Responsive Home Careproviding the Ft. Lauderdale caregivers families trust, offers the fully customized, skilled and creative caregiving that helps seniors live the best possible quality of life where it’s most comfortable: at home. Our care aides are fully trained and experienced in assisting individuals diagnosed with dementia, along with helping family caregivers to more fully manage the varying difficulties experienced in each stage.  

Contact us any time at 954-486-6440 to inquire about more dementia care resources, discover answers to your questions, or to schedule an in-home consultation to find how we can assist someone you love with dementia. Visit our Service Area page to see if we’re available to help in your neighborhood. 

Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s? Daily Journaling Helps!

Portrait of middle-aged lovely womanTaking care of a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s is a fluid, ever-evolving undertaking. One day may be calm and peaceful, with your parent enjoying activities, eating healthy meals, and sharing laughter with you; while the next day may be filled with agitation, anxiety, and sullenness. Exactly what will today bring?

Figuring out how to best handle the challenging behaviors as well as ensure life is as satisfying and comfortable as possible for a senior with dementia can be made easier through a simple tool: journaling[MS1] . Our experts in home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL share an easy method to implement it in your day-to-day caregiving routine, and how to utilize your journal to improve quality of life for your senior loved one:

  • Track symptoms and care needs on a daily basis. Your notes don’t have to be lengthy, but record any difficulties that occur, including time of day and what might have triggered the challenges. Also include activities the person managed to execute independently, together with those that were difficult. At the conclusion of every week, review the behaviors to find out if a pattern can be noticed – such as heightened agitation before meals or bedtime.
  • Track eating habits. Take note of which foods are most appealing to the senior, which are easiest for him or her to self-feed, how many meals/snacks tend to be consumed and at what times throughout the day, etc. Don’t forget to include beverages, to guarantee the older adult is taking in sufficient levels of water to stay hydrated. In looking at your notes, you may find that six smaller sized meals throughout the course of the day are better for your senior loved one than three larger ones, for example.
  • Track safety considerations. Maintaining safety is a high concern in Alzheimer’s care, with a variety of dangers that could derive from wandering, dizziness/balance problems, hallucinations, and misunderstanding what common items are used for, such as thinking a household cleaner could actually be a sports drink. Securing hazardous items or putting them in out-of-reach places is important, and maintaining a list of changes made to the home environment for safety’s sake can be extremely helpful to notify other family and friends to potential risks.

Additionally, it is recommended to take your journal with you to your loved one’s medical appointments, and bring any concerns recorded to his or her attention. This allows you to be completely prepared in advance of appointments with questions you need to get answered, making the most of the short time available to consult with doctors.

Get in touch with our highly trained and knowledgeable experts in home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL for even more tips, along with specialized in-home care that increases safety while maximizing independence, purpose, and meaning – making every day the very best it can be for someone with dementia.

Coping with Incontinence and Dementia

senior woman drinking orange juice

ntinence and dementia often go hand-in-hand. Learn how to best handle care for incontinence with the senior you love.

Dementia care calls for both compassion and creativity to manage a range of complicated behaviors and effects, and that’s particularly true in relation to incontinence, something that is incredibly common in Alzheimer’s along with other types of dementia. These tried-and-true techniques are usually effective in minimizing the effect of incontinence and curtailing an escalation of emotions in someone you love with dementia.

  1. Choose your words very carefully. As opposed to talking about incontinence products as “diapers,” for example, call them “briefs” or “pull-up underwear.” Nevertheless, take the cue from your senior loved one; if she or he prefers to utilize the term “diapers” and appears confident with that, then follow along.
  2. Clean out regular underwear from the senior’s dresser. To avoid confusion or opposition to wearing incontinence products, be sure those are the sole option in his or her wardrobe.
  3. Test various products. With different brands, sizes, and absorbency levels on the market, it might take some trial and error to discover one that’s most comfortable and effective.
  4. Use backup products overnight. To help prevent the older adult from waking up throughout the night from incontinence-related issues, try inserting booster pads inside the absorbent underwear, and use products marked for heaviest coverage. Waterproof mattress protectors and disposable bed pads are usually also extremely helpful.
  5. Ensure quick access into the bathroom. Perform a walk-through of the areas the older adult spends time in to estimate how easy it really is for him or her to reach the bathroom. Specifically, remove any clutter, cords, or throw rugs in the senior’s walking path to protect against falls.
  6. If an accident does occur… Maintain a calm demeanor so as not to offend (or further upset) the older adult, and say something like, “It would appear that something may have spilled on your pants; let’s get you some clean clothes,” or “It seems like your pants are wet; that happens every now and then.”
  7. Address unwillingness to keep products on. For older adults who regularly make an effort to remove incontinence products, first see if you’re able to uncover the particular reason why. If uncomfortableness is an issue, try several types of products for one that will be more comfortable. Or your senior loved one may be attempting to change if there’s a feeling of wetness.

In all instances, watch the older adult’s skin for warning signs of rash or irritation, and contact his or her medical professional if noted.

For more incontinence care tips, or to find out about Responsive Home Care’s dependable, professional care for assisting with incontinence and dementia, reach out to us at 954-486-6440 for senior care services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and the surrounding area.

5 Tips for a Better Home Environment for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

happy senior woman reading with dogAgitation is among the more difficult effects of dementia, and may be exceedingly frustrating for family members to manage. The key is in taking steps to handle agitation before it’s felt and expressed by the senior loved one, which involves keeping track of what has triggered these feelings in the past, and establishing a home environment in which those stimulants are eliminated or minimized. The following tips can help:

  1. Designate an area of retreat. When life starts to be overwhelming, having a specially created area where your loved one can go to de-stress often works wonders in restoring calm. This could be a designated room, or simply a comfortable corner with numerous soothing activities conveniently available, quiet music, a soothing scent to enjoy such as lavender or vanilla – whatever supplies peace and relaxation when it comes to the senior.
  2. Assess the house for upsetting items. Pay attention to exactly what your senior loved one is sensitive to, for example, certain decorations, mirrors (that could give the illusion of somebody else watching), window coverings that do not adequately filter out the darkening evening sky (prompting sundowning issues), etc.
  3. Minimize noise along with other distractions. Soft carpeting is frequently more comforting for people with dementia than harder floor materials, which can reverberate or accentuate the sound of footsteps. Keep the television or radio at a reduced volume, and set to a station that offers soft music instead of alarming, graphic news presentations. Close windows if outside noises seem to cause annoyance.
  4. Modify lighting. Ensure that each room the senior may enter is effectively lit, with natural light as much as possible, or higher wattage lightbulbs, carefully adjusting to eliminate any unusual shapes or shadows caused by the light.
  5. Keep regularly used items readily available. Whatever the senior has a tendency to want to make use of or hold most frequently ought to be put in a visible location where he or she can discover it easily. Attaching labels with words or pictures of what a senior loved one may want to locate in cabinets or even the refrigerator is also an excellent way to help bypass frustration.

Let Responsive Home Care’s expert dementia caregivers help preserve the most calming and peaceful environment for a cherished older adult you love, and provide the skilled, innovative, compassionate care that makes life the best it can be. Just some of the various ways we are able to enhance life for individuals with dementia include:

  • Specifically created activities centered on a senior’s particular interests and abilities
  • Companionship in order to help older adults stay socially engaged
  • Evening respite care allowing family caregivers the chance for a restful night when an older adult is challenged by sundowning
  • And a lot more

Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 to ask about an in-home consultation and to find out about our exceptional dementia care for older adults today!

New Study Shows You Already Have the Best Medicine for Dementia

two happy elderly women spending time with each other at home

When living with dementia, don’t overlook your daily dose of laughter.

Looking after a person you love with dementia is certainly nothing to laugh about. Yet scientific studies are frequently pointing to the benefits associated with humor, and incorporating it into dementia care may be precisely what the doctor ordered to boost total well-being for your aging parent.

For instance, an Australian study just recently announced that humor therapy can aid in eliminating agitation in people who have dementia as successfully as antipsychotic medications, without the unintended side effects. Shared laughter connects us, and assists those with cognitive difficulties to feel understood, safe, and at ease. According to Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, “When anyone is sick or having a hard time, they still like to laugh. I spend a lot of time teaching people that feelings don’t go away, and it’s okay to get back to that zone.”

Laughter also produces endorphins, which inhibit stress hormones, and may also improve blood pressure levels and reduce pain for older adults – all of which make it well worth adding to your dementia care regimen, either by registering for a laughter yoga class along with your loved one (which incorporates clapping, singing, silly poses, and of course, laughter) or simply implementing ideas including these at home:

  • Incorporate lightheartedness and silliness randomly throughout the day. Sing goofy songs, dance around the house, tell simple jokes, and develop an environment of happiness for the older adult.
  • Realize that what is successful today will possibly not work tomorrow – and sometimes even an hour or so from now. Assess your loved one’s reactions, and if anything seems to increase anxiety, shelve the idea and attempt again later.
  • Remove quarreling and correcting from conversations with the senior. A simple “yes” and redirection to a different topic or activity goes a long way in preempting negativity.
  • Emphasize to yourself that it’s completely acceptable to be joyful. Laughter and dementia do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Allow Responsive Home Care, the top providers of home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL and the surrounding area, to help enhance life for a senior loved one with dementia. Each of our specialized dementia caregivers is fully trained and knowledgeable in a wide variety of creative, effective care techniques. Older adults achieve the added benefit of improved socialization, combined with crucial respite from care duties for family members, making a partnership with a Responsive Home Care caregiver a win-win!

Call us at (954) 486-6440 to arrange an in-home assessment to find out more, and to ask about some additional helpful resources to further equip you to provide the most effective care for your family member.

Try These Creative – and Effective – Dementia Communication Techniques

Senior woman spending quality time with her daughter

Nonverbal dementia communication techniques are often the most effective.

Communicating with a senior loved one struggling with the difficulties of Alzheimer’s, especially in the middle and later stages, is often discouraging – both for you personally as well as for the senior loved one. Brain changes impact the capacity to hear, process, and respond appropriately to conversations, and it is up to us to implement innovative dementia communication techniques to better connect with a senior loved one with dementia.

The good news is, it is quite a bit easier than it may seem. We already communicate nonverbally in lots of ways:

  • Touch
  • Posture and body movement
  • Eye contact
  • Facial expressions
  • Gestures
  • Personal space

Try out these dementia communication techniques to integrate increased nonverbal communication in your interactions with a loved one:

  • Offer support through caring touch. If a senior loved one is comfortable with touch, hold and pat the senior’s hand, massage the senior’s back, place an arm around his or her shoulders, and give warm hugs.
  • Look the senior in the eye. Eye contact shows interest in the individual, even when no words are said aloud.
  • Honor personal boundaries. Refrain from overwhelming your loved one by permitting sufficient personal space, and making sure you’re at the same level as the individual, never towering over her or him. Your face should be at eye level with the older adult.
  • Maintain a calm, patient, and positive demeanor. Suppress any anger, annoyance or impatience, and focus on sustaining a relaxed and pleasant expression on your face when with a loved one with dementia. If this is impossible because of challenging behaviors, step away momentarily and practice deep breathing or other relaxation techniques. For example:
    • Square breathing: Use a finger to trace the shape of a square in front of you. When drawing the first side, breathe in deeply for a count of three; for the following side, hold your breath for one second; for the third side, breathe out for a count of three; and for the fourth side, hold your breath for one second. Repeat as necessary.
    • Calming phrase repetition: A couple examples to help you get started: This will pass, and things are ok. I’m able to manage this. I am secure and well.
    • Distracted thinking: Practice concentrated refocusing. Try saying the alphabet backwards, stating as many state capitals as possible, or singing the words to a well-liked song.

Find more creative dementia communication strategies by contacting Responsive Home Care, the top rated providers of home health services in Pembroke, FL and the surrounding area. Our care providers are specially trained in the most up-to-date Alzheimer’s care techniques, and we are always available to help a loved one with dementia to remain safe and calm, and to enjoy life to his/her fullest possible potential. Reach out to us at 954-486-6440 any time for assistance.

This Latest Alzheimer’s Treatment May Help Combat Memory Loss

Artificial intelligence, machine learning concept with glowing brain neurons.

Learn about the latest dementia treatment and how it’s helping with memory loss.

Memory loss and Alzheimer’s go hand in hand, and until now, researchers have been stumped in determining how to prevent, or remove, those beta-amyloid and tau proteins at the heart of the problem. Yet recent research has shown incredible results in significantly reducing memory loss in those with dementia, through a cap-like device that transmits electromagnetic waves.

Shown effective in mouse experiments, trials proceeded to human participants, who wore the device twice daily for an hour over a period of two months. To confirm results, the participants were tested using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog), and incredibly, a full four-point score increase was achieved at the end of the trial. In laymen’s terms, this equates to regaining a full year of cognitive functioning that had been lost.

Dr. Gary Arendash, CEO of NeuroEM Therapeutics, the company responsible for the study, added, “We were particularly surprised that this highly significant improvement in the ADAS-cog was maintained even two weeks after treatment was completed. The most likely explanation for continued benefit after cessation of treatment is that the Alzheimer’s disease process itself was being effected.”

Blood work, cerebrospinal fluid assessment, and MRI scans confirmed a disaggregation of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, as well as improved communication between brain cells in the area key to cognitive function.

And perhaps most encouraging: all of the participants wanted to continue utilizing the head devices after the study was completed. The next step will be to engage in a larger clinical trial, to include the original participants and others, lasting 17 months. The goal is to make the device available to the public by 2021.

Stay tuned! Responsive Home Care, the Sunrise elderly care experts, remains on top of this and other trends in the quest to effectively treat, and eventually cure, Alzheimer’s disease. In the meantime, we will continue to provide highly customized, creative, compassionate dementia care for seniors at home throughout Broward County, Florida. Contact us at 954-486-6440 for a free in-home consultation to discover more about how we’re helping improve life for those with dementia.

5 Things That Can Worsen Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Worsen Alzheimer’s Symptoms - tamarac home health careWhile there are certain commonalities, Alzheimer’s disease affects each individual differently. Our specially trained dementia caregivers know, for example, that although one individual may enjoy being outside, a different person could possibly be overwhelmed by so much sensory input and prefer a quieter indoor environment. One may enjoy a morning bath routine, while a measure of resourcefulness is necessary to help a different person maintain good hygiene.

We also realize there are specific triggers which can often worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms. Family members must be especially mindful to prevent the following:

  • Dehydration. Individuals with dementia may not be able to identify when they are thirsty, or may resist when offered fluids. It is imperative to ensure adequate hydration to prevent additional weakness and confusion. Plain water is the best; nevertheless, if rejected, try flavored waters, or try different types of cups or bottles.
  • Isolation. Individuals with dementia suffer from loneliness as much as anyone else, and without having adequate social stimulation, may become increasingly agitated or paranoid. An experienced caregiver, like those at Responsive Home Care, who are thoroughly trained in dementia care, can offer suitable socialization, giving family members a much-needed break from care.
  • Sugar. It’s common for those with Alzheimer’s disease to experience a heightened desire for cookies, cake, and other sugary snacks; however, it could also lead to greater irritability. Try offering a variety of healthier options, like fruit, yogurt, or sugar-free goodies.
  • Sleeping pills. With the challenges of common sleep disorders such as sundowning, it can be tempting for family members to supply sleeping pills to a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s to encourage a more restful night. Yet these drugs raise the risk for falls and other injuries and contribute to fogginess and confusion. Speak with the senior’s physician for a natural sleep-inducing substitute.
  • TV. Be careful of what’s on TV; shows containing crime, violence, and even the nightly news can instill fear and paranoia in individuals with dementia. It may be a good idea to leave the TV off and engage your senior loved one in alternate activities, such as games, puzzles, reading together, exercising, and reminiscing – or choose to view videos you’ve very carefully reviewed to make sure content is suitable.

Each member of our dementia care team is thoroughly trained and experienced in providing person-centered, compassionate care to effectively manage the difficulties inherent with Alzheimer’s, and to boost quality of life. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 for additional dementia care tips, and for an in-home consultation to find out how our specially trained Tamarac home health care team can make life brighter for your senior loved one. View our full service area.

Dementia Care Tips: Best Approaches to Avoid Personal Care Resistance

alzheimers care ft. lauderdale

Use these tips to help a senior loved one with dementia manage personal care tasks.

Of all the challenges related to providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent difficulty is with personal hygiene, for a variety of reasons:

  • Diminished sense of vision and smell
  • Comfort associated with familiarity (i.e., wanting to wear the same clothes again and again)
  • The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
  • Anxiety about falling, the sounds and feelings associated with the water, and so much more

Cajoling, quarreling, and reasoning are rarely practical techniques to employ with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Alternatively, consider these creative approaches in the event your loved one resists maintaining suitable hygiene:

  • Organize the bathroom ahead of time so the room is likely to be comfortable and you won’t need to juggle acquiring supplies together with helping the senior. Warm the room with a space heater, and set soap, shampoo, towels, washcloth, etc. within easy reach, plus eliminate any throw rugs or any other tripping hazards.
  • A shower chair and hand-held sprayer frequently make an even more calming bathing experience for anyone with dementia. Position the chair away from the faucet, and use towels to cover up parts of the body before and after they have been cleaned to help keep the senior warm and to prevent feelings of exposure.
  • Have the senior help with bathing tasks whenever possible to maintain independence. It could be as basic as providing a washcloth or the shampoo bottle for the senior to hold on to.
  • If hair washing is hard for either of you, forego that task during bath time, and schedule regular outings to the salon instead.
  • Arrange a special excursion together with the senior, such as a lunch date with a good friend, and center bath time around getting ready for the event.
  • Bring in the assistance of a healthcare professional, who can advise the senior regarding the increased chance of infection or skin issues without proper hygiene. Often hearing from a dependable third party holds more weight than hearing the same information from family members.
  • Engage the services of a caregiver, providing your loved one the dignity of having personal care needs tended to by a professional, rather than a relative.

At Responsive Home Care, the leaders in home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL, each of our caregivers is experienced in safe hygiene procedures for older adults, with specific training to help those with Alzheimer’s disease to feel comfortable with personal hygiene tasks, including creative approaches to safe bathing, skin, hair, and oral care, restroom assistance, and much more. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 or contact us online to discover practical solutions to the worries you and your loved one are facing!