Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a trying task, even when your relative is residing in an assisted living community. Contributing to our family member’s care when they are faced with dementia can induce a lot of difficult emotions and situations to process, but with the right resources and skills, it can also be quite a rewarding experience.
Dealing with Aggression
One of the number one concerns that we see in loved ones of Alzheimer patients is an increase in aggressive behaviors. Most of this is primarily due to the actual disease itself, but the diagnosis for the patient can also cause a lot of warranted frustration and distress. As long as it is safe to do so, try speaking with your loved one in a calm manner in order to find the root of what causes them to lash out. However, it is key to note that every patient is different, and many prefer to be left alone when these mood swings occur.
Keep Reminders on Board
A great tip that many suggest is to carry around portable memories such as photos or keepsakes that you think will trigger a pleasant memory in your loved one. If you tend to pick up your relative from their assisted living community to go out to lunch, they can feel more included in discussions when these items help them remember. Be sure to refrain from giving lengthy explanations to subjects if they can’t seem to recall them because that tends to just cause more confusion and stress.
Put Self-Care First
Sometimes we get so caught up in caring for those we love, that we forget to take care of ourselves. Be sure to continuously engage in your own hobbies, and try seeking out support groups or other forms of help within your community. Take time throughout your day to focus on hobbies and relaxation techniques that you enjoy in order to revive and reserve your own energy.
The process of being there for our loved ones during trying times like these can certainly be difficult. Remember to forgive yourself for not being the perfect caregiver at all times, and rely on our professional staff to help you when you need us. To set up an appointment with our community, call (631) 388-7616.