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Simplifying the Daily Routine for those with Dementia

Simple daily activities for a loved one suffering with dementia can become far more confusing or complicated than ever before. Sometimes activities as simple as getting dressed or planning to leave the house can seem almost insurmountable, causing unneeded stress and turmoil for all. Try these simple suggestions to see if they help.

Simplify Instructions and Communications

When you need to give verbal instructions, keep them as simple as possible. Speak slowly and use only one topic per sentence. For example, instead of letting the person know you’re going to help them bathe and then dress for the day start with just bathing. Once that activity is complete, you can then talk about getting dressed.

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Limit Choices to Just What’s Necessary

If you offer your loved one too many choices or provide too much information, it can easily become overwhelming to those with dementia. The best solution is to limit the number of choices to only what’s necessary to perform the task at hand.  As an example, if you are making lunch, offer only two healthy choices…like soup or salad. If you are helping your loved one get dressed, offer only two choices that are weather appropriate and comfortable. If you are met with disagreement, try saying, “These are the only choices for right now.”  Offering too many different options can quickly create an argument and bring the entire process to a quick halt. So keep it simple!

Be Encouraging and Reassure Your Loved One

During any activity, reassure your loved one that they are doing well and congratulate them when the activity is done. This will not only help to create a sense of self-worth, but will help to avoid confusion and keep the process moving forward. It’s important that your loved one realizes you are not being judgmental or bossy and that you are moving the activity along with compassion.

Provide Help Only When Necessary

Many family caregivers are tempted to help with every task or activity. This can actually be counterproductive, create additional confusion, and can even make your loved one shut down. Let them try, and let them do what they can. You should only provide assistance if they truly need extra help to complete the task safely. This is not intended to make your loved one struggle, but instead to help create mental and physical activity and to preserve their dignity and independence.

 

Is it Time to Consider a Move?

If your loved one’s dementia has progressed to the point that you can no longer provide adequate in home caregiving, then it may be time to consider professional care. See leading Assisted Living, Nursing Home, and Memory Care facilities in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Ponte Verda and Saint Augustine.

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