Helping your loved ones feel useful and competent will go a long way toward them feeling happier and having a sense of autonomy and control.
Watch a video that describes how to approach a person with dementia so as to minimize his or her anxiety (4 minutes 20 seconds long).
Several tips on how to behave as caregivers of loved ones with dementia will help ease your loved ones’ anxiety and help you have satisfying relationships, even as your roles change with respect to each other. The goal is to allow them to keep their dignity and autonomy as much as possible while providing them with the help they need. Following certain tips that often work with any form of dementia will help you reach this goal.
For many caregiving tasks, using the following approach will help your loved ones better understand what is going on and reduce anxiety, especially in middle to late stages of dementia.
While touch can be reassuring and pleasant, people differ as to whether or not they like to be touched. For people with dementia, offer your hand and use their response as an indication of whether or not they welcome being touched.
It may be helpful to put your hand under the hands of persons with dementia when guiding them in a task. You may just need to remind them how to do something at first and then let them go on their own. Let them do as much as they can do on their own.
When traveling with your loved one, be sure to plan ahead so that the trip is enjoyable for everyone and you are prepared for any potential problems. You should consider the stage of your loved one’s disease, and whether the trip you are considering is a good idea, or even possible.
Be sure the type of travel, the length of time you are gone, and the place you are visiting is appropriate for you and your loved one’s abilities, needs, and preferences. Some precautions you can take include:
Source: National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
Description: This list includes 10 simple tips to make everyday tasks related to caregiving more manageable and to remind caregivers to take care of themselves, too.
Source: Le Bleu Chateau
Description: This is a section of a website for an assisted living facility with tips written by professional caregivers; however, many of the tips are also relevant for family caregivers. The site includes advice on how to help your loved one with physical and emotional challenges of dementia.
Source: Northwest Regional Council: Family Caregiver Support Program
Description: This web page offers simple tips on different aspects of caregiving, including promoting safety at home, using memory aids, easing activities of daily living, and dealing with caregiving stress. There are also more extensive tips on movement, such as walking, sitting and getting up again, and traveling.
Source: Better Health Channel
Description: This web page provides information on traveling, including warning signs against travel, traveling overseas, tips for traveling by plane and by car, making traveling less stressful, and other things to remember.
Source: Alzheimer's Association
Description: This article offers tips on how to travel safely with your loved one, including general guidelines, a section with special tips for air travel, and special considerations to take when visiting family and friends.