Dementia Care Strategies from an Experienced Homecare Business
According to the Alzheimer’s Association (2017), an estimated 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia. By mid-century, this figure is expected to grow to 13.8-million, fueled largely by the aging Baby Boom generation.
Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease every 66 seconds. By 2050, one new case of Alzheimer’s disease will develop every 33 seconds, amounting to more than 1-million new cases per year.
And while the effects of Alzheimer’s on the sufferer are well-established, new research is being conducted on how dementia impacts the lives, finances, and opportunities of friends and family. One study by the journal of Alzheimer’s & Dementia estimated that in 2016, more than 15-million family members and other unpaid caregivers provided roughly 18.2 billion hours of care to dementia sufferers, valued at more than $230 billion (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017).
Acknowledging Alzheimer’s prevalence and care burden on family and friends, we’ve assembled some dementia care strategies to improve informal caregiving outcomes. Many of our homecare business clients are thrilled to learn that joyful and compassionate caregiving can help keep seniors happy and engaged with life.
Read on to learn 3 dementia care tips from an experienced homecare business, along with where to find more information about senior helper services.
- Provide nourishing food in a relaxing atmosphere. Healthy meals are important for ensuring your loved one ages well. Not only can healthy food fight inflammation and provide energy to keep your parent engaged, but healthy meals can be tasty enough to elevate their moods on “low” days. This is especially true if you create enjoyable mealtime conditions. Turn off the TV and otherwise limit distractions so your loved one can enjoy their meal in a serene setting. Using tools like lids and straws can make the physical act of eating easier, and finger foods are a great option for those who struggle with utensils. Depending on your parents’ condition and preferences, smaller serving sizes might be best, since some dementia sufferers have trouble sustaining their appetites and attention spans.If you need help with meal planning, preparation, or clean-up, our homecare business offers all of these services and more as part of our care continuum.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. Sticking to a routine is helpful for both the caregiver and dementia patient. Being reminded of upcoming events or activities can be very soothing for a senior who is suffering from the effects of dementia. When planning events, activities, and medical appointments, think about what time of day your parent tends to be most cooperative, and aim for “off-hours” when the park or doctor’s office won’t be so crowded.
- Spend time in nature. Research by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners suggests that seniors suffering from dementia should try to immerse themselves in natural outdoor settings as often as possible. These settings preserve a “sense of place” for dementia sufferers, lessen stress, create feelings of inclusion and stability, and otherwise improve psychological health. Though many outdoor activities will be unsuitable for seniors with mobility issues and late-stage dementia, simply getting your loved one to relax in a garden or sit in natural light with a nice view can be enough.
Learn More About Dementia Care from Our Homecare Business
Alzheimer’s Association. (2017). 2017 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 13(4), 325-373.