helping families cope with assisted living transitions

3 Essential Steps To Caring For A Senior With Dementia

If you have decided that you are going to provide care for your elderly parent who is suffering from dementia, you are going to need to make sure that you are able to keep them safe and reduce the speed of their brain degradation. Follow these steps so that you can create an effective dementia care program within your home.

1. Create a Solid Routine

The first and most critical step is that you develop a schedule that you commit to keeping to everyday. This schedule should include the time of day that you are going to wake up the senior, at what time each meal is going to be served, and roughly what's going to happen between each meal. If possible, you should also set up weekly schedules, such as serving the same meals each day of the week, taking the senior to the library once a week and other activities. These schedules will allow the senior experiencing dementia to feel a sense of safety and security, as well as a certain amount of control. If he or she knows what's going to happen next, then he or she will be able to mentally prepare for it.

As you are establishing this routine, consider letting your senior know what's going to happen in the next few hours and keep a copy of the schedule handy if he or she should wish to peruse it.

2. Set Goals for Your Senior

You and your senior should sit down and try to establish goals every day. These goals should be independence based, such as the senior getting him or herself dressed, taking a bath by him or herself, or even preparing a simple meal with supervision. These goals will give your senior a sense of competence, which is important to having an improved outlook on life and extending a life as long as possible. 

3. Provide Stimulation

Finally, you will need to provide stimulation for your senior. Have books and movies that he or she enjoys available, play music while you are cooking, and take your senior to various locations. Even just going to the grocery store with you each week will help ensure that your senior retains as much brain function as possible for as long as possible.

For more information about setting up an effective senior care living situation, talk to a center that specializes in providing senior care. They will be able to provide you with ideas and activities for your senior.