Dementia and Alzeheimer’s are frightening words. When that diagnosis is made, patients and caretakers alike know their life has changed, and there are a lot of consequences to consider. The thought of “locking away” Mom or Dad in a “home” seems grim indeed.
In a sense, attitude is everything in the world of dementia care, whether you are a patient, family member, or trained professional caregiver. It may not be as grim and challenging as you expect, and you can prepare for the future by educating yourself about dementia and maintaining a positive but realistic attitude. This allows you to maintain an element of control as a caregiver, and can take the sting out of surprising challenges you encounter and also improve the care that you provide.
Following are some important facts to consider when approaching your role as a loving caregiver for someone with dementia. This acronym can help you remember what it takes to be a good caregiver:
Compassion, Attentiveness, Reality, Empathy
The Joys of Volunteering
You are no doubt reading this post because you either have a loved one who is experiencing dementia or have a heart for dementia patients. You care enough to care for others.
All Bristol House Memory Care staff receive specialized training in caring for those with cognitive needs, and all care plans, activities, meals, and other facets of resident life, have been designed around the best practices in dementia care. They are true professionals. However, you don’t have to be a professional to help care for dementia patients or call attention to the needs and advances in the memory care field.
Hear the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. — “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Caring for a loved one who is sick or disabled takes a lot of time and can begin to feel like a burden. You have enough love to share, but do you have enough time and energy? You can become so engrossed with the patient's needs that your needs fall by the wayside. Caregivers should never feel guilty about wanting time for themselves. Taking time off is a healthy choice. This is where respite care comes in handy.
Respite care is just what it sounds like — You get a respite from your duties to take care of yourself while your loved one continues to get good care. Respite care can be as short or as long as you need it. Professionals who are trained in caring for elderly and special-needs people can take over their care while you get refreshed.
Local radio station WBCB1490 serving Bucks County in Pennsylvania, Hunterdon and Mercer Counties in New Jersey, recently interviewed Alzheimer’s and dementia care community Bristol House Memory Care. Bristol House Memory Care is located in Warrington just a few miles south of Doylestown. The new personal care community specializes in serving seniors who have cognitive impairments. Watch the video to learn more.