How Can You Help Your Aging Adult Get the Most out of Every Day with Dementia?
Life doesn’t end for an aging family member who has been diagnosed with dementia. By setting a few processes in place, you can help your aging adult make the most of every single day.
Set Some Realistic Goals.
Everyone needs a goal to work toward. It helps people to keep themselves motivated and it lets them know when they’ve gotten to a “stopping point” of sorts. Having realistic goals for your elderly family member helps her to keep herself engaged in each day. Some days those goals might be simple, like getting out of bed by a certain time. Other days, the goals may be more complicated.
Focus on One Thing at a Time.
Multi-tasking is not always the way to go. In fact, for someone with dementia, trying to do too many things at one time can be even more confusing. Instead, stick to one task at a time. If the situation isn’t going well right now, don’t force it. You can always circle back later.
Develop a Routine and Stick to It as Much as Possible.
Routines help you and your elderly family member both to avoid the hassle and energy drain of constantly figuring out what happens next. For your aging family member, this can also help to remove the stress involved in those decisions. If it helps, write down a loose version of your aging adult’s daily routine so that you can check off what’s been done and what still is to come.
Avoid Stress as Much as Possible.
Stress does a number on the human brain. When your elderly family member starts to become too stressed, she’s likely to shut down because it’s too difficult to process all of the information. Determine what it is that is most likely to trigger a stress reaction for your aging adult and set routines in place that help to avoid those triggers.
There’s More than One Right Way to Solve Problems.
One solution for your elderly family member’s transportation problem could be that you drive her wherever she needs to go. But if you have to go to work, that’s not always feasible. You can’t lock yourself in to one solution. Consider hiring elderly care providers who can drive your senior where she needs to go or work out an arrangement with other family members. Let your creativity go to work on the problem.
Remember that just because you and your elderly family member have a routine, that doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. There are going to be good days and bad days, so leave some leeway for rest, too.