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Tips for Caring for Someone with Dementia

a person Caring for someone with dementia holds their hands

Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges. Dementia is life-changing not only for the person diagnosed but for their entire family and social circle. Shock, denial, anger, grief, and fear are common emotions following a diagnosis of dementia, and coming to terms with it takes time. When you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, education can help everyone know what to expect, cope with the diagnosis, and plan for the future.

Buckner Villas is a faith-based senior living community in Austin, TX offering senior memory care for individuals with all levels of dementia. Our experienced staff provides high-quality, compassionate care for our residents in a safe, secure, welcoming, home-like setting. Our memory care program, The Harbor, offers an extensive array of amenities and personalized care. Call 512.580.9882 to learn more about the benefits of senior memory care at Buckner Villas.

What to Do with Someone with Dementia

At any point in time, millions of Americans are taking care of a friend or family member with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Most of these individuals are also trying to manage their daily responsibilities to work, children, and home life and are tending to the needs of their loved ones without pay or experience.

Dementia is a sneaky disease. It can start slowly and provide a few warning signs or come on so suddenly that everyone is taken off guard. Many symptoms are often overlooked because those who are experiencing them cover them up. Friends and family may treat them as typical age-related behaviors because they are unaware of the signs and symptoms.

The first thing to do with someone with dementia is to recognize that you are not alone and that resources are available. If you suspect that you or a loved one is experiencing dementia, consider these signs and symptoms:

  • Getting confused or lost in familiar environments
  • Persistent forgetfulness and repetitive questioning
  • Increased confusion
  • Poor judgment and reasoning skills
  • Changes in behavior, particularly depression and aggression
  • Poor hygiene and inability to perform self-care
  • Difficulty remembering people and places
  • Losing track of time
  • Failure to care for pets or household tasks

Being diagnosed with dementia is life-changing. At Buckner Villas, we understand the ramifications of this diagnosis. We are prepared to provide comprehensive, personalized care that allows each of our residents to live life with the utmost freedom and dignity.

Tips for Caring for Someone with Dementia

The first step in caring for someone with dementia is to work through your feelings to find acceptance. Seeing that you’ve embraced the diagnosis and are ready to tackle it can help your loved one do the same. If you are the primary decision maker and caregiver, consider these tips:

  • Create a support team – Caring for someone with dementia is a big responsibility, and you will need support. Enlist family and friends to help with driving, errands, household chores, and time off for yourself.
  • Observe your loved one for a day – Get to know your loved one’s routine and make note of things they can do well and things they struggle with, such as cooking, eating, bathing, dressing, chores, bill paying, driving, and managing medications.
  • Put together a complete medical history – Include the names and numbers of all healthcare providers, a list of medications, past illness, surgeries, and all health conditions. You’ll want to sign a health care proxy as well.
  • Compile financial information – You’ll need a complete understanding of your loved one’s finances to help them pay bills and to plan for future care. Account numbers, passwords, bank balances, insurance policies, information about investments, total assets, and any debts are all important to know.
  • Create a legal plan – Be sure your loved one has a current will, and get one in place if they do not. Make plans for a living will that identifies their end-of-life care wishes.

Whenever possible, it is best to do these things early while your loved one is still highly functioning. Better to have everything in order and not need it than to be caught off guard. As you care for your loved one, you might want to also talk about and write down family stories and history.

Learn More About Memory Care at Buckner Villas

At Buckner Villas, we understand the challenges of coping with a dementia diagnosis and are here to help. We are the premier choice for senior living in Austin, Texas. Contact us at 512.580.9882 to learn more about our memory care program, The Harbor, and schedule a tour.