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5 Care Strategies to Use at Home if Your Parent Has Dementia

It can be good for seniors living with dementia to stay at home in familiar surroundings. However, the average family home isn’t designed for people with dementia, so staying at home can come with some unique challenges. These tips can help you ensure your senior loved one stays safe and happy at home while managing the challenges of dementia.

1. Talk to Your Parent Before Making Changes

It’s important to remember how challenging it can be for seniors to have their children suddenly come into their homes and start making a lot of changes. You can ease some family tension by including your parent in every decision. During the earlier stages of dementia, your loved one can still offer a lot of valuable input. Even if your loved one has difficulty communicating, having someone talk with him or her can ease distress over alterations to the daily schedule, chores, or home.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Toronto seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

2. Remove Access to Dangerous Items

Dementia can make it difficult for seniors to recognize and handle things that might hurt them. An important part of at-home care for seniors with dementia is making sure they don’t encounter anything dangerous while they’re at home. Household cleaners, medications, cooking knives, lighters, paint, lawn mowers, guns, and pesticides can all be dangerous. Take these sorts of things and lock them away in an area your loved one doesn’t have access to.

3. Install Auto Shutoff Features

Check all the appliances in your parent’s home and consider installing auto shutoff options as a safety measure. Automatic shutoffs can prevent your loved one from encountering issues such as accidentally leaving on the stove or oven. You can also install automatic controls that keep hot water heaters from releasing water that could scald your loved one.

Having a professional caregiver nearby can give you peace of mind about your loved one’s safety. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

4. Get Rid of Tripping Hazards

The vision and coordination issues associated with dementia increases the chances of slipping and falling at home. Try to remove things like electrical cords, rugs, small stools, and coffee tables that could cause your loved one to trip. In the bathroom, put anti-slip stickers on the floor. Add enough lighting to keep all areas well lit, since seniors with dementia can get confused or fall in dark areas.

5. Label Everything

Even in familiar surroundings, it’s possible for a senior with dementia to do things like forget the location of the bathroom or get confused about where his or her sweater went. Many families find it helpful to stick labels on doors, cabinets, and drawers. Use a simple font to clearly state what’s behind the door, and consider adding a basic picture or drawing of the area to provide more clarity. Labeling things around the home can clear up a lot of confusion during day-to-day life.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Toronto elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. If you need professional dementia care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (416) 488-8777 today.