If you’re taking care of a loved one with dementia, shelter in place has probably placed more stress and demands on you more than you ever could imagine. You’re going to need dementia shelter in place caregiver tips. It’s one thing to take care of a loved one with dementia under normal circumstances, but it’s another when you and your loved one have been quarantined in your home.
You’re probably wondering how you’re going to survive “the shelter in place.” Below, I have provided some different dementia caregiver tips to help you survive the “shelter in place” so it’s not at the expense of your physical, mental and emotional well–being.
Establish and/or Try to Maintain a Consistent Routine:
Try to do the same basic activities in the same order and around the same time every day.
For example, try to get up around the same time of day, followed by a morning hygiene routine, then breakfast, morning activities/chores around the house, followed by lunch, afternoon activities/chores around the house, dinner, evening activities, bedtime.
Dementia Friendly Communication:
- Try to avoid arguing, correcting, explaining, convincing, rationalizing
- Saying “we” and “us” increases cooperation. Replace saying “you” with “we” or “us” when asking your loved one to do something. For example, say it’s time for “us” to [brush our teeth, take our medication, go for a walk] instead of saying it’s time for “you.”
- Pay attention to your body language, tone of voice, facial expressions – do your best to smile more, use a calm tone of voice, make eye contact, nod in a friendly manner, approach them from the front
- Walk away from a situation if you’re feeling frustrated or getting angry
- Keep your questions and answers short and simple – the fewer words the better
- Give them one-sentence explanations
- Ask one question at a time
- Only give them one or two choices – for example, do you want to wear the blue or green shirt?
- Avoid asking them “why?” or if they “remember?”
- Speak slowly and at their eye level
- Avoid being forceful or insistent
- Reminisce about their past – ask questions about their childhood, high school or college years, when you were dating
- Validate – paraphrase and repeat what your loved one is saying to you so your loved one feels heard and understood
- Create the dementia shelter in place caregiver tips that work best for you and your loved one
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