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Dementia care as an inevitability for yourself or a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia can be traumatic. All of a sudden the person with dementia is faced with a future that is dismal at best. It is difficult enough on family members to realize that mom or dad has been diagnosed with dementia; imagine how much worse it is for the person with the condition.
Struggling to find answers to questions is just the beginning. “How could this happen?” “What happens now?” “Who will take care of me?” Your discussion with a loved one about dementia care in Overland Park can be one of life’s most difficult conversations. But with a little preparation and a lot of listening, you will get through it. This will help you set the stage for a different, yet still rewarding, relationship with someone you treasure.
Home Care Assistance as providers of dementia care in Overland Park offers some sound advice about how to conduct the conversation.
Discussing Dementia Care
Choose the right time and setting to discuss dementia care with your loved one. Have the conversation when you don’t feel rushed and try to find a time of day when your loved one is at his or her best. Think about your desired outcome before you begin speaking. Spend some time alone before entering into the conversation and think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.
Sharing is Caring
Share that you understand this is difficult news to hear, and assure them you are in this together. Be sure they know that people in dementia care in Overland Park can continue to enjoy life. They will likely be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and may not be able to process all of the details. Instead of getting upset, focus on speaking clearly and calmly.
Make a Plan
Make sure your loved one knows you have a plan to help. Reassure them that there are many things you can do together to help them live their best possible life. This includes learning all that you can about dementia care in Overland Park. Together you can find the right medical care and local support organizations. Plan ahead for legal and medical needs. Discuss how to create a safe home environment, especially if your loved one lives alone.
Tone it Down
Avoid letting your emotions get in the way of having a rational, calm discussion. Try to keep your own emotional state out of it as you calmly, quietly speak with them. Assure your loved one that you will work together to come up with a plan for their dementia care. Speak simply in an even tone of voice, as if you are having a normal, friendly discussion.
One Step at a Time
Say what you need to say in a kind, respectful way. Cover one thought or idea at a time and give them plenty of time to respond. As the disease progresses they may not be able to understand what you say – don’t repeat the same question. Instead, try putting things another way. It can be helpful to stick with simple questions that only need “yes” or “no” answers.
Be a Good Listener
Feeling misunderstood is a very frustrating aspect of dementia. Become an active listener and provide encouragement. Be patient and give them time to express themselves. Avoid interrupting them or finishing their sentences. Slow down and really listen to what they are trying to say.
Watch Their Body Language
Non-verbal communication matters more as symptoms progress. Pay attention to your loved one’s body language. Body language, facial expressions and physical contact are important aspects of dealing with the grief that accompanies a dementia diagnosis. Physical contact may be able to convey more than words ever could – a hug, the touch of a hand, or simply sitting in the same room together – can let your loved one know that you’re there for them no matter what.
Do’s and Don’ts
In some cases, our normal conversational techniques can be inappropriate when communicating with someone with dementia. Be mindful of what you say and avoid confrontational or confusing comments.
Home Care Assistance takes a unique approach to dementia care in Overland Park, with individual care management for each client. Our caregivers are innovative, creative, compassionate and committed to providing optimal dementia care. Our care philosophy seeks to optimize the wellness of in-home senior dementia care in Overland Park, bringing energy, independence, and joy to your loved one.
For more information about our flexible hourly or live-in dementia care plans or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us at 913-663-5000 and speak with a Care Manager. Find us ONLINE.