Strategies for Caring for Someone with Dementia Part 2

Nov 28, 2022 | Nick Rethemeier | @nrethemeier

During the month of November, Mayo Clinic and NBC Universal are partnering to honor National Family Caregivers Month. This partnership has fostered a website called the Caregiver Resource Guide, which provides strategies, tips, and support for caregivers with a variety of conditions. For the next 3 weeks, we will be sharing strategies you can use as you care for someone living with dementia.


Simplify Daily Life

Simplifying aspects of daily life can go a long way toward mitigating stress for both you and your loved one. Having single-portion foods at the ready can ease the burden of preparing meals and snacks for the caregiver. Switching out clothing with cumbersome buttons or zippers for simpler options like pull-on pants and tops can prevent frustration and enable greater autonomy for the person with dementia. Keep stress-inducing clutter to a minimum and take steps to ensure a safe home environment. Plug unused electrical outlets, keep cleaning supplies and other household hazards out of reach, and minimize the chance of falls by outfitting the tub with a shower chair and every staircase with a handrail. See Mayo Clinic’s Tips for Daily Tasks for more guidance.


Read the Signs of Acting Out

With dementia, it’s important to keep track of symptoms since they can be vital expressions of the patient’s emotional state as their language skills wane. Acting out, or disruptive behavior, is especially worth paying attention to. It’s often a reaction to an unmet need, such as pain, hunger, thirst, lack of sleep or boredom, or a frustration stemming from their loss of independence and control over their life and friendships. Helping loved ones with dementia feel they have the respect of others and a sense of purpose can go a long way to ease their frustration and anxiety.

You can view the full list of strategies on the Caregiver Resource Guide website. All information provided is courtesy of Mayo Clinic and NBC Universal (2022)

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