Dementia is a very complex disease. It can be upsetting for all those involved and can often lead to unwanted squabbles or disputes which resolve nothing, instead leaving by carer and sufferer upset and downbeat.
Therefore, a general day to day care plan for dementia is required in order to help better cope with the many situations that will no doubt arise during the care of a friend or loved one suffering from the illness.
Here then I give a brief idea of things to consider when it comes to a care plan for dementia.
A care plan for dementia can simply involve things like assisting them with everyday tasks. For example creating a daily routine to simplify matters and give the person you are caring for a more co-ordinated day.
It is also important to keep the person in good health, cutting out smoking if they were a smoker, or limiting the amount of alcohol they drink are some of the steps you can make. But of course a little bit of exercise each day is also needed.
A Healthy Diet
People with dementia will often be unable to recognise foods they may have previously loved, spurning your offering. It is not to be taken personally however as is often down to them being confused, or possibly having some other trouble, maybe something dental. If the behaviour continues it is well worth looking into calling your GP though.
More Coping Strategies
It is important to also have a care plan for dementia that considers coping strategies. This is as important for yourself as the person you are caring for.
Look to have realistic, manageable goals rather than believing yourself to be superhuman. While many carers often will try to convince themselves that they are capable of doing everything, literally all of the time, it is just not achievable, and if anything is more likely to be bad for your own health and in turn that of the loved one you are taking care of.
It is also important to understand that over time the disease will get worse, so you will need to be flexible in that regard, changing how you care for the person you are looking after to suit the situation more. Reminiscing about the past and enjoying the good times as they come are just some of the other ways in which you can develop a copying strategy when looking after someone with dementia.
Old age often leaves us more vulnerable to other ailments and illnesses to be concerned with, so from time to time, a person suffering from dementia may have to go into hospital.
Once they come out it is important to have the a care plan for dementia in place as things may be somewhat different, even if the hospital visit was only a matter of days.
Having spent any time caring for someone suffering dementia you be well aware that every day can be very unpredictable as it is, so with the combination of a trip to hospital it should come as no surprise that an extra level of care is needed when a loved one comes out of hospital.
You may need to decide if it is more practical for the person to go into care or look into care services provided by the local authority.
There is also the option to look into intermediate care. As the name implies intermediate care is a middle ground. Instead of the person going straight home after coming out of hospital, they can instead go into a home, day care centre, or maybe even simply have the necessary pieces of equipment fitted in their home.
Louisa Jenkins is a care advisor who provides advice on UK care options available, including care at home and short term care. She also offers advice on formulating a care plan for dementia when looking after sufferers.