Navigating Dementia Caring: Essential Tips for Caregivers

May 10, 2024

Not many people are prepared for a loved one’s dementia diagnosis. It can be a difficult and emotional time for the whole family, and for the person living with dementia. That’s why they need the very best support possible, but it can be difficult for caregivers to know where to start. Dementia caring is complex, and a person’s needs consistently change. Below, we’ll provide you with some essential tips for supporting a loved one living with dementia.

Ensure a safe and forgiving environment

When a person living with dementia moves into permanent care, the environment is carefully curated for care needs. However, when caring for someone in your home, you must take steps to ensure the environment is safe for somebody living with dementia. Some precautions include upgrading smoke alarms, installing motion sensor lights, and removing trip hazards. 

Learn as much as you can about dementia

Nobody expects you to become an expert, but it’s still helpful to learn as much as you can about dementia. If you’ve not experienced a friend or family member living with dementia, it can all feel very daunting. While most people have a basic understanding of what dementia is, you should try to learn more about their condition in order to offer the best support possible. 

Encourage engagement in activities

Dementia affects a person’s cognitive abilities, which limits the tasks and activities they can perform. The journey is different for everybody, so it’s crucial to keep people actively involved in their interests for as long as they can enjoy them. Whether it’s gardening, crafts, walking on the beach or cooking, you can benefit a person greatly by keeping them involved.

Community and social involvement are also important because people living with dementia can experience great feelings of isolation. Try to always include your loved one in family gatherings and keep them engaged while there. If they enjoy sports, shopping, or any other types of activities, support them in staying involved however they can.

Tailor your communication

Following a dementia diagnosis, a person can gradually or quickly experience difficulties communicating. You’ll need to adjust your communication as the condition progresses, but there are some general tips you can follow at all times:

  • Speak clearly
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Use and look for non-verbal cues
  • Be patient with responses

When someone finds communication difficult, they become frustrated, emphasising the need for patience and understanding.  

Seek support when needed

Supporting a loved one with dementia can be physically and emotionally demanding, so it’s important to look after yourself, too. Group Homes Australia offers dementia education, support and care services when the time comes to consider moving to permanent care. Many community organisations can also offer assistance.

Look after your health, talk to someone when you need to, and be aware of all the support services available during this difficult time.

Maintain a focus on nutrition

Nutrition is extremely important for people living with dementia; however, it can often take a backseat to other daily care needs. Monitor eating habits where possible, and always prepare balanced meals when assisting with food. Your loved one’s dietary needs may change over time, so always seek advice from health professionals where required.

Looking for help with dementia caring?

Group Homes Australia offers a wide range of support services for people living with dementia and their families. From 24/7 care services to dementia education, we offer a genuine alternative to traditional dementia caring. To find out how we can help, contact our supportive team today.


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