How to care for someone with dementia - Valleywood Care Ltd
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How to care for someone with dementia

Family is an essential part of life, however, when a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, it can feel like a big change has occurred. The role of a caregiver takes on a new significance, as your loved one will require not just care but a heightened level of compassion and understanding. At Valleywood Care, we understand the challenges that caring for someone with dementia presents. We are wholeheartedly committed to enhancing the quality of life for those facing dementia whilst providing peace of mind and support for their families. In this blog, we take a look at how to care for someone with dementia in the comfort of their own home and how our friendly team at Valleywood Care can help in creating a positive environment…

Shaping the experience

Caring for someone with dementia extends beyond physical assistance and requires the recognition that relationships, the environment and the support received have a profound impact on shaping their overall experience. While you may not be able to fully understand the reality of living with dementia, acknowledging that it brings about changes in identity and behaviour is an important first step. The ability to try to see things from their perspective can become a cornerstone of effective support.

Carers, family and friends can play a pivotal role in validating and including individuals with dementia. At Valleywood Care, our dedicated team offers a listening ear and companionship in the comfort of their own home. This can help to preserve their sense of belonging and value.

In shaping the experience of living with dementia, a personalised approach is key, placing the individual’s preferences, needs and values at the heart of their care:

  • Focus on what they have – Don’t focus on what they might have lost, but recognise their remaining abilities and how they feel. Not only does this foster an environment that is positive and resilient, but allows for the continued building of trust and connection.
  • Be gentle and respectful – Approach each task and interaction with patience – don’t rush them. This reassures your loved one.
  • Do enjoyable activities – Listening to music, completing puzzles or simple hobbies, and doing activities that bring happiness and positivity can contribute to a fulfilling life.

Create a dementia-friendly home

It is important that your loved ones are able to maintain their independence and do the things they enjoy in the comfort of their own homes. However, ensuring that this environment remains safe and secure is essential. By creating a home environment that balances independence with safety, you can support your loved one’s well-being.

There are a number of steps that you can take to create a dementia-friendly home for your loved one, including:

  • Keep lighting bright and natural by opening curtains, cutting back hedges and trees and keeping windows clear to reduce the likelihood of glare, shadows and reflections – this will help your loved one better keep track of time.
  • Use furniture that is plain coloured, but contrasting with the walls and floors so that they are easily seen.
  • Lighting is particularly key in the bathroom and on the stairs to ensure safety.
  • Try to make sure the bedroom is dark at night – this will help with maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Avoid bringing rugs or mats into the home as these could lead to trips and falls
  • Tuck away wires and cables, and remove clutter.
  • Implement memory aids where applicable to help your loved one remember where things are – for example, you could label and sign cupboards, drawers and doors.
Supported living at valleywood care

Support independence

Creating personalised care plans that allow those with a dementia diagnosis to carry out tasks that they can still manage is essential. As a carer, support them in doing things for themselves rather than taking over. By breaking activities into manageable steps, offering reassurance, and allowing ample time, caregivers create an environment that fosters a sense of accomplishment, boosts overall well-being, and preserves valuable skills. Whether it’s shopping, walking the dog or gardening, doing these things together can be a great way to maintain an active social life and positive family relationships.

Furthermore, you can support the independence of your loved one by implementing a regular routine. Keeping a weekly timetable in an easy to see place, such as on the fridge, provides a sense of predictability and security, helping to keep track of any activities and appointments. You can also simplify medication management with a pill organiser box, reminding individuals what medications to take and when.

Valleywood Care is pleased to offer a comprehensive range of dementia care services that support these practices. These include companionship – engaging our lovely clients in conversations, activities and outings to keep them socially connected – and reminding and assisting with medications.

Woman with dementia and caregiver

Understanding communication

When you begin to care for someone with dementia, it is crucial to understand that they may communicate in different ways. Behaviour and body language emerge as essential indicators, offering insights into their emotional state. Dementia can affect how the brain processes stress and confusion, making it vital to discern potential triggers and interpret facial expressions to minimise stress and conflicts.

Enhancing your communication skills involves adopting approaches that resonate with their unique needs:

  • Maintain eye contact to help them focus on you and foster a sense of connection.
  • Don’t stand too close to someone when talking.
  • Include the person in conversations, actively listen and value their input.
  • Try not to speak on their behalf or complete their sentences – allow them to express themselves.
  • Minimise sudden movements and tense facial expressions as these can be unsettling.
  • Don’t ask too many questions – suggest options to provide a more manageable interaction.

Be proactive

Regularly assessing how much support your loved one needs is a fundamental part of effective dementia care. Proactivity is paramount, as it not only anticipates their needs but promptly addresses concerns and incidents to bridge any gaps in their care.

Caring for someone with dementia is a challenging undertaking, and it’s important to recognise that your needs as a carer are just as important. It’s okay to reach out for additional support, and doing so can ensure your loved one receives the very best care.

Dementia Care with Valleywood

At Valleywood Care, we understand the unique challenges that come with caring for someone with dementia. We believe it’s crucial for our clients to feel in control of their situation, and we strive to cater to their specific and individual needs with compassion and respect. Assisting with medication, companionship and emotional support, as well as personal care and domestic duties.

Get in touch

To learn more about Valleywood Care and how we can help you care for someone with dementia, get in touch today. Simply call 01270 588864 or fill out our online enquiry form, and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.

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01270 588864

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Valleywood Care Limited
3 Mallard Court
Mallard Way
Crewe
Cheshire
CW1 6ZQ

Our office is open for enquiries weekdays from 8am to 6pm.

Care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The cost over weekends and holidays remaining the same as at any other time.

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