What is Dementia?
Dementia is a group of symptoms that can affect a person’s memory, thinking, problem-solving, language, behavior, and abilities. It is a progressive disorder, which means that it gets worse over time. Symptoms of dementia can vary from person to person, but they all involve a decline in cognitive functions. In 2023, there are still no cures for dementia, but there are ways to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
How Can You Help Your Mom?
If your mom is living with dementia, it can be challenging to know how to best help her. The most important thing is to create an environment that is supportive and accepting, and to focus on maintaining her independence and dignity. Here are some tips on how to help your mom with dementia in 2023:
Create a Routine
Creating a routine for your mom can help her feel more secure and comfortable. Try to keep her daily schedule consistent, such as eating meals at the same time each day and having regular activities that she can look forward to. This will help her feel more in control and less overwhelmed. You can also help her by setting reminders for her to take her medications, do her exercises, and attend her doctor’s appointments.
Socializing can help your mom stay connected with others and maintain her self-confidence. Encourage her to join clubs, attend events, and engage in activities that she enjoys. You can also help her find groups or classes for seniors who have dementia, so that she can meet other people who are going through similar experiences. This will also help her stay mentally and physically active, which can help slow the progression of dementia.
Provide Support and Understanding
It is important to provide your mom with understanding, empathy, and support. Try to be patient with her, as she may not always remember things or understand what is going on around her. It can also be helpful to explain things slowly and in simple terms. Give her compliments and positive reinforcement when she completes tasks, and encourage her to remain independent for as long as possible.
Help With Activities of Daily Living
As dementia progresses, your mom may need help with basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. If she is no longer able to do these things independently, try to make her feel comfortable and in control. For example, you can let her pick out her own clothes or choose what she wants to eat for breakfast. It can also be helpful to break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
Make Safety a Priority
It is important to make sure your mom is safe and secure. Perhaps install locks on doors and windows, or secure any dangerous items. It is also a good idea to get your mom a medical alert bracelet or necklace, so that she can call for help if she needs it. Additionally, you can use alarms or sensors to monitor her behavior and alert you if she gets out of bed or leaves the house.
Get Professional Help
If you need extra help, there are a number of professionals who specialize in dementia care. Home health aides can assist with activities of daily living and provide companionship. Occupational and physical therapists can also help your mom stay active and mobile. Additionally, there are counselors and support groups that can provide emotional and social support for both you and your mom.
Living with dementia can be difficult for both you and your mom. However, with patience and understanding, you can help her manage her symptoms and maintain her independence. By providing support, creating a safe environment, and getting professional help when needed, you can help your mom make the most of her life in 2023.