If your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's, proper care is crucial. This is especially true for people living in nursing homes, who must receive sufficient dementia care to enjoy a good quality of life. In this case, the Mayo Clinic offers the following recommendations on how caregivers should treat patients experiencing cognitive decline.
First and foremost, your loved one should be surrounded by a safe and secure environment. The risk of sustaining a serious injury increases when a person has dementia, and it's up to caregivers to prevent accidents from occurring. Nursing homes should be free of clutter, which could pose a falling hazard. Medications and other potentially hazardous items should also be locked away so residents don't inadvertently stumble upon them. Fire safety is also crucial. All nursing homes should be outfitted with the proper fire safety systems, including smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
When it comes to communication, people with cognitive issues related to dementia have a hard time understanding instructions. In this case, it's best to use short, simple sentences when communicating instructions or directions. While choices are beneficial, residents should be limited to a few choices to reduce confusion. For instance, when helping a person get dressed in the morning he or she should be presented with two outfit selections to make the decision easier.
While abilities may be limited, a person with Alzheimer's or dementia should be involved as much as possible. Allowing them to perform simple tasks like setting the table can be very beneficial, both cognitively and physically. It's also recommended that napping is kept to a minimum, as this can disturb the sleep cycle.