6 Tips for Fostering Independence in Aging Adults with Dementia

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Promoting independence in an aging loved one with dementia could boost his or her brain function and self-esteem. When your loved one takes on more tasks, it could free up some of your time and reduce caregiver-related stress. Therefore, you need to find ways to keep your parent self-reliant. Below are some tips for encouraging independence in your senior parent with dementia.

1. Focus on Their Abilities

When choosing activities for your loved one, consider his or her physical and mental limitations. Your loved one’s independence isn’t likely to increase if you suggest tasks that are too challenging, frustrating, and nearly impossible to complete. Instead, focus on your loved one’s strengths and simplify his or her activities to reduce frustration, confusion, and aggression. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Look for Additional Resources

Government agencies and nonprofit organizations often provide resources that enable older adults to age in the comfort of their homes. These resources could include tools that make daily life less challenging for your loved one. Your parent could also receive safety equipment that makes it easier to navigate the home, which might ease his or her fear if he or she continuously worries about being injured in a fall. Safety is one of the top reasons seniors with dementia become reliant on others. However, the tools and devices your loved one receives from local, state, and federal agencies as well as private organizations could help him or her maintain independence even as the condition progresses.

3. Be Patient

Your loved one may move at a slower pace and forget basic information as his or her dementia progresses. Remain patient and offer moral support. If you rush your loved one or try to take over, he or she could continue to become more dependent on you and other caregivers. However, staying calm and giving your loved one plenty of time to complete tasks could boost his or her confidence and comfort levels. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. North Broward families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

4. Make Changes to the Home

As your loved one’s memory decreases, he or she may forget where furniture is placed or everyday items are stored. You can encourage your parent’s independence by moving these items and making them more visible. For instance, placing eating utensils on the counter or dinner table instead of storing them in kitchen drawers may be more beneficial for your loved one. Moving pieces of furniture can prevent your loved one from bumping into them and experiencing an injury. Speak with loved one’s primary care physician to learn about easy and inexpensive ways to adapt your parent’s home.

5. Keep Them Physically Active

Exercising increases blood flow and stimulates the brain, which can enable seniors with dementia to take on more responsibility and rely less on their family caregivers. You’ll need to monitor your loved one’s actions to ensure his or her safety, especially in the later stages of the condition. However, exercising more could enhance your loved one’s thinking abilities and boost his or her memory.

6. Promote Socialization

Seniors who interact with others can prevent isolation and retain many of their memories, particularly in the early and middle stages of dementia. Find ways to get your loved one out of the home to interact with other people. Socializing may raise your parent’s self-esteem and motivate him or her to take on more purposeful activities, which can boost quality of life and reduce various symptoms associated with dementia. 

A trained caregiver with knowledge about caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated North Broward senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 954-906-5161 to learn about the high quality of our in-home dementia care services.