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Tips for Managing Advancing Dementia

While each senior with dementia is going to have a unique set of symptoms, there are some easy ways to promote safety and comfort for those in the advanced stages. Home Care Assistance, a trusted Annapolis dementia care provider, shares a few strategies our caregivers use for helping to ease some of the symptoms experienced by seniors with advancing dementia.

Provide Positive Outside Stimuli

Even when dementia makes it extremely difficult to retain or process new information, seniors may still respond to outside stimuli in a positive way. Playing favorite songs, or watching familiar television shows and movies together can keep your loved one calm and more responsive.

Pay Attention to Body Language

A person with advancing dementia may experience trouble speaking, or lose the ability to clearly verbalize all together. Pay close attention to body language and facial expressions to get an idea of how your loved one is feeling or if he or she is experiencing any noticeable discomfort.

Work with an Physical or Occupational Therapist

Seniors with dementia may be living with other conditions like arthritis that can make mobility extremely difficult. Consider working with a physical or occupational therapist to determine if there are certain exercises your loved one can do, under the watchful eye of a family member or in-home caregiver, to improve muscle strength and coordination. They can also recommend appropriate mobility aids to make daily activities easier and promote independence.

Monitor Eating Habits

Consider consulting a dietician or speech therapist to evaluate your loved one’s ability to swallow and chew on a regular basis. Patients with advanced dementia often have problems controlling muscles and reflexes in the mouth and throat. Make meals as easy to digest and swallow as possible, and carefully monitor your loved one’s eating habits for signs of difficulty.

Also Consider

  • Asking simple questions (even with advanced dementia, there’s usually some level of comprehension)
  • Encouraging physical activity (some patients do better when they’re active)
  • Keeping familiar items nearby and within easy reach
  • Regularly checking their immediate environment to remove potential obstacles
  • Offering more attention during moments of anxiety (some patients become more agitated later in the day)
  • Providing incontinence care with dignity (don’t make a big deal out of accidents and try to maintain privacy as much as possible)

Interested in finding other tips for promoting your loved one’s quality of life? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Annapolis, MD today. Along with flexible hourly and live-in care, we also provide dementia and Alzheimer’s care for Annapolis seniors. Call 443-302-2771 and request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced and friendly Care Manager.