Across the US, there has been an increase in reports of mistreatment to elderly people, and there are likely to be many more undocumented cases. Those with dementia can be difficult to deal with, and so they are often at a high risk of abuse if you have a loved one with dementia who has moved into a nursing home. It is important that you know the signs and act quickly and correctly. You can find out more on this website.
As we learn more about people with dementia, there are certain best practices that can help you to cope with increasingly difficult behavior. Following these tips will not only help to relieve stress for yourself and your loved one, but it will also give you a good idea of what to look for with interactions with care staff.
Know when to correct them and when to agree
As people start to lose their memory, they can become very confused. This can be very upsetting for them. If they are crying for their mum, comfort them, and don’t correct them if they believe she is still alive. They may repeat themselves and want to go home. Sometimes it’s ok to lie and tell them they will go home soon. They will likely forget what you have told them, and comforting them in the moment is more important. Other times, you may want to correct them. Tell them who you are or remind them they that are in a home so that they can be looked after. Everyone is different, so learn what works best for them.
Do not shout at them
Sometimes people with dementia may get angry and shout at you or even become aggressive. Be sure that you are safe and get help from a carer if needed. However, don’t match their aggression. Try to stay calm and speak to them softly. If you clearly become agitated, this will likely make them worse. You can find some tips on how to calm them down here.
Repeat yourself, repeat yourself
It may be frustrating, but they may continually forget what you have told them. Keep reassuring them and repeat yourself if necessary.
Talk to them and hold their hand
Especially if you are visiting them with other people, be sure not to exclude them. This can make them feel excluded and lonely. They can become frustrated when they do not know what you are talking about. Be sure to keep bringing your attention back to them. After all, you are there to see them. Speak clearly and about one thing at a time. Keep eye contact with them and use their name. Stay calm and caring, and comfort them if you can. Sometimes it can be hard to think about things to talk about with them. It may be that you can’t have the same sort of conversations that you used to have with them. If you need some ideas, click here.
Walk with them
If they get up to walk around, as long as they are safe to do so, walk with them. They may just need to stretch their legs or use the toilet. Being sat down all day can become boring and frustrating. They may not know where they are going, so walk with them and keep them safe.