The ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADL) steadily declines as dementia progresses.
As dementia patients gradually forget daily routines and the abilities to carry out the activities of daily living, therefore they might face difficulty in eating, dressing, showering and even using the toilet.
In order to make these daily tasks easier for those with dementia, caregivers are essential. The right kind of assistance makes dementia patients to be independent for a longer of time and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Managing Elderly Dementia and Their Daily Activities
You can help an elderly who has dementia in managing ADL with these tips.
Daily Activity 1: Toileting
- Create a schedule for using the toilet. Remind your loved elderly to go to the toilet every two hours.
- To allow a person with dementia to locate the toilet in time, use signs or different colors. If the elderly can’t find the toilet in time, incontinence may result.
- Limit the consumption of fluids that have diuretic effect (drinks that make a person urinate more frequently, such as coffee and tea) to mornings.
- Before going to bed in the evening, do not drink too much.
- To ensure safe and easy access, leave the light in the toilet on at night. Or, use a stationary commode in the bedroom for night-time.
- Wear clothing with elastic waistbands or hook-and-loop fasteners (such as Velcro tapes) to easily remove them.
- Wear clothes that are easily washable.
Daily Activity 2: Showering
- To encourage your loved one to shower, adopt some of their previous showering preferences.
- You may also set routines to help. For instance, set a specific time for showering, choose shower gel of his or her preference, water temperature and shower method (using a shower head or from a pail) that he or she is comfortable of.
- Wash hair separately if it causes distress to your loved one.
- If your loved one is always struggling to take a shower, consider taking a towel bath instead which can be done with no-rinse soap and may be more soothing.
- Getting dressed may be challenging for those with dementia as well. Choose clothes with easy fasteners like Velcro tapes and loose-fitting, minimize the usage of buttons.
Daily Activity 3: Changes in Eating Patterns
- Include meal and snack times in the daily routine. Plan these tasks around the same time every day. Try eating small frequent meals instead of three large ones.
- Avoid giving people with dementia too many food options because this can be confusing for them. Ask them “Do you want to eat rice or noodles?” instead of “What do you want to eat?”.
- Make meals an occasion. You can play some soothing music or place a vase of flowers on the table. Turn off the TV and any load radio programs.
- Eat together with your loved one. It makes the meal more enjoyable to share with someone.
- Think of your loved one as you prepare meals.
- Use soft foods or cut them into bite-sized portions if they use dentures, having chewing or swallowing problem.
It is understandable that most of the families are busy with their works and might lack of time to take care of dementia elderly. Hiring a maid as a caregiver for your loved one will be a great alternative. Help Is Here can help you to recruit an experienced one based on your demands. Contact us now for more information.