Caregiving for a loved one with dementia presents its own unique challenges. COVID-19 is proving to be another complication in this situation, it has exposed additional needs in dementia care. We at Seniors Helping Seniors Charlotte have dementia experienced and trained caregivers that can help your loved one to maintain a routine, which is crucial, especially at a time like this.
Seniors are finding that social distancing, self-isolation and other changes are upending their daily routine. A daily routine is important for maintaining independence safely. We find that when routine changes, it becomes harder for them to properly care for themselves. Seniors Helping Seniors Charlotte can help with keeping your loved one on a schedule to lessen the impact that the isolation has placed on them.
For caregivers, all of the new changes in your loved one can lead to increased feelings of stress, anxiety and confusion for both of you. These negative feelings can lead to worsening symptoms in the person’s dementia, they can sense your worry. If you can bring in an extra set of hands, it often gives you the space you need to care for yourself so that you are able to be more present with your loved one. As a caregiver, it’s also important to have a plan in the event that you become ill or need to self-quarantine. With an additional caregiver, you will be able to rest easier knowing that someone is there for your loved one. Planning ahead will help.
It is also helpful to know how to explain COVID-19 to the person you’re caring for and why it is important to have someone else available to help. Consider what you want to say ahead of time. Would using the word virus scare the person? Perhaps using the word “bug” is a better choice. You should also think about questions the person may ask and consider what your responses should be, being prepared with simple and direct answers will help to lessen their confusion. Above all, speak calmly, be patient and focus on the positive. Your reassurance will go a long way.
It is vital to ensure that the person living with dementia maintains good hygiene. Reminding them to wash their hands regularly using creative ideas to convince them will help to reduce their risk of infection. One such way is to sing with them as you both wash your hands, they will mimic your motions and the singing will distract them and make them smile. If you are trying to limit how often they touch their face, keep their hands busy with activities they enjoy, like knitting or chores, like folding towels. Do your best but accept that you may not be able to limit the number of times the person touches their face. Always disinfect frequently touched surfaces, routinely wash your hands and avoid touching your face. These are also things that an additional caregiver can assist with.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves, know that Seniors Helping Seniors Charlotte is committed to helping you and your loved one. We are here to ensure your loved one receives the care and support they need. We continue to adapt the way we provide support for you and your family during these uncertain times. Our staff is here to answer any questions about how we can help or the protocols we are putting in place to protect our caregivers and clients. Please visit our website (www.seniorcarecharlottenc.com) or contact us at (704) 573-6838 for more information.