Dementia support Gold Coast
  • September 19 2022
  • Residential Aged Care

5 ways to support a loved one living with dementia – Dementia Action Week 2022

From 19 to 22 September it’s Dementia Action Week (which incorporates World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September), a chance to increase the community’s understanding of dementia and learn how we can make a difference to the lives of people impacted by this condition. 

With approximately half a million Australians impacted by dementia, and another 1.6 million involved in their care, here at HillView Care we believe it’s important to show support and help those living with dementia and their carers any way we can. 

Living with dementia

Living with dementia poses challenges for both the person with dementia and their loved ones. If your loved one has dementia they can find it more difficult to remember things, have mood swings, struggle to communicate and display changes to their personality and behaviour. 

As a carer it’s common to feel overwhelmed as caring for them is often a full-time job. While you hope all interactions are positive, it can be difficult to manage and cope with everything your loved one is going through. 

At HillView Aged Care our dementia care team are highly experienced and provide specialised care 24/7. They know what it takes to take care of the needs of people living with dementia and have shared some ways to support your loved ones on their dementia journey. 

Create positive interactions

It’s not always easy, especially if you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, but it’s important to always try and create positive interactions with your loved one. Here are a few tips for communicating positively with someone living with dementia: 

  • Try to limit distractions when communicating.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, repeat or rephrase your questions one at a time.
  • Display positive body language to convey your message.
  • If a loved one becomes upset, distract or redirect the conversation.
  • Laugh with them. 
  • Listen, be patient and read their body language to gauge their feelings. 
  • Be reassuring. 
  • Break down more complicated tasks into smaller steps.
  • Speak with them about the past and relive old memories. 

Remain flexible 

It’s not always possible to stick to a strict routine when you are caring for a loved one living with dementia. They will become more dependent over time and their needs will change. It’s important to stay flexible and sometimes you will need to go with the flow. 

Encourage independence 

You know yourself it’s not easy to be dependent on someone else, so keep this in mind when caring for someone with dementia. It’s great to encourage them to do as much as they can by themselves, only assisting when you need to. Encouraging independence instils a sense of self-worth and confidence.

Create a safe environment

Dementia can affect someone’s chance of injury as it affects judgement and problem-solving skills, so it’s important they have a safe environment to live in. The changes you will have to make will depend on the progression of your loved one’s dementia.

You may need to remove anything that could cause falls or tripping, check water temperature before showers and baths, install locks to guard against anything dangerous and ensure your house has acceptable fire safety precautions. 

Take care of yourself 

We know it’s not always easy to take care of loved one’s living with dementia, that’s why it’s so important to take time for yourself and practice self care. 

If you need time-out, respite care is a great way to take a break while having the peace of mind your loved one is getting the care they need. At HillView Care our respite residents can stay from a few days, up to a few weeks at a time and will access the same care and support as our permanent residential aged care residents. 

Residential aged care for people living with dementia

Whether it’s because your home is no longer suitable, or you don’t have the capacity to provide the level of care your loved one needs, there may come a time when you will need to consider transitioning your loved one into residential aged care. 

When your loved one is living with dementia this can be scary for them and for you, however rest assured, HillView Care specialises in caring for individuals with dementia. 

We offer 24/7 medical care in a secure, safe environment where they will receive expert care from trained professionals. Staff working in dementia care are hand-picked and always take a compassionate and caring approach to meet the needs of every individual resident. 

The HillView Care team will do everything possible to make residents feel at home, while providing the personalised care and support they deserve. We don’t underestimate the power of connection for people living with dementia and provide a range of fun activities and entertainment to keep them engaged. 

If you’d like to connect with us and have a chat about our dementia care, you can contact HillView Care Gold Coast aged care homes online or by calling (07) 5559 3222.

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