When Caring for Dementia Patients: 6 Things You Must Never Do
It is a blatant fact that dementia is not easy to deal with. Regardless of the type, the patients change drastically. Unfortunately, most of the changes are worse. Seeing a loved one being affected by dementia is heart-wrenching. At some point, it can also be frustrating. Caregivers will be up for one unique roller-coaster ride.
Handling the disorder is no minor feat. Until you see the things that a dementia patient can do, you will never realize how upsetting it can become. Nevertheless, dementia patients must never be treated poorly. Their sensitive condition will require a warm and compassionate hand to hold on. Avoid doing the following to your dementia-afflicted loved ones:
- Asking complex questions
The key to communicating with dementia patients is clarity. You do not have to speak in long and elaborate sentences, just get to the point. For example, if you want to feed them just say “food”. Making use of signal words like “food”, “bath”, or “sleep” will help you get through them.
- Shouting at them
Never raise your voice at them. Doing so may shock them or intimidate them. In both instances, the crumbling emotional and mental health of the patients might worsen. Be mindful of your tone. As much as possible, be very understanding and do not let your temper get the best of you.
- Ignoring them
Just because they become too bothersome and needy, it does not give you the license to ignore them. Actually, doing so is a form of emotional and psychological neglect. What the patients are battling is something overwhelming. Extend your patience and be their back support.
- Leaving them alone
Leaving the dementia patients alone open countless grim possibilities. They are no longer in the right mind. It is impossible to expect them to look out for themselves. Be on constant watch for their actions and reactions.
- Verbal abuse
Be sensitive to what you will say. Despite their condition, patients with dementia can still feel emotional pain. Though they are with a horrid disorder, such did not make them less human. Remember that words are like bladed weapons – if used properly, it can defend lives; if used inappropriately, it can emotionally devastate someone.
- Physical violence
Never lift a hand on dementia patients (or any person for that matter). Physical violence does only inflict scars, it can trigger traumas. Considering that patients with have become extremely frail persons already, it is very easy for them to be scarred deep inside.
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