Many family caregivers helping a senior who has dementia wonder why there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what starts happening. In truth, there are a lot of subtle patterns that start kicking in for most people with dementia. When you can start to recognize those patterns, you can work with them to the advantage of both you and your aging parent.
Routines Can Be Helpful
Even if your elderly adult never really had much of a routine before she was diagnosed with dementia, routines can help her now. They give your senior a structure that she can rely on every day. She knows what to expect and there are far fewer surprises that crop up in her day.
Start Tracking What Happens
Keeping a tracking log can help both you and your parent. It can seem overwhelming at first to start tracking your senior’s sleeping habits and how she’s feeling, but it can give you, your senior, and her doctor so much information that you can really use. Keep the tracking log simple by using just a spiral notebook that you can keep handy and update.
Look at What and When Your Parent Eats
Food can be way more important to your parent’s good mood and good health than you realize. Start keeping a separate food journal for your senior. It’s just as important to track when she eats as it is to track what she eats. This can give you vital information, such as sugar makes your loved one crash or that caffeine is a bad idea in the afternoon.
Gather Information for Several Weeks to Spot Long-term Patterns
It’s understandable if you’re not excited about spending the rest of your life tracking these patterns for your loved one. But if you only track this type of information for a few days, you may well miss some of the longer-term patterns that you might need to know about. Make a commitment to track for at least a month and then you can determine if you need more information.
If you’re still having trouble spotting some of your loved one’s patterns, consider hiring senior care providers who have experience with dementia. They can help you spot things you might not have noticed.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home senior care in Cromwell, CT, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.