Senior Care Franchise Caregiver Tips for Working with Dementia Patients
Even the most skilled senior caregivers may find themselves occasionally frustrated when working with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. While frustration and irritation may be normal emotional responses to the daily trials of caring for a dementia patient, it is critical for caregivers to remember their responsibility to respond to patients with kindness, understanding and professionalism at all times.
People with dementia can exhibit behaviors such as repetitive speech, questions and actions, paranoid behavior, incontinence, wandering, and verbal or physical aggression.
It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t control a dementia patient’s behavior, but you can control how you choose to respond to it.
Here are some tips for working with people with dementia:
- Speak clearly and use simple words and sentences. If the person doesn’t appear to understand you, repeat the question or statement. If he or she still doesn’t understand you, wait for a few moments and try rephrasing the question.
- Limit distractions in order to get and keep the patient’s attention. Make sure to address the person by name. State your name and communicate slowly and clearly.
- Ask simple, direct questions. Using visual cues and asking closed-ended questions that require simple yes or no responses are helpful.
- Take things one step at a time. Breaking down tasks step-by-step can be helpful for those with dementia. Use gentle reminders if the person forgets a step in the process.
- Be aware of your body language and tone of voice, which communicate your mood and feelings more powerfully than words. Use a gentle touch, tone of voice and body language to convey your message.
- Be patient and understanding.
Remember that people with dementia may take longer to respond and accomplish tasks and may need you to repeat things several times. Managing any frustration you might feel is important for both you and the patient.
Working with patients with dementia can be challenging, but it can also be a rewarding experience to help those with special needs. With patience and understanding, caregivers of a senior care franchise can improve seniors’ quality of life.
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