In India, more than 4 million people have some form of dementia. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia, and in India alone, by the year 2050, 133 lakh people will suffer from Dementia. Most of the patients of dementia are given care at home by the family members itself, since this is a disease that can’t be cured with medical intervention or hospitalization.
Caregiving is an overwhelming job, especially for a dementia patient, as each day brings new challenges and behavioral patterns. Dressing, bathing, feeding and other everyday tasks can feel taxing after a while. Hence, it’s important to have a caregiving plan to make things simpler for both the patient and the caregiver.
Below are a few points that can help you in this journey:
Consult a doctor: It is best advised to seek a professional’s help. Read up as much as you can about the disease and take your doctor’s help in getting the right answers to them. Find out the best treatment that will work for your family member.
Look for support groups: Studies have suggested that caregivers of dementia patients often go through depression themselves because this is an overwhelming job and more often than not there’s no outlet to your emotions. A support group for caregivers will be helpful in that case. You can share your feelings and concerns. You can get ideas on how to overcome a challenge with the patient. These groups let you have an outlet to your emotions, thus reducing the feeling of overwhelm. There are also online support groups available that allow you to share without you having to leave your home.
Design a schedule: Though it’s not possible to predict the patient’s behavior, but there may be a possibility that they are less confused at a particular time in a day. Understand that and set your routine accordingly so that things can move smoothly.
Consider adult day care: Consider using the adult care centers to take a break from caregiving occasionally. These centers take care of the patient well, while allowing you to take a mental break so that you rejuvenate. Caregiving is a demanding job and it’s alright to want to take a pause sometimes.
With the above steps, caregiving can become slightly easier for both the caregiver and the patient.
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