You may have noticed that your loved one is having trouble with their thinking, behavior, movement, and memory. Unfortunately, these changes may be dementia symptoms.
After a dementia diagnosis, note the type and stage of dementia your loved one has. It’s likely symptoms will get worse as they age. It’s important to be proactive so you, your loved one, and their healthcare team can work together to craft a care plan for dementia (before the disease progresses).
A care plan for dementia can be extensive including choosing a power of attorney, contemplating a do-not-resuscitate order, choosing future living arrangements, etc. But how can you help plan for day-to-day life while your loved one continues to live independently?
Care Plan for Dementia: Develop a Daily Schedule
Discuss concerns you and your loved one have about safety issues in their current home. Shadow your aged loved one in their South Bay home for an extended period to understand their typical routine and identify hazards.
Write up a schedule that fits with their habits, needs, and abilities. A simple daily schedule will help your loved one stay focused on what they need to accomplish each day. Add sections for morning, afternoon, and evening that include clean up times, activities, medication times, mealtimes, and bedtimes.
Help them be successful by keeping a good routine:
- Place this schedule in a high traffic spot like on the fridge.
- Help create reminders on their smartphone or other devices.
- Get Pill organizers so medication times are easier.
Take Note of Nutrition
Good food feeds the mind, body, and soul. Place a list on the fridge so they remember to write down a grocery list as items run out.
You may have to help your loved one figure out successful ways to follow any physician-recommended diet(s). Keep a flyer on the fridge to jog your loved one’s memory about the foods they should be eating for optimal health.
Dehydration can cause problems like injury and confusion. Get a handy pitcher of filtered water for the fridge. Purchase a special water bottle that measures daily water intake, so they’re always reminded that they need to keep drinking.
Your care plan for dementia should include exercise. Sign your aged loved one up for classes at local senior centers.
Physical exercise can limit cognitive decline. It also helps relax the body and mind, keeping agitation at bay.
Exercising the whole body is important, but don’t forget social interaction! Perhaps family and friends can stop by to visit. Your loved one may enjoy participating in a club at the senior center.
When their brain is stimulated and feeling connected to other people, your loved one will decrease risks associated with isolation, anxiety, and depression.
Slight schedule changes can frustrate a person with dementia. However, you may find that some activities or tasks create too much stress or confusion.
Adjustments may be necessary to customize the plan to your loved one’s unique needs, desires, abilities, and interests. Update the care plan for dementia annually — or earlier if the disease suddenly progresses.
A dementia diagnosis is stressful, and it may be hard for you and your loved one to wrap your heads around this life change. While a mounting list of to dos are no doubt making life stressful for you both, take control by creating a simple daily care plan for dementia.