Pre-dementia can be difficult for both the person with the condition and their loved ones. It is important to remember that everyone experiences dementia differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to care. Families should work together to develop a plan that meets the person’s specific needs.
Families must be aware of the signs and symptoms of pre-dementia to seek early diagnosis and treatment. Some common signs of pre-dementia include difficulty with memory, problem-solving, or language; changes in mood or behavior; and difficulty with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or cooking.
As the caregiver for a person with pre-dementia, you might have to take on yourself. Here are a few things you might have to do for your loved one.
Cooking Healthy Meals
One of the best things you can do for someone with pre-dementia is healthy to cook meals. A healthy diet can help improve brain function and slow the progression of dementia.
Some tips for cooking healthy meals for a person with pre-dementia:
- Plan ahead: Make a menu for the week and do all the grocery shopping in one trip. It will save you time and energy during the week.
- Keep it simple: Choose recipes with few ingredients that are easy to follow.
- Get help from others: Ask family members or friends to pitch in with meal preparation.
- Take advantage of technology: Many apps and online resources can help you plan and prepare meals.
Fortunately, cooking is an easy task that might not affect your day-to-day routine. However, the ingredients and meals you use might have to improve for health reasons. Undercooked salmon might not be ideal for your loved one, so serving it raw or cooking it well will be necessary.
Helping with Daily Activities
As dementia progresses, the person you are caring for will likely need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and using the toilet.
Here are a few tips to help make these activities easier:
- Create a routine: Try to do the same activities simultaneously each day. It will help your loved one feel more comfortable and less anxious.
- Break down tasks into smaller steps: For example, if you are helping your loved one take a shower, start by turning on the water and getting everything ready before calling them into the shower.
- Use adaptive equipment: Many products can make daily activities more manageable, such as shower chairs and grab bars.
- Be patient: It might take longer to do activities than before, but try to be patient and understanding.
People with pre-dementia will likely need help with some daily activities. Their mobility will be as much of a hindrance as their speech. As the disease progresses, they will need more and more assistance.
Providing Emotional Support
Caring for a person with pre-dementia can be emotionally challenging. You might feel sad, frustrated, or even angry at times. It is crucial to find a support system to help you cope with your feelings.
Here are a few ways to get emotional support:
- Join a support group: Many groups are available for caregivers of people with dementia. It is a great way to meet other people going through similar experiences.
- Talk to a therapist: A therapist can help you manage your emotions and provide coping strategies.
- Take respite breaks: It is essential to take breaks from caregiving. It can be as simple as taking a walk or getting a massage.
It is also important to provide emotional support to the person with pre-dementia. They might be feeling scared, confused, or even depressed. Try to be understanding and patient. Please encourage them to express their feelings and talk about their fears.
Planning for the Future
As dementia progresses, the person you are caring for will eventually need more care than you can provide at home. It is crucial to start planning for this now so that you can make sure they get the best possible care.
Here are a few things to think about:
What kind of care will they need? Will they need 24-hour care, or can they live in an assisted living facility? Is dementia care the better option? How will you pay for care? Long-term care can be expensive. You should start saving now or look into long-term care insurance.
Who will provide care? If you are the primary caregiver, you might need to enlist the help of family members or friends. When should you make a move? It is vital to make a move before it becomes an emergency. It will allow you to take your time and plan everything out.
Getting dementia care is difficult, but it might be the best thing for your loved one. They will be able to get the professional care they need, and you will be able to have some respite from caregiving.
Caring for a person with pre-dementia can be challenging but rewarding. You will be able to provide them with the care and support they need to live a fulfilling life. Their memories will be of you being present for them, ensuring they feel loved even in their final days.