If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, you might be wondering what you can do to improve their mental and physical well- being. Even if their overall health is declining, there are steps you can take to help them feel more comfortable and reduce their worst symptoms. These tips shared by Miss Kitty's Care, LLC outline a few things you can do to boost your loved one’s health.
If you want you loved ones to avoid injury and maintain their strength, consistent exercise is key. Did you know that seniors who exercise regularly actually spend 25 percent less time injured or disabled than those who don’t work out?
Many caregivers enjoy going for walks with seniors — this could involve walking together or strolling with a senior loved one who uses a wheelchair. But what if it’s too hot or cold to exercise outdoors? Find a gym with programs for seniors so that your loved one can get moving indoors instead. With support from a personal trainer or physical therapist who assists dementia patients, your loved one might want to try swimming, basic fitness classes, yoga, or even light strength training.
Your loved one might benefit from using technology for exercise. You can guide them through the process. Incorporating fun new fitness tech can make exercise more enjoyable and engaging for seniors with dementia. For instance, you could both follow along with YouTube yoga videos for seniors, download a fitness app for appropriate workout suggestions and tips, and even play Wii fitness games like tennis for entertainment!
Figuring out the right diet for a senior living with dementia isn’t easy. Some may physically have trouble eating, while others might become picky about which foods they like. To encourage your loved one to eat while ensuring meals are still healthy, Care recommends adding herbs and spices that they can tolerate, making tasty smoothies with fresh fruit, and serving colorful foods for your loved one, like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and avocado.
Many seniors benefit from music and art therapy. Even seniors with dementia still retain enthusiasm for music and art. Elder Advisory Group states that music can be a powerful recollection tool for seniors with dementia, and painting or drawing can also help seniors to remember important moments in their lives. Consider looking into local therapy practices that offer art or music therapy for seniors with dementia. Plus, group therapy could provide a safe opportunity to spend time with others that won’t overwhelm your loved one.
Seniors with dementia often have trouble falling asleep. But when your loved one doesn’t get enough sleep, they likely feel worse the next day. What can you do to help them snooze? Creating a regular routine with the same bedtime and wake-up time can help them adjust to a consistent sleep schedule. In addition, make sure that their sleeping environment is dark, comfortable, and not too hot or cold. If you suspect that a medication your loved one is taking might be keeping them up at night, you can talk to their doctor about your concerns.
While ensuring proper care for your loved one is crucial, it can also be costly. If you find that money is tight and you have some room in your schedule, consider opening a business on the side to earn some extra income. Think about something you've always wanted to do for a living to make running a business more enjoyable; ideas include selling handmade crafts or writing content for other businesses. Once you have a plan in mind, make the business official by choosing an entity like an LLC, which offers debt and liability protection, as well as pass-through taxation. LLC formation requirements vary by state, so it's important to research the rules and the process to legally establish your business. Zenbusiness provides a guide that explains everything you need to know about LLCs.
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging. Naturally, you want to do all you can to help them feel their best. While you cannot cure their condition, trying some of these suggestions can help to improve their mental and physical well-being.
Miss Kitty's Care, LLC encourages, supports, and honors family caregivers.
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