Care and a Caring Home

How Dementia Care Can Promote More Independence

Dementia can affect people differently. For some, it only causes mild cognitive deficits, but others may experience profound confusion, memory loss, behavior problems, and the inability to care for themselves. If your aging family member has Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, consider the following ways a dementia care facility or dementia unit in a nursing home can help promote their independence.

Verbal Cues For ADLs

People with profound dementia may have difficulty performing simple activities of daily living, also known as ADLs. These tasks include getting dressed, performing oral hygiene, eating, and bathing. The staff at the dementia care center can give your loved one verbal cues, redirection, and easy-to-follow instructions on how to perform ADLs.

The staff can also demonstrate how to perform these ADLs so that the resident relearns how to do them. The staff will provide repeat instructions and demonstrations to the dementia resident so that the individual is more likely to retain the information. As the person becomes more independent with their activities of daily living, they may feel more self-confident and eager to learn how to do other things pertaining to their care and living situation.

Memory Recall Training

The dementia care staff will also work with your loved one on memory training. Activities such as "reminiscing" sessions help people with memory problems and cognitive deficits retain more information, allowing them to recall things from both their short-term memories and long-term memories.

Other memory training strategies include sing-a-longs. Many seniors enjoy singing and remember old tunes from earlier times in their lives. When they hear a song from these times, it may help jog their memories and spur them into singing along with the music. The same holds true for movies. When people with dementia watch their favorite movies, it can trigger a pleasant, vivid response, which can resurrect old memories of the movie plot, musical score, and actors. 

People with dementia and memory problems may be at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and even combative behavior. When they are unable to recall things, it can lead to frustration. As their frustrations grow, dementia patients may act out with negative behaviors, raising the risk of harm to themselves or those around them if they become aggressive.

If your loved one has severe cognitive deficits, consider the above benefits a dementia care center can provide. When people with dementia become more independent, they may feel more hopeful and happier with their lives.