5 Tips for Patients with Early Onset Memory Issues
August 23 2019
Balancing Help and Encouragement Brings Efficient Care
It can be difficult being diagnosed at an early age with a disorder that we typically think of as something that happens to people who are much older. With early onset dementia, you will find that many of your patients may still be of working age, have children as well as other commitments. This will mean that your patient will need special support in key areas.
1When your patient or loved one is unable to accomplish everyday tasks, it is important to step in and help. This may include taking medications, personal hygiene needs, planning healthy meals, remembering people’s names and faces, remembering important places, and as a family caregiver, managing finances.
2Before allowing your patient or loved one to do something alone, always check the situation and surroundings first for anything that could cause them injury or harm. If the situation seems unsafe, offer your company during the task so that you can step in with help if needed.
3Offer help in situations that are known to cause the patient the most frustration and stress. While helping, don’t forget to offer plenty of encouragement. This can go a long way to improving the patient’s mood and their own feelings of self-worth.
Don’t Make Assumptions
4Do not assume that the patient or your loved one cannot do something. Having dementia does not make a person incapable of doing things. Only offer help when needed or when safety is an issue. Don’t be afraid to ask if what you are doing is helping and to discuss any new frustrations and how you can offer help and support.
Support Family Caregivers
5As a professional caretaker, it is of the upmost importance that you provide support and encouragement to the family caregiver. Not only is early onset dementia a devastating diagnosis for the patient, but for the family as well. Their loved one may be experiencing mood swings and changes in behavior or personality so it is important to help family caregivers understand the changes their loved one may be experiencing and how to cope with those changes.
Caring for someone with early onset memory issues is a delicate balance. It is important to remember that just because a person has memory issues, that does not make them incapable of accomplishing tasks. By offering support when needed as well as encouragement, you can help your patient or loved one live a fulfilling and healthy life.