People with dementia can become frustrated when a task is too difficult. Consider the following tips when providing care to minimize their frustration.
Establish a daily routine and perform tasks during the periods the person is most alert. Allow for some flexibility on more difficult days. Simple tasks make take longer than they used to so be prepared to take a break during the task. The person with dementia should be allowed to do as much for themselves as they are able. Provide simple choices to minimize frustration. For instance, would you like to wear the red shirt or the white shirt today? Use clear, one step communication. Avoid prolonged napping throughout the day to prevent night and day mix-ups. Minimize distractions which allows the person better focus on the task at hand.
Dementia impairs judgement so ensuring safety is of major concern. Prevent falls by making sure pathways are free of obstructions, remove scatter rugs and electrical cords that present a hazard. Make sure there are hand rails and grab bars located in critical areas. Make sure that all potentially dangerous items are stored behind locked doors. This would include medications, cleaning supplies, alcohol and dangerous weapons and tools. Also check the water temperature and adjust to a lower setting to prevent burns. Keep matches and lighters out of reach, have a fire extinguisher nearby. Ensure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
Providing care for a person with dementia can be overwhelming and frustrating. Taking time for your own well-being and the support of family and friends can help you deal with the challenges the lay ahead.