- Assess dementia care needs, monitor health, and identify specific care requirements and triggers.
- Create an adaptive daily routine, consider work flexibility, and structure engaging daily activities.
- Integrating dementia-specific therapies and exercises can help boost cognitive skills and reduce agitation.
- Involve family and friends in caregiving to prevent isolation and provide a broader support network.
- Consider reliable memory care services for specialized care if your grandma’s dementia progresses significantly.
As your loved ones age, they may develop various health conditions requiring extra care and support. One such condition is dementia, which can significantly impact the affected individual’s cognitive and emotional abilities, as well as their daily routine and safety.
Caring for someone with dementia can be full-time, requiring constant vigilance and attention. However, many family caregivers have other obligations, such as work, that prevent them from being with their loved ones 24/7. Yet, leaving them alone for extended periods can be hazardous, as they might forget to take their medication, eat or drink, wander off, or injure themselves.
Balancing work and dementia care is crucial to avoid burnout, resentment, and stress for you and your grandmother. Finding ways to care for her while working can ensure your grandma is safe and comfortable, maintain financial stability, and get some time for yourself.
Understanding Grandma’s Dementia Care Needs
One of the first steps in caring for your grandma with dementia during workdays is to assess her care needs. Dementia can impact an individual’s ability to remember, communicate, reason, and function independently, depending on the stage and type of dementia.
Some people may need help with personal hygiene, meal preparation, housekeeping, dressing, or bathroom use. Others may require assistance with cognitive exercises, social interaction, or physical activities.
Assessing Grandma’s Health and Cognitive Abilities
Caring for someone with dementia also means regularly monitoring their health and cognitive abilities. This can include checking grandma’s temperature, blood pressure, weight, and medication use and evaluating her memory, attention, language, and orientation.
Identifying Specific Care Requirements and Triggers
Another essential aspect of caring for grandma with dementia during workdays is understanding her specific care requirements and triggers.
A trigger is a stimulus that can cause agitation, confusion, or other negative emotions or behaviors in your grandmother. It includes loud noises, sudden movements, unfamiliar surroundings, or changes in routine.
Creating an Adaptive Daily Routine
Altering your daily schedule and creating an adaptive routine that can adapt to both your workload and your loved one’s needs is essential. This routine serves as a blueprint for your daily activities, ensuring you and your loved one are on the same page.
Simplify your routine by breaking the day into tasks and assigning a designated person. Communicate honestly with your colleagues and manager to see if there are any flexibilities to their schedule. It can alleviate any potential conflicts you might encounter while balancing both jobs.
Structuring Daily Activities for Grandma’s Well-being
Routine tasks like bathing, grooming, and dressing can become daunting for someone with dementia. It’s essential to transform these everyday activities into engaging and enjoyable moments.
Start by playing their favorite music, using comfortable robes and slippers, or even putting up a favorite picture or art piece in their room. It helps bring structure and positivity into your loved one’s day while encouraging independence.
Integrating Dementia-Specific Therapies or Exercises
Dementia-specific therapies, like cognitive stimulation therapy, might help your loved one with dementia improve their cognitive skills and memory.
Engaging their brain with activities like crossword puzzles and memory games stimulates the brain, promotes cognitive function, and reduces agitation risk.
Establishing a Supportive Care Network
While you may take on most caregiving tasks for your grandma with dementia, you don’t have to do it alone.
Involving Family Members and Close Friends
Caring for someone with dementia can sometimes create conflicts or misunderstandings among family members. To prevent this from happening, you should involve everyone concerned early on in the care process and maintain open communication throughout.
By sharing your caregiving responsibilities with family members or close friends, you can avoid feeling isolated or overwhelmed and provide grandma with a broader network of support and companionship.
Seeking Memory Care Services
If your grandma’s dementia has progressed to a level that requires more specialized care, you may consider seeking reliable memory care services. Memory care communities can offer a safe, comfortable, and stimulating environment for people with dementia, with trained staff, specialized therapies, and social activities that promote physical and cognitive health.
By choosing a reliable memory care facility that aligns with your grandma’s needs and values, you can ensure she receives the best care and support while you focus on your work.
Caring for grandma with dementia during workdays can be challenging, but with the right strategies and resources, you can make it manageable and rewarding.
By assessing grandma’s care needs, monitoring her health and cognitive abilities, identifying specific care requirements and triggers, establishing a supportive care network, and seeking memory care services, you can find the balance that works for you and ensure that grandma receives the care she deserves.
Remember, it is okay to ask for help, take breaks, and prioritize your well-being while providing care for others.