The Canadian statistics related to types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s are numbers many of us wish we could change. For example, “87% of caregivers wish that more people understood the realities of caring for someone with dementia.” Surprisingly, only “5% admit they would bother to learn more about the disease if someone close to them were diagnosed.” Often families want to offer their help but are not sure how to manage the situation or recognize important signs of change. This is where external one-on-one care comes in. Here are some reasons why Graceful Living Home Care Services encourages individualized personal care.
Routine and a Familiar Environment
In the lives of someone with Alzheimer’s, there are many reasons for the need for routine. It’s important for them to know what to expect in interactions. Different faces or ways of doing things can be confusing. The familiarity of having the same caregiver on each visit develops patterns and helps in daily activities such as bathing, grooming and eating. Even regularly used phrases or songs can calm them or prompt recognition. One-on-one care creates a specific predictable routine that helps them feel safe.
Cognitive Stimulation through Activities
Activating a person through cognitive exercises is an entertaining way to interact and evoke thought patterns. Doing these activities around the same time and the same place can create a comfort zone, making the outcome more successful. Using familiar music or tasks that the person enjoys is important so not to create new triggers or frustration. Many don’t find new or unknown games interesting as it can be confusing. One-on-one care can provide the intimate pre-knowledge of an individual’s preferences without bringing in potentially overwhelming ‘newness.’
Many people living with neurological conditions have a hard time making decisions. A caregiver that works with them regularly can get to know their needs and take away the stress of organizing a schedule. Sometimes all it takes is to get them started in the right direction and they can work out the routine plan with keywords and encouragement. It’s also relevant to have someone monitor the time when it comes to taking any medication correctly or to not overexert the patient.
Managing impulsive behaviour and emotions require skilled training. Communicating with care and compassion, including watching out for signs of response and change are abilities learnt through specific education as well as years of experience in the field. Being assured that situations of all kind are being professionally managed is an important part of one-on-one care.
Visiting with Family and Friends
Often a caregiver knows the routine of the person they are caring for better than the family. It can be helpful to have a caregiver nearby during visits to help observe and manage triggers and emotional reactions. Watching the caregiver interact with the person can also help family and friends learn the best communication skills and vocabulary that work in that particular case. Private time can also be taken to update the visitors of any developments.