How to Provide Dementia Care at Home for Seniors

Caring for a senior with dementia is not easy. Unfortunately, some seniors can and do suffer from mental deterioration as the years move on. It makes their life hard, but it is also a burden for those who have to care for said senior.

Of course, we want to do everything possible to take care of our elders, and sometimes that means providing dementia care at home for them, as opposed to senior care homes. Let’s go over some crucial tips on how to provide dementia care at home for seniors.

Know Your Limits and the Needs of the Patient

What is important to note is that you are only a human being, and as is the case with all humans, we have our limits. Caring for somebody with dementia is not easy, but it is doable for the most part. That said, do not feel like you have to do it all on your own. You work, you have children, and you have a life to live. It is not fair, nor is it necessary for you to foot the burden on your own.

All the power to you if you can manage to provide 100% of the care on your own. However, there is no shame in asking for help. There are a variety of services and programs out there designed to provide at home care for dementia patients. There is everything from full live-in caregivers to people who come by every now and again to cook, clean, and perform other tasks.

Simply put, know your limits and realistically determine the level of care the senior needs, and weigh this against the level of care you can easily provide. If you cannot meet the needs of the patient on your own, asking for help or hiring professionals is necessary. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help.

Preparing for All Possibilities

Another important aspect of providing at home care for dementia sufferers is to create a plan. For one, this means figuring out a variety of factors; this is not something you want to do on the fly without a plan. This is something that needs to be planned for, and this goes for all possible eventualities. Here are some of the things you need to ask yourself.

  • How advanced is the dementia?
  • How fast is the condition progressing?
  • What level of care does the person need?
  • How do you plan on meeting these care needs?
  • What are the costs going to be?
  • Where will the senior live?
  • Will you consider moving them to a care home if the situation deteriorates beyond your abilities?

Being prepared for any and all possibilities or events that may occur during this journey is the best way to deal with any issue that may arise. It’s all about being prepared as much as possible for anything and everything that may happen.

Take Care of Yourself Too

Something you have to remember in this situation is not only to take care of the senior with dementia, but of yourself as well. It is no secret that taking care of somebody with dementia is a very physically and mentally demanding task. Going through something like this on your own is not recommended. Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself during this difficult time.

  • There are Alzheimer’s and dementia support groups which specialize in supporting those that care for seniors with dementia. It’s all about a community experience where you can learn from others
  • Always ask for help whenever you can. Whether it be family, private resources, or government provided assistance, there is help out there
  • It may help if you take some kind of course or program to learn how to care for people with dementia. Updating your own skills and knowledge can go a long way in making life easier for everyone involved
  • Try to get a bit of exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to release those feel good endorphins into your brain
  • It always helps to talk to people. Having friends, family, or even a therapist to unload on can go a long way. A big part of dealing with stress is to talk about it, as opposed to keeping it bottled up.

Simple Communication

One thing you will need to learn here is to communicate in very simple and effective ways. Seniors with dementia are going to lose the ability to think rationally and make decisions, and they will lose cognitive abilities in general. Therefore, you need to learn to communicate with them in a way which they can easily understand, interpret, and respond to. Here are some tips on communication with seniors with dementia.

  • Do not become frustrated. It will not help you and it will create stress for the senior
  • If there appears to be doubt as to who you are, tell the person who you are. They may forget
  • Always keep communication very simple. You want to ask questions once, use smaller words, and try to avoid saying more than one thing at a time
  • Always take your time and speak slowly
  • You want to use close ended questions, ones which the loved one can respond to with simple a simple yes or no. Open-ended questions can be confusing
  • If telling the truth to someone with dementia is going to hurt them, opt for a distraction or a white lie

Routines and Activities

The other thing to keep in mind is that developing a routine will help maintain some semblance of normality in everyday life.

You want to create a sense of structure and familiarity, you want to tell your loved ones exactly what the plan is (in a very clear way), and you want to involve those people in your daily activities as much as the circumstance will allow.

Try to do things which stimulate the person, things which they are known to enjoy, and things which will not create confusion. An important thing to beware of here is that structure, planning, and familiarity will help make your life easier, and it will create less stress and confusion for the dementia patient.


Taking care of seniors with dementia is no walk in the park, but with the right resources and techniques, a bit of structure, some outside help, and a bit of R&R for yourself, it is more than doable.

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