Feel as if you’re juggling too many balls in the air? You aren’t alone. Caring for a loved one with dementia can involve a great deal of multi-tasking. Here’s a few ideas that might help you to streamline your life.
3 ways to simplify your day
1. Stick to a routine – your loved one will generally feel safer and calmer if they know certain things happen at certain times of day. This doesn’t have to be complicate – simply getting up and going to bed at roughly the same time can help to anchor each day.
2. Be realistic – it’s the quality of each day that matters, not the amount you manage to pack in.
3. Create a daily care plan. It could help you create a basic structure to each day and plan simple activities in advance. Download our free daily care plan template here.
5 ways to improve home safety
1. Switch to brighter lightbulbs
2. Throw away old rugs
3. Swap old slippers for more, sturdy supportive ‘bootie’ styles with grips on the soles.
4. Buy a grab rail …prices start at only £3.45
5. Sort out medication. Skipping a dose or taking too much can be very dangerous. If they have lots of different pills, consider putting them all into a pill dispenser. Prices start at only £2.11
3 ways to stay healthy
1. Check the fridge for out-of-date food and dispose of it in an outside bin.
2. Forget about fancy food. Something as simple as an egg sandwich or a bowl of soup can be nourishing and healthy
3. Keep offering drinks and reminding the person you care about to drink them. If you’re worried about dehydration, try Droplet – a smart and simple way to keep hydration levels up.
4 ways to help yourself
1. Make sure you’re getting what you deserve. Have you had a carer’s assessment recently? Your local Social Services department might be able to offer you help with day to day caring, or respite care. If you find it difficult to ask for help, think about the person you’re caring for. Would they want you to be tired and stressed all the time? Or would they want you to have support?
2. Create a support network. Arrange to meet a friend/fellow carer once a week for a coffee. Once you’ve poured your heart out to them, ask them to put what you’ve said into perspective and remind you of the positives too. It will be far more useful than simply having a moan. If it isn’t possible to meet anyone face to face, you can create an online support network by joining the Unforgettable Dementia Support Group.
3. Give up on perfection – it isn’t achievable, and it isn’t necessary. You’re doing the best you can each day, and that has to be enough.