When a Loved One Has Dementia: Family Caregiving Techniques


Family caregivers can find help with dementia care from Visiting Care Giving Services.

Imagine a world where nothing was familiar: your surroundings, the people talking to you, even your own reflection in the mirror. This is the unsettling reality for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, and why it’s not surprising that there are so many behavioral challenges associated with the disease.

It’s also why providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming, and why it’s important to partner with a trusted source for guidance. The skilled dementia care experts at Visiting Care Giving Services offer the following suggestions to make life easier for both those diagnosed with the disease, and those caring for them:

  • Avoid open-ended questioning. Limit frustration for someone with dementia by asking questions that require less thought to answer, such as, “Would you rather have water or milk with your lunch today?” instead of, “What do you want to drink?”
  • Slow down. Accept that tasks are simply going to take longer, but it’s important for those with dementia to have as many opportunities as possible to maintain independence and accomplish goals themselves. Allow plenty of time for your loved one to work through an activity independently, offering guidance as needed.
  • Minimize distractions. It’s easier for someone with dementia to focus and to join in conversations when the TV and radio are turned off, or are kept at a very low volume. It’s also helpful to limit the person’s exposure to news or other programs that may cause alarm.
  • Pay attention to up times – and down times. We all have particular times of the day when we feel our best, and it’s important to know whether your loved one is a morning person or if he or she feels better later in the day, and to schedule any medical appointments, activities, exercise, etc. accordingly.
  • Partner with a professional for respite care. For the health, safety, and wellbeing of both your loved one and yourself, it’s crucial to schedule regular periods of time when you can step away and tend to your own personal needs and relaxing activities, while knowing the senior is receiving the very best possible care.

Visiting Care Giving Services is proud to partner with families to provide the highest quality and most trusted in home care in St. Charles and the surrounding areas. Our care team is fully trained and experienced in creative, compassionate dementia care to help better manage a variety of challenging issues, such as wandering, sundowning, repetition, agitation, and more. Contact us at (636) 493-9058 for a free in-home consultation or to request some additional resources to help you ensure the best possible care for someone you love.