For your loved one with dementia to stay self-sufficient, you should consider several factors, one of which is developing a dementia care plan.
A dementia care plan prepares not only the person with dementia but also yourself for the challenging time ahead, facilitating a smoother, less stressful caregiving experience.
Everything You Should Know When Creating a Dementia Care Plan
How Important Is Creating a Dementia Care Plan?
Developing a dementia care plan is crucial, regardless of who the caregiver for a person with dementia is: a wife, a husband, a close relative, or a qualified professional.
A dementia care plan assists you and gives your loved one a sense of self-worth and well-being while allowing them to control their day-to-day lives.
A nursing care plan for dementia also paves the foundation for a holistic approach to senior caregiving, supporting the person with dementia while adapting to their changing needs. This plan also helps the carer establish a trusting connection with the person with dementia.
When Should You Start Planning for Dementia Care?
A timely dementia nursing care plan is crucial as it can address problems immediately and prevent them from escalating further.
But when should you start thinking about a dementia care plan? And how do you know if your loved one needs assistance?
Early Stage of Dementia
People with dementia can still function on their own in the early stages.
Many things your loved one has always done, like driving or going to social gatherings, could still be possible for them to accomplish.
However, more challenging tasks, like managing a budget or learning new technology, could be demanding. A dementia care plan can assist in anticipating problems as they appear.
Middle Stage of Dementia
As your loved one’s dementia progresses, a care plan becomes even more crucial.
By now, you’ve probably assumed more responsibility for their care. It might be time to assess your plan to help secure your loved one’s health and safety.
It’s also crucial to consider your physical and mental health, the financial costs of providing care, and how these will affect your family, friends, and coworkers.
Late Stage of Dementia
As the condition progresses, the symptoms of late-stage dementia get worse.
It is no longer safe to leave your loved one alone at this point, as they will require 24-hour care and supervision.
This moment is challenging for family members and caregivers, who frequently must make care decisions while coping with distress and grief. Yet, for those with late-stage dementia, maintaining quality of life is the most crucial objective.
Key Elements a Dementia Care Plan Should Address
Helping your loved one with daily tasks, understanding what medications they need, and ensuring they are safe are all parts of an effective dementia care plan.
So what to look for when developing a dementia care plan? Here are the five key factors:
Do understand and take into consideration your loved one’s personality.
It enables you to better communicate with them and adjust to their changing needs, attitudes, moods, and behaviors.
In addition, the way a person with dementia reacts to and manages their condition is significantly influenced by their personality. While some people aren’t afraid to face it, others may be introverted and need more emotional support and assurance.
Knowing your loved one’s personality will also help you create a personalized and efficient dementia care plan for them.
Understanding the person with dementia’s past can also help.
It betters your understanding of their wishes, preferences, needs, and behavior and how to interact with them.
Some moments and events in the person’s life may strongly arouse happy emotions, while others may provoke anger. Knowing these turning points in your loved one’s life can help you create joyful memories if you include (or exclude) them in your dementia care plan.
A person with dementia’s history can also reveal their interests, hobbies, activities, and any unique abilities they possess that could be cultivated further.
Current Physical Health
Managing physical health is essential when developing a dementia care plan.
It allows you to include appropriate measures to ensure your loved one is physically healthy during the treatment process by taking care of the existing conditions and preventing other illnesses to which they are vulnerable.
Factors you should consider are:
- Pain management
- Mobility, muscle, and exercise
- Bowel and bladder continence
- Diet and hydration
- Sleep and rest
- Other physical functions (e.g., swallowing and balance)
- Living environments (e.g., noises, crowds, and pollution)
However, looking after every aspect doesn’t mean doing everything for them.
Give your loved one as little help as possible so they can do more. For instance, if you put out clothes in the order they go on, they might be able to dress by themselves or set the table with visual clues.
Current Cognitive Health
Although memory loss is common in dementia, every diagnosis is different.
Depending on the type of dementia and how advanced it is, the cognitive function of your loved one may vary. For instance, early on, your loved one may still perceive and recall most of what is happening around them.
But if dementia has progressed, they may find it difficult sometimes to carry out everyday tasks. This stage is when intensive assistance needs to take place.
So when creating a dementia care plan, consider your loved one’s current cognitive function to adjust and customize the level of care.
The environment in which a dementia person lives does matter.
Their living conditions are essential to their freedom and safety. When assessing the environment your loved one is living in, you should ask yourself:
- Are the surroundings disturbed by too much noise or pollution?
- Are there too many crowded areas that may irritate them?
- Do they have regular access to fresh air, sunlight, and exercise?
- Can the objects in the room cause agitation or safety risks?
- Do people around notice your loved one’s condition and assist when needed?
- Does the caregiver appear unfamiliar and separate your loved one from others?
A safe environment reduces or eliminates safety risks and enables you to assess how the stimuli around the person with dementia affect their moods and behavior.
Developing a Dementia Care Plan With 12 Oaks
Finding solutions to enable your loved one to stay connected is crucial if they have been diagnosed with dementia.
Every 12 Oaks-managed Memory Care community’s goal is to assist seniors in thriving in their community. Additionally, we have the knowledge and compassion that people with dementia need. Finally, continuity in caregivers encourages the relationships between staff, families, and residents to grow substantial and respectable.
Each of us has a history on our own. So put your trust in us to care for your loved one in a manner that honors their unique life story.
If you have questions about dementia care plans or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for questions or to schedule a personalized tour.
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