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What Are The Skills Required To Work With Dementia

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  • dementia, patient, someone, communication
  • Posted date:
  • 28-03-2023
What Are The Skills Required To Work With Dementia

What are the skills required to work with dementia? Companions Home Care offer personalised home care for people with a range of specialist needs throughout London. We look at who can provide the best support for a person with dementia.

Supporting A Person With Dementia

Support needs to be tailored to the person as a whole; this is known as person-centred care. Support should also prioritise fostering their welfare and addressing their needs. It's crucial to concentrate on what the person still has rather than what they could have lost. 

Pay attention to how they feel rather than what they may have experienced in the past. Try to see things from their perspective, to understand and assist them. You could use practical techniques like creating reminders and planning. Social tactics concentrate on support from family. Emotional strategies make use of humour and a positive outlook. Dieting and exercise are examples of health improvement practices. 

A person's personality and surroundings will have an impact on how they respond to dementia. Diverse coping mechanisms can be used by individuals at various periods. Some people can deny having dementia. They could deny that they are having problems. 

Others may be aware that life is getting more difficult but believe that this is a natural aspect of getting older rather than a sign of dementia. Their sense of identity can shift as a result of dementia-related changes. People should be aware of this as it might affect how a person with dementia views themselves. 

A person with dementia should not be identified with their illness flaws. Treat them kindly. A person with dementia may begin to act in ways that are difficult and upsetting. For instance, a dementia patient may become restless. They could yell or scream, start to doubt others, stalk someone, or keep asking the same question. 

This unusual behaviour may emerge if a person has a need that isn't being satisfied but is unable to express it. They could be parched, hungry, or in discomfort, for instance. They can be angry or bored. Or they might have misconstrued something and feel intimidated. 

What Can Improve Dementia?

Required skills Of A Dementia Caregiver:

Empathy

A caretaker will encounter several situations that require empathy. A person with dementia may get anxious or angry when they forget things. A capable caretaker needs empathy to make the situation less frustrating. 

Showing that you comprehend the situation will assist the person in coming up with a solution. If someone loses anything, it's important to help them retrace their steps. The simplest way to make someone with dementia happy is to create an environment that promotes recognition.

Observation

When visiting patients, don't count on them to discuss all their medical problems with you. A person suffering from dementia could not be aware of brand-new medical conditions. To become a better caretaker, you must sharpen your observational abilities so that you can see problems like rashes, flu, pneumonia, sleeplessness, or poor hygiene. 

When you go to your loved one's place every day, examine them. Add any new physical or mental problems you come across to your report. Before beginning your position as a caretaker, you will need to develop your investigative skills. This is because the patient might not be able to convey what's wrong with their health. A carer should be able to spot problems when the patient cannot.

Communication

Strong communication abilities are crucial for carers to prevent conflicts, resentment, and anxiety. If the person with dementia is having trouble speaking, you will need to keep in touch to share any new concerns. 

If you have any questions about the patient's medical procedures, speak with their doctor. Talk to your loved one about taking antibiotics or engaging in exercise. 

Once you begin working as a caregiver, you will need to develop exceptional communication skills that you can utilise. People who have dementia struggle to communicate. Whether through struggling to find the correct words or keeping up with a discussion. Besides pain, other medical issues can affect communication. 

Use basic words and sentences and talk slowly if the person has trouble speaking. A person suffering from dementia may communicate by acting out or using body languages, such as gestures, eye contact, or facial expressions. Maintaining eye contact will assist the other individual pay attention to you. 

Avoid making abrupt movements or strained facial expressions since they might distress others. When speaking, try to avoid standing too close or over someone since this might be scary. 

Make sure they are part of the talks, try not to speak for them, and don't let others leave them out. Remove any distractions, pay attention to them, and give them plenty of time. Think about providing alternatives or using yes/no questions.

Time Management

Professional carers only have so much time to spend interacting with patients. You can be asked to prepare meals, pay bills, do chores and assess the patient's health during a routine visit. An excellent carer will have traits like focus, effectiveness, dependability, patience, and reliability. A good carer will need to strike a balance between talking with the patient and other responsibilities. It's crucial to discuss recollections and life accomplishments with patients.

Adaptability

You must be able to accommodate changes in your schedule if you want to work as a carer. This will enable you to deal with crises during the week with your loved one. As a caregiver, you could be asked to make impromptu trips to the house to assist the resident. 

Before taking on the role of a caretaker, you should improve your capacity to adapt. You may need to handle crises throughout the week such as falls, illnesses, and allergic reactions. It is usual for carers to be required to work outside of the typical 9 to 5 schedule to respond to crises. 

Positive Attitude

The way a caretaker responds to various situations has an impact on the patient's mental health. If the person you're caring for has dementia, treat them with respect when you visit them at home. Your loved one may get worried, angry, unhappy, or depressed if you are negative. 

You must have the talents required to provide your loved one with what they want. Severe dementia is characterised by memory loss, hallucinations, and disorientation. Your early attitude can influence how they act and live.

Appropriate Body Language

A carer's time management skills are vital; it's also important to use body language when you visit. It's crucial to connect with your loved one so they know you're thinking about them. If your patient is attempting to interact with you, it's important to maintain eye contact. 

Communicating With Someone With Dementia

A person's ability to recall common knowledge is affected by dementia. Communication skills are affected by dementia. Their power to reason and think will deteriorate. You must start discussions with dementia patients to get them interested in talking. 

Over time, their ability to process information deteriorates and slows down. Try to start a discussion with the person you are caring for if you notice that they are talking less. Speak slowly, clearly, and in a few phrases. when the other person is speaking or asking a question, make eye contact with them. 

Give them time to react; if you try to rush their replies, they can feel rushed. Encourage them to take part in conversations with others. 

Don't belittle them or laugh at what they have to say. Recognise what they have said, even if it does not address your question or looks out of context. This will show that you have heard them and will urge them to elaborate on their response. Provide them with easy options. rephrase questions if necessary because they are unable to respond in the same way as before.


If you have questions about the needs of a person who needs overnight care, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional care at home.