Staying Strong: Tips for Caregivers with Dementia Patients

26 Jan


When you hear dementia, it usually refers to decline in memory severe enough to diminish the ability of the person to perform daily tasks. This condition is common here in Singapore for which Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80% of the cases. Patients diagnosed with dementia experience different kinds of emotions from denial to anger, frustration and depression.

The patients feel vulnerable and it leads to irritability and coldness. If the people around them do not understand a thing about dementia, they will give up easily. In fact, the disorder can create rift or gap. As a caregiver, you have to stay strong for your loved ones with dementia.

Caring for people with dementia can be very challenging but there are tips that you can consider. Sometimes you will feel much stressed out but you should not give up. If you give up, your patients will be left to deal with dementia alone. Here are some tips for caregivers with dementia patients:

  • Monitor yourself: The golden rule here is “you cannot help the person without helping yourself in the first place”. How can you care for the person if you do not feel well, right? It is crucial that as a caregiver you look after yourself too. Monitor yourself for signs of exhaustion or worse, burnout. If necessary, seek for the help of professionals.


  • Research: To understand the disease, you should spend time researching it. If you can find reading materials, go and read it. If you do not understand it, you should spend time talking to the doctor. It will help you if you know what to expect and you will have some ideas on how to handle it.

  • Understand: Of all people, you should understand your patient. However there are limits to this. At the end of the day, you have to understand the change in behaviour.


  • Be sincere: Dealing with people enduring dementia should be sincere. The sincerity should be seen. If the patients detect that you are acting falsely, they will either retreat or reject whatever help you want to extend.


  • Encourage action: As much as you want the patient to be comfortable, you need to encourage action too. Little tasks should not be kept from them. This is to retain their self-esteem. Just be there in case something happens but if you give them the chance to still do things alone, they will surely feel good about it.


  • Plan activities: People with dementia are often stuck in the house with nothing left to do. That is not how you encourage them to live fully. If there is a need to plan activities with them, do it.

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