How-to-Assist-with-Activities-of-Daily-Living

Home Health Care

If you are currently caregiving for someone with dementia, daily living activities can feel like a point of contention. Regular activities such as grooming, toileting, and dressing are fraught with discord. Caregivers can even find themselves remiss as to how to help their loved one with their ADLs.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help assist in ADLs for those living with dementia. 

Lean into routine.

For those living with degenerative brain disease, routine is everything. A set schedule brings order to the untamed chaos of the day. While the individual may not understand exactly why things are occurring, they intrinsically understand that this activity happens now. 

For example, you can set a grooming schedule that occurs every morning before breakfast. This establishes that grooming is a set component of the day. Even more so, it connects the activity of grooming with the pleasant experience of a morning meal.

Use clear communication.

When requesting something from your loved one, use clear and concise language. Use direct sentences and omit any unnecessary information. Tell them, “I am going to brush your teeth now.” Try not to overcomplicate by saying, “Get ready! We’re going to brush your teeth. I’ll try to be gentle near your gums. I know you had popcorn earlier.”

If your loved one doesn’t understand something, try not to rephrase the statement. Repeat the phrase as you said it the first time, as rephrasing the question can cause confusion. 

Empower them through independence. 

Whenever you have the chance, try to encourage independence. Highlight the processes that they can undergo independently, and encourage them to take part. The goal is to allow them to use the tools that they have. For example, although your loved one may need help getting in and out of the bath, celebrate that they can independently operate the faucet. 

Patience is key.

Encouraging independence often means that things are going to take a little longer than you are used to. This is okay! Just because your loved one is moving at a different pace doesn’t mean they are any different. Be patient, know that things will happen in time. 

Use positive reinforcement.

With all things, a little encouragement goes a long way! Assisting with ADLs is a collaborative effort. Let your loved one know that they did a good job brushing their hair or not spilling their dinner. This creates a positive environment around ADLs and makes the entire process better for you both!

Thanks to our friends at Expicare Nursing for their expertise in elderly assistance services and home health care.