Caring for someone with dementia

When someone close to you gets diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult for them – and you – to know where to start when it comes to care.

It’s about balancing the ability to live independently for as long as possible, with knowing when to help as a loved one and, when it’s time to seek help from professionals. You can only do so much and everyone who cares for someone with dementia will need help at some stage, by focusing on what you can do, it means that you can seek the support you need for those things you can’t do. There is no shame in asking for help and there are organisations out there who can offer advice.

It seems obvious, but caring for someone living with dementia can have a big impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing. It’s why you have to take time for yourself, because as a carer you will feel a wide range of emotions and by taking time out, it will give you the space you need to understand why you feel that way and accept that these emotions – frustration, exhaustion, relief, guilt – are all a normal reaction to what might be a very difficult situation.

Here are some hopefully useful tips on how you can care for someone with dementia.

Helping with everyday tasks

In the early stages of dementia, many people can enjoy life in the same way as before their
diagnosis. However, as symptoms get worse, that person may start to feel anxious, stressed and scared at not being able to remember things, follow conversations or concentrate on a particular task.

That’s why it’s important to support that person to maintain their skills, abilities, and an active social life. This can also help how they feel about themselves.

You can help them by letting the person help you with everyday tasks such as:

  • shopping
  • laying the table
  • gardening
  • taking the dog for a walk
  • involving them in preparing the meal (if they’re able to)

You can also place memory aids used around the home can help the person remember where things are. For example, you could put labels and signs on cupboards, drawers, and doors.

Mealtimes

As the dementia progresses, sometimes mealtimes can become more stressful and can cause anxiety and frustration for the person and their carer(s). Try these tips to make mealtimes more enjoyable and take the pressure off:

 set aside enough time for meals
 offer food you know they like, and in smaller portions
 be prepared for changes in food tastes – try stronger flavours or sweeter foods
 provide finger foods if the person struggles with cutlery
 offer fluids in a clear glass or coloured cup that’s easy to hold

We know that everyone will experience caring in their own way, as dementia is a personal journey or those living with it and those who care for them. There will be days when you feel you can cope, and other days when you feel like you can’t do one more day. That’s OK. It’s a normal response to what it means to care for someone, especially a loved one. Many other carers will be feeling these same emotions and it’s very important not to be ashamed about you feel.

It’s why you can reach out to The Alzheimer’s Society, who have dementia advisers who are there to help. You can call them on 0333 150 3456. You can also find local support groups on social media or in your community hubs like a library, as just being able to talk to someone who is going through the same thing as you can help ease some of those emotions.

Don’t think you are a carer yet? Well, you can take a look at the Carer’s Checklist from Age UK which can be found here. It’ll also give you information on support available such as carer’s allowance and how to work with GP surgeries etc.

Plus, we’re also here to help. We can provide you with advice on housing, welfare support and
financial support that is out there to ease the burden, even in a small way. Just contact our team at the office.

Gofalu am rywun â dementia

Pan fydd rhywun sy’n agos atoch chi’n cael diagnosis o ddementia, gall fod yn anodd iddyn nhw – a chithau – wybod ble i ddechrau o ran gofal.

Mae’n ymwneud â chydbwyso’r gallu i fyw’n annibynnol cyhyd â phosibl, â gwybod pryd i helpu fel anwylyd a, phan mae’n amser ceisio cymorth gan weithwyr proffesiynol. Dim ond hyn a hyn y gallwch ei wneud a bydd angen help ar bawb sy’n gofalu am rywun â dementia ar ryw adeg, drwy ganolbwyntio ar yr hyn y gallwch ei wneud, mae’n golygu y gallwch geisio’r cymorth sydd ei angen arnoch ar gyfer y pethau hynny na allwch eu gwneud. Does dim cywilydd gofyn am help ac mae yna sefydliadau allan yna sy’n gallu cynnig cyngor.

Mae’n ymddangos yn amlwg, ond gall gofalu am rywun sy’n byw gyda dementia gael effaith fawr ar eich iechyd meddwl a chorfforol, yn ogystal â’ch lles cyffredinol. Dyna pam mae’n rhaid i chi gymryd amser i chi’ch hun, oherwydd fel gofalwr byddwch yn teimlo ystod eang o emosiynau a thrwy gymryd seibiant, bydd yn rhoi’r gofod sydd ei angen arnoch i ddeall pam eich bod yn teimlo felly a derbyn yr emosiynau hyn – rhwystredigaeth. , lludded, rhyddhad, euogrwydd – i gyd yn ymateb normal i’r hyn a allai fod yn sefyllfa anodd iawn.

Dyma rai awgrymiadau defnyddiol gobeithio ar sut y gallwch ofalu am rywun â dementia.

Helpu gyda thasgau bob dydd

Yng nghamau cynnar dementia, gall llawer o bobl fwynhau bywyd yn yr un ffordd â chyn eu
diagnosis. Fodd bynnag, wrth i’r symptomau waethygu, gall y person hwnnw ddechrau teimlo’n bryderus, dan straen ac yn ofnus o beidio â gallu cofio pethau, dilyn sgyrsiau neu ganolbwyntio ar dasg benodol.

Dyna pam ei bod yn bwysig cefnogi’r person hwnnw i gynnal ei sgiliau, ei allu a’i fywyd cymdeithasol gweithgar. Gall hyn hefyd helpu sut maen nhw’n teimlo amdanyn nhw eu hunain.

Gallwch eu helpu trwy adael i’r person eich helpu gyda thasgau bob dydd fel:

  • siopa
  • gosod y bwrdd
  • garddio
  • mynd â’r ci am dro
  • eu cynnwys wrth baratoi’r pryd (os yw’n gallu)

Gallwch hefyd osod cymhorthion cof a ddefnyddir o amgylch y cartref a all helpu’r person i gofio ble mae pethau. Er enghraifft, gallech roi labeli ac arwyddion ar gypyrddau, droriau a drysau.

Amser bwyd

Wrth i’r dementia ddatblygu, weithiau gall amser bwyd ddod yn fwy o straen a gall achosi pryder a rhwystredigaeth i’r person a’i ofalwr/gofalwyr. Rhowch gynnig ar yr awgrymiadau hyn i wneud amser bwyd yn fwy pleserus a chael gwared ar y pwysau:

  • neilltuo digon o amser ar gyfer prydau bwyd
  • cynigiwch fwyd y gwyddoch ei fod yn ei hoffi, ac mewn dognau llai
  • byddwch yn barod am newidiadau mewn chwaeth bwyd – rhowch gynnig ar flasau cryfach neu fwydydd melysach
  • darparu bwydydd bys a bawd os yw’r person yn cael trafferth gyda chyllyll a ffyrc
  • cynigiwch hylifau mewn gwydr clir neu gwpan lliw sy’n hawdd ei ddal

Gwyddom y bydd pawb yn cael profiad o ofalu yn eu ffordd eu hunain, gan fod dementia yn daith bersonol i’r rhai sy’n byw gydag ef a’r rhai sy’n gofalu amdanynt. Bydd dyddiau pan fyddwch chi’n teimlo y gallwch chi ymdopi, a dyddiau eraill pan fyddwch chi’n teimlo na allwch chi wneud un diwrnod arall. Mae’n iawn. Mae’n ymateb arferol i’r hyn y mae’n ei olygu i ofalu am rywun, yn enwedig anwylyd. Bydd llawer o ofalwyr eraill yn teimlo’r un emosiynau ac mae’n bwysig iawn peidio â bod â chywilydd am eich teimladau.

Dyma pam y gallwch chi estyn allan i’r Gymdeithas Alzheimer, sydd â chynghorwyr dementia sydd yno i helpu. Gallwch eu ffonio ar 0333 150 3456. Gallwch hefyd ddod o hyd i grwpiau cymorth lleol ar gyfryngau cymdeithasol neu yn eich hybiau cymunedol fel llyfrgell, oherwydd dim ond gallu siarad â rhywun sy’n mynd trwy’r un peth ag y gallwch chi helpu i leddfu rhywfaint o yr emosiynau hynny.

Ddim yn meddwl eich bod yn ofalwr eto? Wel, gallwch chi edrych ar y Rhestr Wirio Gofalwyr gan Age UK sydd i’w gweld yma. Bydd hefyd yn rhoi gwybodaeth i chi am y cymorth sydd ar gael fel lwfans gofalwr a sut i weithio gyda meddygfeydd ac ati.

Hefyd, rydyn ni yma i helpu hefyd. Gallwn roi cyngor i chi ar dai, cymorth lles a chymorth ariannol sydd ar gael i leddfu’r baich, hyd yn oed mewn ffordd fach. Cysylltwch â’n tîm yn y swyddfa.