Session 2 Review
Congratulations! You’ve completed Session 2 of the Web Support Project, focusing on activities of daily living, also referred to as ADLs. As previously mentioned, persons with dementia may experience difficulties performing everyday tasks as their disease progresses. They may need frequent reminders as to why certain tasks are important. You might even need to provide very simple verbal prompts so that your loved one can complete a task on his/her own. I.e.: Put the shampoo into your hand. Now, rub the shampoo into your hair with your fingers, etc. Remember not to be too heard on your loved one!
- Does your loved one with dementia seem to not enjoy bathing/ showering? Maybe he/she has forgotten why this is so important. Provide frequent, brief reminders and provide assistance if needed.
- A person with dementia may enjoy bathing or showering if it’s scheduled in the daily plan. You will learn more about how to create a daily plan in a later session!
- Is your loved one having difficulties dressing him/herself? Help out by providing a few options each day (not too many, so there is no confusion; allowing him/her to have a say in the matter may make the process easier and more enjoyable for the person with dementia), or lay out clothes and grooming supplies in the order they are to be used.
- What hobbies did your loved one with dementia enjoy before his/her diagnosis? If dementia has not progressed to far, he/she may still enjoy these hobbies or activities.
- Does your loved one seem agitated or even bored at times? Incorporating exercising into his/her daily schedule may be just what the doctor ordered! Remember to consider his/her physical abilities first! You don’t want to overdo it. A brisk walk or a short stroll outdoors may suffice. Consider exercises he/she was enjoying before the dementia diagnosis and start there.
- Remember that your loved one might experience changing in eating habits, but it may not be related to hunger. Has he/she forgotten how to chew? Is he/she experiencing dry mouth caused by dementia medication? Does he/she have mouth or tooth pain, such as that caused by a cavity? Are dentures fitting properly?
- Is your loved one experiencing incontinence? Consider maybe he/she lost their way to the bathroom. Leave a nightlight on in the hallway to make finding the bathroom easier.
- Do not get upset with your loved one if he/she is experiencing incontinence; it may not be something they can help. Did the incontinence (urinary or bowel) suddenly get worse? Consult with his/her healthcare provider, because there may be an underlying infection or other issue.
- Remember that incontinence can cause skin breakdown, especially in older adults. You can use incontinence products or skin barriers to protect the skin!
- Remember, even though your loved one has dementia, their dignity is still intact. Provide some privacy for those who are modest.