Tip Sheet

Feeding and Nutrition (Dementia)

Tips for caregivers of loved ones with dementia, who are concerned with providing the proper nutrition:

  • Avoid food fights. Make mealtime as pleasant as possible.  Encourage someone to eat but don’t demand, cajole or threaten.
  • Someone with dementia may not know what he/she wants to eat.  If giving choices, give only two things to choose between.  Even if a choice is made, the person may not want it when it is presented. Don’t take it personally. If you know his/her favorite foods, have them available for back up. Favorite foods might change.

Could it Be Their Brain? A Frontotemporal Dementia Checklist

A Frontotemporal Dementia Checklist for Family and Friends

Downsizing a Home: A Checklist for Caregivers

Introduction

Moving is a high-stress life event, the experts tell us, and they're right. Whether it's cross-town or cross-country, whether to a small apartment or a large suburban home, tackling the organizing, packing, discarding, cleaning, paperwork and the myriad other tasks is a major challenge.

When you're older and moving from the family home to a new smaller residence, possibly in a new community or your adult child's home, sorting through decades of family history and possessions can feel overwhelming—even paralyzing.

Toileting (Dementia)

  • Set up the bathroom to make it as easy as possible for the person to get on to and off of the toilet, e.g. having a raised toilet seat and grab bars.
  • Notice when the person gives a sign about needing to use the toilet, e.g. agitation, fidgeting, tugging on clothing, wandering, touching the genital area. Have a routine and take the person to the bathroom on a regular schedule, e.g. every two hours. You may have to respond quickly if someone indicates they need to use the bathroom.

Incontinence (Dementia)

Tips for caregivers of those with dementia experiencing incontinence:

  • Talk to the physician to see if medication, enlarged prostate or a urinary tract infection might be causing the problem, especially if there is a sudden onset of incontinence.

Dressing and Grooming (Dementia)

 

Dressing and Grooming (Dementia)

 

  • Simplify clothing choices by putting out an outfit for the care receiver to wear, or give an option of two outfits. Do not ask open-ended questions like, "What do you want to wear?"—this kind of question can overwhelm someone with dementia.

Communication (Dementia)

Communication (Dementia)

  • People respond to our body posture, facial expression and tone of voice more than our actual words. Your upbeat mood can help keep the person you are dealing with remain calmer.
  • You need to pay attention to the non verbal clues the person you are caring for is giving you. Understanding his/her feelings may be more important than the content of the conversation. Acknowledge feelings whenever possible.

Dental Care (Dementia)

 

Dental Care (Dementia)

  • Dental hygiene is important for overall health. Poor dental hygiene may lead to heart disease, gingivitis, stroke, osteoporosis and respiratory disease. In addition to causing bad breath, it can also affect one's ability to eat, chew and talk. Certain medications can cause "dry mouth." Dry mouth makes it more difficult to eat and swallow, produce saliva, and causes tongue irritation.

Ten real-life strategies for dementia caregiving

As caregivers, we often use intuition to help us decide what to do. No one ever gave us lessons on how to relate to someone with memory loss. Unfortunately, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is counter-intuitive; i.e., often the right thing to do is exactly opposite that which seems like the right thing to do. Here is some practical advice:

Where to Find My Important Papers

Name: _________________________________________________
Social Security No.: _______________________________________
Spouse's/Partner's Name: ___________________________________
Social Security No.: _______________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________
Date Prepared: ___________________________________________
Copies Given to: __________________________________________

 

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