fbpixel In Conversation with Lance-A-Slatton | Home Care Expert Insights

Home Care Expert Insights

In Conversation with Lance A. Slatton CSCM to Bring His Insights on Assisting Dementia Caregivers

A multifaceted approach is required to address the diverse needs of dementia caregivers. While financial assistance programs can alleviate the financial strain associated with caregiving expenses, access to community resources-meal delivery and transportation services-eases the caregiving workload.

Further, technology solutions like medication management apps and remote monitoring systems assist with care tasks and provide peace of mind. Moreover, advocacy for policies supporting dementia caregivers, including increased research funding and expanded caregiver support programs, addresses systemic barriers and enhances societal support. Perhaps the best part of implementing these measures is that communities and healthcare systems can better support dementia caregivers in providing quality care while maintaining their own well-being.

To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring his perspective on dementia care to light.

Expert QA session with Lance-A-Slatton

Who Did We Interview?

Lance has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare and senior care sector and assists elderly individuals in aging with dignity while getting access to the resources and services they need for long-term care. Lance is passionate about dementia care and education and has facilitated and hosted multiple training and educational series for communities and organizations on the needs of individuals with dementia.

Since 2020, he has been hosting the podcast ‘All Home Care Matters’ which discusses all things home care, featuring guests, resources, tips, and topics that are important for families navigating long-term care issues.

Let’s now delve into what he has to say about the home care industry:

Question 1: What, in your opinion, can caregivers do to support seniors with dementia?

When caregivers are caring for a loved one with dementia, it is important to educate yourself about the disease and learn as much as you can about it. With an understanding of dementia, you’ll have a better opportunity to be able to make a positive difference in their life. Once you understand what your loved one is going through, find ways to allow them to have as much control and input over their life as possible.

Having activities for them to be a part of will help them stay engaged and stimulated. This could include allowing them to help with chores-like folding laundry-or something as simple as making cookies or family recipes that they enjoy while always maintaining and respecting their dignity.

Question 2: Do individuals with dementia need to make certain lifestyle changes to minimize the impact?

Yes, there will be some lifestyle changes that may become necessary either now or later as dementia progresses. For some individuals, they may need to stop driving and work with their family and caregivers to coordinate transportation to appointments, grocery shopping, and places that they may need to go to.

There may also be a need to have someone monitoring and helping with their medications so that their prescriptions do not get missed or incorrectly taken.

We want to respect and maintain our loved one’s dignity and independence, but not at risk of their safety.

A loved one with dementia is still capable of many things and being supportive of them is important. Helping them maintain a good diet, hydration, and exercise will provide them with many positive benefits as they face these new lifestyle changes.

Question 3: How should family members and caregivers communicate with seniors with dementia?

When a family is dealing with a loved one with dementia, being able to patiently communicate with them is important. Using a calm voice and ensuring that you’re not talking too fast is important for effectively communicating with them.

Remember that your loved one still is an adult and refrain from talking down to them or like they are a child.

Question 4: Do caregivers and family members need to take certain steps to make the elderly’s house dementia-friendly?

It is important to make sure that your loved one’s home is safe for them. This could entail going through and doing a walk-through to see if there are things that before a dementia diagnosis would not be seen as hazardous, but now could be.

If they have a gas stove, you may want to consider disconnecting the gas. If they had previously been handling their prescription, it may be time to consider having a family member designated to oversee their prescriptions going forward.

We also recommend having their mail either held for the family for in-person pickup at the post office or having it forwarded to a family member’s house to ensure bills are being paid on time and to avoid scams and solicitations that could lead to financial issues and even identity theft.

Check shelves and cabinets to make sure that the items are secure to avoid an item accidentally falling and causing an injury.

In the bathroom, it is a good idea to have safety bars installed in the tub and on the outside for extra support. If your loved one has physical limitations or balancing issues, having a shower chair or a shower bench would allow an extra layer of safety while bathing.

If your loved one’s laundry is in the basement, it may be a good idea to try and create a room on the home’s main floor to prevent your loved one from having to carry laundry up and down the stairs.

Another good home safety recommendation is having cameras placed in highly trafficked areas of the home for family to check in on their loved one. Some cameras also allow for two-way communication to talk and listen to their loved one in the event of an emergency.

Lastly, let their neighbors know that you trust them and even their mailman. Having support from others who know your loved one will provide you and your loved one extra support and insights.

Question 5: What advice do you give to caregivers dealing with older adults with dementia?

We encourage them to find a local support group and others who may be dealing with a loved one with dementia. We tell families that they are not alone and to talk to others who are going through similar situations.

We tell them to take it day by day. There are many helpful resources and services out there, not only for their loved ones with dementia but also for themselves.

In Conclusion

In the second innings of their lives, seniors seek support in familiar surroundings. At the same time, they want to be treated with respect-like adults-and not talked down. So, caregivers must ensure that as they talk in a gentle and calm voice with the elderly, they don’t sound condescending.

Meanwhile, to avoid burnout, caregivers should participate in support groups and take care of their own health while maintaining the health of older adults. After all, only if they’re optimally healthy can they ensure the well-being of the elderly.

Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

Contact Us

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