Commandments Quote Wide

Dementia Care – A Caregiver’s 10 Commandments

Caring for someone with dementia requires some special skills and extra sensitivity. If you are currently caring for a loved one who has dementia, then following are 10 commandments for caregivers which might help you in your day to day care.

The University of Tasmania released this poster recently on their Facebook page listing 10 Commandments for Caregivers. They could not be more perfectly stated and show insight and a deep understanding of what is required when caring for someone who has dementia.

Dementia is a delicate condition to deal with and it will challenge you as a carer on many levels. You may need to exercise more patience, tolerance and understanding than what you did in previous caring roles.

Remembering these 10 commandments will help you look after yourself as you care for a loved one with dementia and will keep that fine thread of connection with your loved one as alive as it can be.

A Caregiver’s 10 Commandments

Agree – Never Argue

Any level of arguing is futile, increases tension and achieves only disconnection. Feeling frustration is understood, but it is better channelled into a gym workout. As a caregiver, you need to drop any desire to argue and use some of the tactics suggested below.

Redirect – Never Reason

The ability to reason decreases and the degree depends on the level of dementia. Instead of trying to reason with your loved one, redirect the conversation to something related or another more engaging subject and then you might be able to return to the original question.

Distract – Never Shame

Shame will shut down their connection to you faster than anything else. It is hard enough for some of them knowing they have dementia, or some may not even realise. Feeling shame in general is a sensation that may go way back to childhood and best avoided.

Reassure – Never Lecture

People with dementia do not necessarily want to be told anything new, they just want to avoid tension of any kind. Take care to not use a voice that has a teaching tone, provide reassurance that all is well and redirect the conversation to another topic.

Reminisce – Never Say “Remember”

Asking someone with dementia to “remember” is reminding them that their brains are not working the way they used to and will cause them to shut down. Discuss yesterday’s activities in a way that is conversational that takes you back to moments that you both enjoyed.

Repeat – Never say “ I already told you”

Be prepared to repeat yourself several times. Do it with the same tone of voice and keep patience and tolerance at top of mind.

Ask - Never Command

People with dementia want to be respected and treated with dignity. They are extra sensitive to commanding voices. Ask for their involvement and their permission and guide them to where they need to go.

Encourage and Praise - Never Condescend

When caring for children and teaching them things they do not know, we do not condescend but encourage. The same principal applies with people who have dementia.

Reinforce – Never Force

Reassurance, patient re-iteration and reinforcement is needed in communication with someone with dementia. Remember that the objective is to keep a communication flow going between you.

St Louis is a Recognised and Leading Provider of Dementia Care in Adelaide

St Louis is a leading provider of dementia care in Adelaide and a Department of Health Approved Provider. We established Australia's first dementia specific Community Aged Care Packages in 2003 and Extended Aged Care for high level dementia care in the home in 2006.

Our Registered Nurses and Care Staff are all thoroughly trained in the provision of care to those living with dementia and we are always updating our practices with the latest best practice dementia care techniques interstate and overseas.

Call St Louis today on (08) 08 8272 3344 to discuss the way we provide dementia care and how we can support you or a loved one in need. We are here to help you create a lifestyle that provides peace of mind.