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Caring for someone with Dementia: Episode 102

Caring for someone with Dementia

Caring for someone (especially our loved one) with Dementia can be challenging. Rick Topete is with us today to give us advice on how to take care of someone with Dementia.

 

Rick Topete’s passion with seniors began way back when he was in high school.

He studied at St. Bernard High School where they visit local Senior Centers in Los Angeles. During his visit to Senior Centers, they would play cards, listen to old-time music, hear their great stories, put a smile on their face and let them know they mattered. In 2011, he had an opportunity at Silverado Care. Within the first year of taking the job, his Aunt was diagnosed with early onset of Dementia that made it “real” and really centered him on what this disease is.

Rick gives us some tips on how to take care of someone with Dementia.

  • Keep the tone of your voice pleasant and soft.
    • Sometimes, the noise can have an effect on someone with Dementia.
  • Gentle eye contact
  • Stay away from negative words
  • Change topic if needed
  • Give simple choices
    • Example, would you like to wear the red sweater or the blue sweater?
  • Know their passion and help them use and maintain the remaining strength they have today.
    • Celebrate their abilities and not focus on their limitation
  • If a loved one has passed, be in the moment with them

Rick tells us it’s all about understanding what their passion is, what’s their past job, hobbies, etc. Once you get to know them better, you can use it to help them feel important. If you knew someone with Dementia and you know that he or she likes gardening, make him or her do gardening (with supervision, of course). It’s all about not making them feel that they have a disease or that they are useless. What’s important is that we make them feel that they matter, that they have a purpose.

“Give them the opportunity to live, understand what’s in their heart, understand what’s important to them.”

Even though the disease may be there it doesn’t mean they can’t live and still have that social involvement in living

each day.

Below are some links to support activities for Seniors, especially those with a Dementia diagnosis.

If you would like to contact Rick his phone number is 760-215-5517

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