Dementia is a horrible, cruel disease. We hear horror stories on a regular basis, through soaps on TV, magazines, and through friends and family. However, there are ways to make dementia that little bit easier on all affected by it. We share some of our top tips to help you all move forward in the best possible way.
Keep your cool
It is really easy to become frustrated and raise your voice when you are feeling that way. This response to forgetfulness or repetition will not do anyone any good. Try to remember that annoying you is never the intention. Responding to something negative in a negative way will not produce a positive outcome. Remain calm, in control, and loving.
Dementia can make the individual feel as though they are losing their identity. Doing things to allow them to have fun and meet others, potentially in the same position, is really important. Some areas have memory clinics or cafes where both patients and carers are able to meet up with others. However, it is important not to restrict outings solely to activities linked to this disease. Continue going to church each Sunday, if that is what used to happened, and take the grandkids to the park. For as long as possible, try to maintain some sort of normality. For the person with dementia, everything will have been tipped on its head. A familiar routine can stop things feeling quite so daunting.
Focus on health
For some people, the diagnosis of dementia can prompt an ‘I give up’ attitude. It is important to encourage the opposite. Focusing on positive physical and mental health is vital. Walks in the countryside or a swim at a local pool are great options. Cutting back on smoking and drinking, plus making sure they have a balanced diet are all things that will help stay healthy.
Plan for the future
Living for the moment is great and encouraged. However, it is also imperative that you do think ahead to the time when current care is no longer suitable and sufficient. As much as we may feel that on our own, we are able to meet the needs of our loved ones, that can’t always be the case. Other members of your family, friends and professionals can be there to help. Just don’t feel as though you are failing by asking for assistance. It will help you avoid burnout and to maintain a closer, more positive relationship. Whether you choose a Senior Care Center or hire nurses to come into your home to supplement the care already being given, research your options carefully before finalizing anything.
Photographs are a great way to trigger memories. They don’t always work, but it is nice to sit down and share an album together. Moreover, music can really enhance life for everyone. Putting your friend or relative’s all-time favorite songs onto an MP3 player or even a CD could prove a real hit. Music brings joy to so many people and you could be doing just that for your loved one.