How to Care for Someone Living with Dementia

When a loved one has dementia, it can have a huge impact on your life. Following a diagnosis, friends, family and carers will need to anything they can to help the person retain their sense of identity and self-worth.

Go with the flow

Patience is key when it comes to having a conversation with someone living with dementia. As dementia progresses, conversations may take on an interesting form. A person with dementia may have trouble finding the right word and may repeat words and phrases. You may find that they suddenly start talking about something completely off topic and random, so just go with the flow and try not to correct them or get impatient. Just to have someone listen and take interest in what they have to say with help them feel worthy.id-100288905

Breakdown activities

Finding meaningful activities that can help with engagement between a carer and someone living with dementia is really important. Companies such as develop activities to assist people with dementia in leading active, engaging and fulfilling lives. Breaking down activities in simple steps can make many activities much more enjoyable and much more manageable.

Set a positive mood

We understand it’s hard to stay positive all of the time, however a positive attitude will make both yours and the person your caring for lives much easier. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one a pleasant and respectful manner. Sometimes your body language can communicate your feelings and thoughts stronger than your words, so use facial expressions and physical touch to help convey your message and show your feelings.

Manage their eating and nutrition

Someone with dementia’s eating and drinking habits will change over time so it’s important to carefully monitor their eating and nutrition. People with dementia may forget to eat and drink, and may find it difficult to chew and swallow. You can help with this by serving food in small portion, only serving one course at a time and serving foods that are familiar to them. Ask their doctor to check that there isn’t a treatable cause of appetite loss, such as denture pain or depression.

Care for yourself

When you’re a care giver, then most of your time will go on caring for someone else. However, it’s crucial that you care for yourself too, as it can be an emotionally distressing task at times. Make time and space for yourself and look after your health.

 

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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