Living with Dementia: A Carer’s Guide to Creating a Better Environment
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be hard to bear. Dementia is the gradual decline of intellect, rational thinking as well as memory loss. Taking care of a person living with dementia can be stressful, but there are ways to create a better environment for them.
What can a person living with dementia experience?
Many people who have dementia experience loss of memory and cognitive function. They also experience problems with communication, reasoning, completing complex tasks. They also become easily irritated and planning.
Changes in needs
As the disease progresses, there will be changes in the needs of those living well with dementia such as:
Changes in behaviour
Realising the changes in behaviour that may happen towards a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can help you plan early. These behavioural changes and symptoms can include:
These behavioural changes can often be upsetting, but you can help the patients cope with change.
How to help dementia patients with everyday living?
Someone who experiences dementia may feel frustrated because of a lack of stimulation. Starting activities is vital to boost the mood of people to live well with dementia and provide them with a better quality of life.
Suitable Activities for People Living with Dementia
While it may be difficult for a person with dementia to live a normal life, you can initiate the following activities to make the lives of the person and his or her family and friends more pleasurable.
Brain stimulating activities train the patients’ thinking abilities. You can start the day with these:
Exercise boosts the physical health of a person. However, activities depend on the person’s fitness, age, dementia level, and health conditions.
Help build emotional connections with these ways:
Participating in a daily routine creates a sense of purpose among people living with dementia and lifts their self-esteem. Try these life skills activities with your friends and loved ones, including:
What support is available for people with dementia
Looking after a person with dementia can be overwhelming, but many services can make your job and services easier.
Find different information and education programs on ways to create a dementia-friendly home, managing behavioural change, more about the type of dementia, symptoms of dementia, and what you can do to be able to support the care patients to live well with dementia.
Get important advice, practical assistance, care, and support from counsellors providing to carers. There are free counselling sessions available from different organisations.
Being part of a carer support group eases the burden as group members may help and support people and carers and share tips. You will also find valuable information and resources on social media or the website.
Online sessions and webinars allow carers to learn about dementia at their own time and pace.
Managing end-of-life signs of dementia
While it is common for the disease to progress slowly, making important decisions can be more difficult. Some of the signs of end-of-life include:
Working with health professionals
Advice health professionals that you are taking care of one with Alzheimer’s and always ask questions.
It is important to get the affairs of the person in order as soon as possible. Family members should take time to find a lawyer, bank manager, or financial adviser to provide support services in making financial arrangements and other care services.
Make sure legal matters and information are executed before the person reaches the end-of-life stage.
Things to Remember
If you are a family member or one of those who give support for people diagnosed with dementia, see them beyond the diagnosis and help them stay connected. It will be quite stressful for them, but you can lessen their fears and improve their quality of life. Stay with them on this journey but don’t forget to look after yourself as well.
Meanwhile, you may check out Delta Care’s blog about Dementia Care where you can find information and resources to help you with your questions.