Supporting someone with dementia
Have you ever walked into a room and gone completely blank as to what you were going to do? This can happen to anyone occasionally and can be somewhat annoying when it does happen. Imagine this taking place more often. For your loved ones living with dementia, remembering things, thinking clearly, communicating and taking care of themselves becomes a challenge every day. They depend a lot on those around them to get through each day. Before you put a strain on your family, and relationships, find out what type of support you can provide your family member with dementia.
Set the mood
Living with someone that has dementia can be challenging, there are many times you will have to repeat yourself, listen to the same conversation and be patient. Set a positive mood, by being pleasant, accommodating and thoughtful. Talk to your loved one with respect and remember not to be impatient or roll your eyes, your body language and attitude speaks volumes and could deter the family member from trying to communicate more effectively.
Create routine and manageable tasks
Routine helps create familiarity. Forgetting the simplest thing or easily getting distracted is a trait of those with dementia. By setting routines, you help them remain focused and assists with those really struggling with short-term memory. Coupled with routine, setting small, manageable tasks to complete daily, without a time restriction, also helps keep their minds active, as well as gives them a sense of accomplishment each day.
Distract or redirect the conversations
There will be many times, a person with dementia will become upset that they can’t remember or can see that they are trying another’s patience. In these moments, acknowledge that you can see that they are upset and suggest doing something else, like going for a walk or out for something to eat.
There will be days where your patience will be tested, however it is important for you to help create a safe, and loving place for your loved ones struggling through the day-to-day challenges of remembering.