Recent figures show that there are currently around 720,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with Dementia, and these are mainly elderly people. When you are in the position where you have an elderly relative who has been diagnosed with Dementia, it can be quite an upsetting time for both you and your relative. When the person with Dementia realises that their mental abilities are in decline, they can often feel vulnerable and will welcome all the support and reassurance that you can give. It is important to remind them that they are still a valuable and unique human being, whatever their diagnosis has been. You can help them to cope better with their Dementia, by doing things that will help them to retain their sense of identity, and also gives them a feeling of self-worth.
Helping the person who has been diagnosed with Dementia feel valued, is not a complex process at all. It could be something as simple as just making the time to chat with and listen to them in a relaxed environment. One way to keep their mind active, as well as helping them to feel valued is to perhaps create a life story book with them – this will spark off conversations and be something for them to refer to time and again.
As frustrating as it can be at times to talk to someone with Dementia, you should always remember to treat them with respect. Be kind and reassuring, and never talk over their head as if they are not there. Try to imagine yourself in their shoes, and think how you would feel if someone spoke to you in a criticising manner. Take a step back and think about what they are trying to say – most of the time they are trying to communicate how they feel but it may not always make much sense.
Dementia can affect a lot of areas within a person’s brain, including the bits that control memory, thinking, reasoning and behaviour. However, their feelings will still be the same. They can be sad or upset about the condition and how it is affecting them at times, and so you should take some time to talk to them about it and offer some support. Give them plenty of encouragement and do things with them rather than for them, so that they may retain their independence.
This is only a small insight into some of the things that you can do to care for a person with Dementia. If you find their condition is too upsetting for you to deal with, or you simply don’t have the time required then Home Instead can help. We can provide a CAREGiver who is trained in Dementia Care, and who will deal with the elderly client as if they were their own relative. Our CAREGivers are specifically matched to each client and will be their regular CAREGiver in order to build up a better relationship with them.
The CAREGiver from Home Instead, will work closely with you and the rest of your family to ensure that a care plan is developed to fit the needs of the person, and create a happy and safe environment for them. Home Instead CAREGivers can manage the clients changing behaviour, ensure they are eating nutritious meals every day, create social interaction with them, provide mind-stimulating activities for them, and enhance their life.
If you require any more advice or support please call on 01296 410029 for Aylesbury and 01844 202778 for Thame