Welcome to our latest edition of Senior Snippets brought to you by Frankii of Home Instead in Welwyn & Hatfield.
With Dementia Awareness Week from 18th-24th May, I will be sharing some essential advice for those of you caring for someone with a dementia. One of the most important things to understand about dementia is that it is essential to change the ways in which you care for the person in order to maintain their (and your) quality of life. Putting yourself in their world, rather than trying to bring them back into ours, will give you the opportunity to be a much more effective caregiver.
1. Redirect: Changing the topic of conversation, if your relative or friend asks the same question multiple times, for example, can stop unhelpful thought patterns.
2. Apologise: Simply saying “I’m sorry, I misunderstood you” and taking the blame, even when something is not your fault, can often calm down the individual if they are distressed.
3. Remove: Removing distracting and or harmful things from the individual or removing the individual from a situation or environment which is distressing or angering them will help them to remain calm and content.
4. Simple Choices: Individuals with a dementia often feel like they have lost control of their lives and so giving them simple choices, like “Would you like tea or coffee?”, will help them to feel more in control and, in turn, happier.
5. Engage: Engaging in basic mental, physical and social activities has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety for people with a dementia. It is important to recognise that it may take various attempts and approaches before these techniques become truly effective. If a technique does not work first time, it is best to take a step back and try again a few minutes later, taking a different approach.
I’d love to hear from you! To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at email@example.com or by post to Home Instead, Unit 3, Weltech Business Centre, The Ridgeway, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 2AA. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01707 240 650