Senior Snippet - Dementia and Making Choices

Dementia and Making Choices

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia it can sometimes be difficult to understand that decisions for them become a lot harder to make. Simply asking “what would you like for your tea” or “where would you like to go today” can be a struggle. This can also affect the person’s mood. Mood swings are common with dementia but you can try to avoid them by helping them make choices.

Questions that require a few stages such as “what would you like to wear” can be one of the most difficult as it will require multiple steps and can be overwhelming for your loved one.

Ways to tackle this is to break the activity down into stages or give simple choices. Try taking your loved one to their wardrobe and deciding with them what they would like to wear, as simply saying “why don’t you get dressed” may present them with a huge task that is too much to take in. They may still find choosing something themselves difficult, so you could say “this jumper looks nice with these trousers, what do you think?” this can help as it is an easier choice. This can also take away the feeling that they are being told what to wear by being encouraging and helping them keep their dignity. Try to give them a compliment once dressed so as to make them smile and hopefully improve their mood if needed.

Deciding what to have for meals can also be hard. If your loved one feels as though they are being ‘looked after’ and see this in a negative way, then deciding meals for them can have adverse effects. The thought of trying to pick something out themselves though could also be tricky. Try giving them a few choices such as “would you like bangers and mash or shepherd’s pie for tea tonight”. This way they are deciding for themselves but not having feel stressed about a big decision.

For more advice and help with dementia please feel free to contact us at Home Instead Wrexham and Deeside.