Few things in life are as difficult as seeing an aging loved one struggle with dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for progressive diseases affecting the brain and memory, which includes Alzheimer’s disease. Supporting a loved one with dementia is challenging in a number of ways because it is worrying to see your loved one lose their memory and independence, but it can also be hugely upsetting. With this in mind, this article will offer a few tips for supporting a loved one with dementia so that you can provide the best care possible and improve their quality of life.
Learn As Much As You Can
First, you should educate yourself. As mentioned, dementia is an umbrella term, so you need to learn exactly what condition your loved one has and what stage they are at. It is a good idea to speak with their doctor so that you can get as much information and advice as possible. This will help you provide the best care level, understand what exactly is happening, and prepare for the future.
Find Activities They Enjoy
It is important to find activities that your loved one enjoys that can help to keep their mind sharp and keep them happy. There are a number of activities that are often recommended for someone with dementia, including:
- Listening to music
- Spending time in nature
Do Not Challenge Their Mistakes
It is difficult when your loved one becomes more forgetful and confused. Often, people will naturally try to correct their loved one, but this can only make matters worse. Instead, you should go along with it and gently steer the conversation to something else. Gentle, empathetic, and supportive communication is hugely important when spending time with someone with dementia.
Plan For The Future
It is also important to be proactive and plan ahead for the future. While they might be in a supportive environment at the moment, their situation and needs could change quickly. There are a number of options worth exploring, but people with dementia will often reach a stage where they need memory care. Memory care facilities can provide your loved one with a safe, supportive, and friendly environment. Often, residents of memory care in Missouri enjoy a greater quality of life as their personal needs will be met, and there will be activities and social opportunities for loved ones. It is never easy and will be emotional, but memory care facilities will make life better for your loved one and your entire family.
Look After Yourself
Leading on from this, you must also ensure that you look after yourself. It can be extremely upsetting, stressful, and worrying when you have a loved one with dementia, but you should not spend your entire life worrying about them. You must make time for yourself, manage your stress, and seek help from supporting groups if you feel that you need it.
It is hoped that the advice in this post will be useful for anyone with a loved one with dementia and help you to provide the best level of care while also looking after yourself.