Helping Loved Ones With Dementia Feel More Included

Dementia and depression are two commonly intertwined illnesses, with figures from the charity Fight Dementia showing that around half (40-50%) of all people living with Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – also live with depression.

That link has been found to be even more prevalent in people living in long-term residential care, so making sure steps are in place to try to avoid your loved one having to leave their home are important.

The Signs of Depression

Due to how similar the symptoms are for both dementia and depression, it can be hard to spot whether or not your loved one is struggling with their mental health. There are, however, some common traits to look out for:

  • A loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • A general lack of energy
  • A poor sleeping pattern
  • A loss of appetite and/or weight
  • An increase in their emotional behavior, i.e. crying or shouting

The most obvious sign, however, is if your loved one actually tells you that they’re feeling worthless or sad. As dementia can be an extremely isolating illness, it’s important to reassure your loved one in home care in Vacaville CA that you’re there to talk if need be.

What to do

There has been a wide range of research carried out over the last decade that has looked into ways to improve the mental well-being of someone living with dementia. We’ve detailed four of the best ways to make your loved one feel more included, below:

  • Exercise – taking part in regular physical exercise will naturally result in the brain releasing more ‘happy chemicals, such as endorphins and dopamines, which will help to improve your loved one’s mood.

There are a number of senior swimming, walking, and yoga classes in and around Vacaville, so you don’t always have to be around to carry out these activities with them.

  • Routine – dementia gradually reduces a person’s ability to plan and complete an activity, so they need a common routine to fall back on that makes them more comfortable.
  • Socializing – try to get your loved one involved in small, social activities, such as packing charity boxes, which can help to give them a feeling of self-worth.
  • One-on-one – the best way to communicate with someone living dementia is to talk to him or her face-to-face in a quiet environment. Make sure you use eye contact and give them plenty of reassuring physical touches.
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