Helping Loved Ones with Dementia Feel More Included
Over 5.5 million Americans currently live with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. That number is set to rise substantially over the coming years due to humans living longer than ever before. As a result, there’s never been a more apt time to become fully educated in some of the most important aspects of the condition.
One area of dementia that is particularly misunderstood is socializing. Seniors in home care in Dallas TX that live with dementia see a gradual decline in their social skills as the condition advances. Unfortunately, this usually has a knock on effect on their mental health, with many seniors that live with the condition suffering from feelings of isolation.
To help make sure you know what to do to make a senior feel more involved, we’ve come up with a quick list of helpful tips, below:
Stick to Small Groups
For most of us, there’s nothing better than a big family get-together. Unfortunately, people living with dementia don’t see it quite the same way. Whether it’s because they don’t recognize faces or that they have trouble concentrating with so much background noise, the reality is that they’d much rather be somewhere else.
To make sure they feel comfortable communicating, try to spend time with them in a one-on-one setting or in a small group. This way, they’ll be able to maintain eye contact and can lip read should they have any trouble with their hearing.
Stick to Activities That Engage the Senses
People living with dementia have been shown to respond positively to activities that engage multiple senses. Bright colors, strange sounds, and strong smells are particularly appealing to those living with the latter stages of dementia.
Any sort of creative or hands-on activity, such as painting, decorating, or gardening is likely to keep someone with dementia more engaged than a book or a movie.
Get Them Involved
Caring for someone with dementia can be extremely time-consuming and certainly requires a lot of patience.
One way to make the whole experience easier for everyone involved is to try and take part in activities together. If for example, you have to make their dinner, you could ask the person with dementia to help lay the table. Some other safe ways they can become involved include:
- Dusting while you hoover
- Hanging up any washing together
- Drying dishes that you have washed up
- Decorating Christmas cards
- Pulling out the weeds while you mow the lawn
All of these sorts of activities help to give someone living with dementia that crucial feeling of self-worth.