Helping Loved Ones with Dementia Feel More Included
A recent study by the Alzheimer’s Society highlighted just how a big an issue depression is for those living with dementia. Some 61% of correspondents said that they had to deal with regular feelings of loneliness, while a further 77% claimed they commonly suffered from anxiety.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution to making someone living with dementia feel more included. While you may think that involving them in activities that are more social could help to alleviate any feelings of isolation, in the wrong circumstances, it can actually make their symptoms worse.
That’s why we’ve compiled a short list of dos and don’ts when it comes to the condition. By following the following tips, you should be able to bring a smile back to your loved one’s face.
Delve Into Their Past
People living with dementia often have stronger long-term memories, which means they find it easier to recite stories that happened 20 years ago as opposed to 20 minutes ago.
Always keep in mind that the further the condition progresses, the more likely they’re to become confused mid-sentence. If you find they suddenly change the topic of conversation, try to go along with it to avoid any confusion on their behalf.
Use What You Know
Someone living with dementia is far more likely to enjoy an activity if they can relate to some aspect of it. If you know they enjoy something, try to plan weekly activities around that interest. Some examples include:
For the War Buff
- Visiting local memorials or museums
- Watching films and TV shows on the subject matter of war
- Attending air shows
For the Creative Type
- Completing Jigsaw puzzles
- Creating cards for holidays and birthdays
For the Person With Green Fingers
- Planting seasonal flowers
- Watering plants
- Maintaining a vegetable patch
Many seniors in home care in Tacoma WA that have advanced dementia enjoy activities that engage the senses, with bright colors, unique sounds, and interesting smells sure to grab their attention.
People with dementia feel most comfortable in a one-on-one environment. This is entirely understandable when you think how strange it must be being in a room full of faces that you no longer recognize.
Whenever you’re speaking with your loved one, try to maintain eye contact and speak to them directly. This will not only help to reassure them but also make it easier for them to understand what you’re saying.