As dementia advances, it becomes easy to forget that your loved one is still there. Many caregivers are frustrated by the inability of a loved one to share their thoughts or recognise those closest to them. This disease eventually takes away independence.
However, despite all these challenges, if you look after and love a dementia sufferer, it is very rewarding and although may not be obvious, the one you love is still there, behind the disease.
Here are some things to remember when you love someone with dementia:
Educate yourself about the disease. Learn about the development of dementia, as this can help you to empathize and understand your loved one.
Have some realism over your expectations for both yourself and your family members. Try to create goals that are realistic and learn to accept the unexpected. Setting your goals too high, will only leave you feeling like you have failed.
Establish routines that are predictable. When the disease worsens, it is more important than ever to have these established schedules. This can help to eliminate the confusion and frustration for the one you loved. Routine is the benefit of being looked after in a specialist dementia home.
Do not argue with your loved one. Arguing with loved ones about a forgotten memory will only further disrupt them and frustrate you. Be prepared to let things go.
Do not underestimate the power of good nutrition. Dementia studies have examined the importance of good nutrition. Try to reduce refined sugars and increase vegetables to help manage behavioral problems.
Allow them some independence wherever possible. As tempting as it may be to do everything for your loved one, it is important for them to do as many things as possible by themselves, even if you need to start the activity.
Do not think you can convert your loved one back into the person they once were. Mourn the loss of your loved one and then love them as they are now.
Set aside some time for exercise every day. It’s important to focus on the health of your mind but also your body over the years. Physical exercise is highly beneficial, particularly if you make time for it every day.
Don’t be afraid to rely on family members and friends when needed. After all you do for your loved one with dementia, ensure you take some time to accept support for yourself too. Turn to family members and other loved ones when you need them. It’s important to remember that there may also be legal implications that need to be dealt with where dementia is involved, so if you need advice on this then why not contact an Ascot solicitors company such as Parachute Law.
Remember that Alzheimer’s diagnosis is not a death sentence. Many people with the disease live more than 20 years after diagnosis. Take advantage of the remaining time with your loved one.