September is World Alzheimer’s month; an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge the stigma against it.
The focus of this year’s campaign, “Never too early. Never too late“, centres on risk factors and risk reduction, aiming to emphasise their crucial role in delaying and potentially preventing the onset of dementia.
Find out more about the campaign and get involved here.
Knowing the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on those living with it, we have put together our top tips for supporting someone with this condition.
Dementia affects how people think, remember, reason, organise and complete their daily tasks and lives. This condition is progressive and individuals can struggle more with these aspects of life as time goes on
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. Symptoms develop gradually and eventually become severe enough to interfere with daily activities. According to World Health Organisation, Alzheimer’s disease may contribute to up to seventy percent of dementia cases globally.
Here are some tips on how to support your loved ones, or the people you care for, to live a dignified life where they can be reassured in a routine that keeps them active, focused and involved in regular choices.
Keep regular routines at the same time each day to help provide stability and reinforce when they do things. Think about eating, washing and dressing at the same times each day to help make their day more structured and achievable.
As much as possible, involve them in their own tasks and choices to help maintain their muscle memory and keep them engaged in their self-care. Encourage and support their participation in activities such as washing and dressing, meal selection and preparation, and even tasks like making the bed, filling the bath, adding their own bubble bath, and choosing outfits from the wardrobe.
Allowing them to make their own choices each day ensures that they are treated with respect as individuals. Make sure to inform the person of your actions step by step and provide them with ample time to make decisions or request assistance. Dignity is about being involved in your own choices, no matter how we make them.
Do not pressure the individual to make a choice or respond in a certain amount of time. An important aspect maintaining dignity is to allow people time to think. Use a variety of communication techniques to assist them in making choices or engaging in conversation with you.
When assisting someone living with this condition, focus on the positives and avoid dwelling on the negatives. When they encounter difficulties in remembering information or completing a task, seek out the positive aspects and consider how you can facilitate their progress to the next step. Typically, this requires patience and time.
Emotions are a normal response when you’re feeling frustrated, confused, or scared. When assisting someone living with dementia in managing their emotions, it is beneficial to sit down together and take a few moments before resuming the task. Emotions are something we all experience, and sometimes, all it takes is a deep breath to regain composure.
Helping people with dementia to stay healthy in mind and body has great benefits, physically and mentally. Encourage them to take time for walks to stay as active as their capabilities allow and take part in activities that they enjoy. Should they require additional support, always extend a helping hand.
We understand that providing care for someone with a condition as complex as dementia can demand a significant amount of emotional, physical, and mental energy. Our years of experience in offering compassionate, comprehensive support can provide the essential support that you or your loved ones require.
Our carers are professionally trained and educated to understand dementia, allowing us to provide compassionate dementia care services. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to dementia care.