Memories last forever. But what if the memory of one of your dear family members suddenly declines, and they are unable to recall any happy moments; or worse, not remember anything – not even their name. Dealing with dementia could be heartbreaking for the family and this can be challenging as the days go by, especially because you never know how severe this illness can be.
Dementia can be progressive and the person affected can have a tremendous change in behaviour and personality. They can be happy one minute and the next minute throwing things everywhere. These mood swings are considered very difficult to deal with and it really takes a lot of support and compassion to get through this every day, since dementia can go on for a lifetime.
It is really a big decision to personally take care of a person with dementia or hire a care giver to do the job. There will be good days and there will be bad days, and over time you might learn to manage this issue because you are primarily motivated by your love for the person. Here are some ways to help you and other members of the family go through this troubling time.
- Read about dementia. It helps to know what the disease is all about in order to fully understand what the person is going through. You can learn a lot through books and the internet.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Having a support group of people who have undergone or are currently in the same situation can be a great help for you. You can also find professional health care providers who can give you advice on dementia care at home.
- Communicate with understanding and affection. People with dementia can really be challenging to deal with, mainly because they are also apprehensive and confused with themselves. As much as possible, talk to them softly. It is essential that you give them assurance that they are loved and cared for. Recalling happy moments, engaging in a heart to heart conversation, hugging and a gentle touch can calm them down.
- Be creative and engage in fun activities. People with dementia can really be irritable especially when they stay at home every single day. Having a walk in the park, going out to appreciate nature, making them laugh, singing, eating together and making them assist you in simple daily chores can set a good mood and positive feeling.
- Get professional help if necessary. There are people and live-in care professionals who can make the job easier for you. They are trained to deal with people who have this illness with patience and understanding. It can be a great relief for you and other members of the family because your loved one is well taken care of.
Understanding the circumstances around dementia can help you a lot in going through such a difficult situation.