Do you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with dementia? It can be a very scary and overwhelming diagnosis to hear. Perhaps it is an aging parent who is starting to exhibit the early signs? Or the disease may be more progressed, and you’ve been suspecting it for some time now? Because dementia is progressive, there is also the understanding that it will only become more pronounced and affect your loved one more and more over time.
So what can you do to help? Here we’ll take a look at four ways you can help a loved one who is suffering from dementia – whether it is mild or moderate.
Help Them to Work Through Their Emotions
If the diagnosis is recent and they are in the early stages of dementia then there is bound to be a lot of emotions involved. Your loved one may feel angry, scared, frustrated, sad, depressed, anxious and even fearful of what this means to their life. All of these emotions are natural and you should encourage them to talk about their feelings, go through the motions, and allow them to be truthful.
Research Dementia and Arm Yourself with Knowledge
The next tip is to take the time to research what dementia is, what it means to a person’s lifestyle, and what to expect. You can find plenty of content online and you can speak to your loved one’s doctor with them to get more individualized information.
Learn How You Can Slow Down Progression
While there is no cure for dementia, there are many steps you can take that can help to slow down the progression. Many tend to be lifestyle changes, so the sooner you can embrace them, the better it will be for your loved one.
Some of the changes you can adopt include:
- Make sure they eat a healthy well-balanced diet
- Make sure they are exercising regularly (walking and daily stretches are a great idea)
- Make sure they are staying social, getting together with family and friends
- Make sure they understand that getting enough sleep each night is important
- Encourage brain-boosting activities – things like brain puzzles and games
- Try to eliminate stress from their daily life
Do They Need to Consider an Assisted Living Facility?
As dementia progresses, it may also be necessary for your loved one to consider the benefits of moving to an assisted living facility. These facilities can help those who have memory issues as well as those who are losing the ability to care for themselves. They can assist with medication management, meal preparation and feeding, and so much more. You can look into facilities such as Creve Coeur assisted living for more information on what services are included, and how they can help make life easier, more comfortable, and safer for your loved one.
Living with Dementia Requires Specific Tips and Care
Learning that a loved one has dementia can seem devastating in that moment, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture and how you can support them, offer care, and ensure they have everything they need to best cope with the disease.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Health category