Dementia and How to Take Care of Someone With it read
Dec 28 2020774 Views
Every three seconds, a person gets diagnosed with dementia. Many people across the world suffer from this mental illness. Here is some information on dementia, the stigma associated with it, and how to care for someone with dementia.
Dementia is a decrease in mental ability and is critical enough to disrupt daily life of the patient. Among the many types of dementia, the most common one is Alzheimer’s disease.
When a person is living with some form of dementia, the person’s brain experiences certain changes. With the progress of the disease, the person starts exhibiting the following symptoms:
- Problems with speaking or writing
- Misplacing things
- Decrease in judgment
- Change in mood and personality
- Difficulty in performing everyday tasks
- Decrease in problem-solving capabilities
- Memory loss that interferes with day-to-day life
- Trouble understanding spatial relationships
- Confusion related to time and place
If the above symptoms become noticeable in someone close to you, it is important to fix a medical appointment to identify the root cause. If the cause is dementia, it is critical to get an early diagnosis for planning and treatment.
Overcoming the Stigma
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But that does not mean life is over for the person with the disease. It is essential to overcome the negative stigma associated with the disease by acknowledging the individual and who he/she was before the disease.
Oftentimes, patients of Alzheimer’s disease tend to withdraw themselves from family members and friends. We must help reduce the stigma by talking directly to the person with dementia, offering independence, and supporting them when needed.
How to Take Care of Someone with Dementia
A person-centric mental health care approach can be considered to support the individual diagnosed with dementia. Consider the facts listed below when caring for someone with dementia:
Accept support offered to you
Do not be afraid to ask for help, whether you are taking care of someone in your family or offering professional help. Support groups can be immensely helpful for caregivers to vent, empathize, and learn about new tricks and resources for the disease. Offering your help to someone with dementia is difficult and there might come a time when you need to consult other professional caregivers.
Know that dementia is more than just loss of memory
While memory loss is a classic symptom of dementia, some other types of dementia are characterized by personality changes. The symptoms are dependent on the part of the brain affected by the disease. Dementia patients experience neurological decline that can lead to many other issues.
Plan for the future of the patient
Do not get used to the status quo as change is inevitable in dementia patients. Continuously reassess the health needs and status of your patient. Care required will increase with time. Plan for any future transition.
Actively empathize with the patient
Care starts with compassion and empathy. Get to know the person you are taking care of. Once you know the patient, you can personalize your care to meet his/her needs. Dementia patients are prone to get confused about the place and time in which they are living. Hence, it is even more important to show empathy.
Offer realistic care
Know what success you can achieve as the disease progresses. Make sure the person you are caring for is as happy, comfortable, and feels safe. Experienced dementia caregivers say that dementia patients have both, good days and bad days. Try your best to foster good days in your patient’s life.
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