How Families Can Cope with a Family Member Having Dementia
Dementia is indeed a disease that can cause extreme frustration and grief to a family. However, that doesn’t need to be the case because all you need to do is to handle the situation properly. It’s all about managing things right where you’re able to not only improve their overall wellbeing but yours as well.
On your journey through supporting a family member with dementia, you will be given a lot of advice and you will read many different takes on exactly how you should support them. But in this time of adjustment, you need to take a common sense approach and deal with things the best way you can.
The following tips will help you to cope with the stress and anxiety that dementia can bring to your family, and make things a tiny bit easier.
FirstCare Expert Jane Byrne knows a little about dementia. She says that, “if you notice someone, particularly if they are over the age of 65, forgetting things, or finding it easier to remember things that have long since passed, then it is perhaps time to go to the doctors. If dementia is caught earlier, then this will give you many more options for treatment.”
Give time for grieving
Dementia is a progressive disease, which means that it gets worse through time and has no cure. Don’t settle for false hopes. Accept the situation and don’t be in a state of denial. Acknowledge the fact that sooner or later, your family member is going to forget you, and all you have left is the memories you had together. Cherish the moment you have with them because after all, you still have them.
Remember your relationship with each other
The family member who has dementia can be your parents, spouse, or grandparents. Whichever the case is, they had been a huge part of your life. They made you who you are today, and that’s what you need to remember. Having this in your mind gives you a feeling of gratitude instead of loss.
Express love and happiness
Get over with grief and frustration as this doesn’t help your family member who has dementia. Showing positive emotions such as joy, compassion, and love creates smooth cardio rhythms, which leads to less stress, stronger immune system, and a stronger physical and emotional health.
Avoid asking too many questions and getting into confrontations with people with dementia. Keep things simple as much as possible and leave plenty of time for them to answer. Also, make sure that your voice is loud enough for them to hear and understand.
And if possible, repeat your sentences over and over again without showing any sign of frustration. Be patient with them and always make sure that they understand what you’re saying. Give them praise every now and then too so that they won’t be pressured and stressed every time you talk with them.
Ensure medical maintenance
One of the most important things about living with a family member who has dementia is having medical maintenance. This can come in the form of home-consumable medicines, constant medical therapy sessions, and regular visits to the doctor. Keep them in the best shape possible if you want to slow down the progression of the disease.
Dementia patients aren’t untouchables. They can be our parents, grannies, spouse, or children — people who have full of personality and life. These people are still the same persons you knew and love. The only thing different, though, is that their brain is being slowly eaten away by dementia.
As long as you understand what’s really going on, you can provide the best care possible, that won’t just increase their lifespan, but also make life more worth living for them and for you.