It can be difficult to see someone you know struggle with dementia. However, there are many ways to help and keep them happy and as healthy as possible. As such, this article will explain how you can help care for someone with dementia – and without causing yourself too much undue stress in the process.
What is Dementia?
First, to figure out how you can help, it’s important to ask yourself this question: what is dementia? In basic terms, it’s an illness described by the loss of cognitive functioning; this includes remembering, thinking, and reasoning abilities.
Dementia is fairly common among older people, and it often gets worse with age. It impacts the sufferer’s daily life and hinders them from completing their usual activities.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia, but there are many ways families and friends can help care for the elderly people who suffer from it.
Volunteer at a Social Club
There are many social ad support groups for dementia patients where they get to enjoy various activities and other fun events to keep their social life buzzing and their minds positive.
Most people can volunteer at such groups and clubs after a quick background check, and it’s a truly rewarding, enriching way to spend your free time. You usually don’t need any experience – just the desire to help, have a good time, and get socially involved with dementia patients while having a blast with them and enjoying all kinds of engaging activities.
Plus, if you have certain skills and experience or you want to offer something specific, you can even host special classes, such as exercise sessions, group swimming, arts and crafts lessons, or even something as simple as a walk in the local park. As long as the activity you want to offer is dementia-friendly, it will be perfect for them to get involved with and enjoy.
Help Them in Their Daily Lives
If you know someone with dementia, you will probably understand how difficult it is for them to remember and complete the smallest of things. Despite how hard it is, you can help, and it can be as simple as small, daily assistance that helps the dementia sufferer with their everyday life.
For instance, labeling the cupboards or writing down important phone numbers for them can change their everyday lives. Plus, even just writing down simple day-to-day tasks for them to do will help keep them on track. If they are still struggling, you could get them a large, bright, and colorful calendar for writing down chores and specific tasks they need to complete on certain days.
Not only will these helpful reminders help them stay on top of their housework, but it will also get them moving and ultimately help them feel more independent – and no one wants their independence taken away. Remaining capable and independent as long as possible will help them stay healthy, clean, and safe, and it will also maintain their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Communication is one of the most important ways to keep a brain happy and healthy.
To help someone you know with dementia communicate, you should try to get them to join a hobby or social club, just as discussed in the first section of this article. This will help them meet new people, keep their body and mind occupied, and help ward off their symptoms.
It’s also important that you yourself maintain regular contact with them, especially if you don’t live with them. This can even be in the form of a quick phone call or video chat, which can just make a world of difference to a person who is suffering from dementia.
You also shouldn’t be alone when supporting a loved one or friend with dementia, so getting other family members and friends involved will take the stress off everyone’s shoulders, and the burden will be shared. Plus, your elderly loved one who has dementia will enjoy interacting with all their family and friends on a more regular basis – and that is priceless for a person with this life-limiting condition.