5 Ways to Support a Loved One Through a Dementia Diagnosis
A dementia diagnosis is life changing news. This is a degenerative condition that will be there to manage for the rest of a loved one’s life. There are positive management tips and ways to protect well-being moving forward, but it is always a good idea to have a plan. Life will be different, but that does not have to be a negative thing. Here are five ways that you can support a loved one through a dementia diagnosis.
The biggest thing you can do for a loved one with a memory condition is to be present. There will be tough times and days that feel just like normal. The emotional tax should never be dismissed, but by being there and consistent you give them support and get to enjoy the time together while it’s still there. Something as simple as a daily phone call will make a major difference in both of your lives.
Know When It’s Time for Assisted Living
There are some clear warning signs that assisted living is the best accommodation option for your loved one:
- They are having more frequent memory loss episodes and are generally confused in daily life
- They are unable to take care of basic hygiene needs which is leading to health complications like infections
- Weight loss has become a concern because of food aversion and other eating difficulties
- The house is untidy and unkempt which poses a fall risk, and other issues too
- Supervision is required constantly to ensure their safety
If you are ticking every box on the list, finding a specialized facility that can focus on memory care is the safest route forward. They will be well supported, have all their needs met in an adaptive fashion, and you will have peace of mind that everything is safe and above board. For more information, visit https://www.parcprovence.com/areas-served-memory-care-st-louis/brentwood-memory-care-senior-living/.
When it comes to our loved ones, facing reality is often difficult. However, with conditions like dementia, it is extremely important. Be armed with all the facts as you move ahead so that you can respond appropriately and not be taken by surprise should the disease get worse.
If you can’t attend in person, be there on the phone so you can take in essential information that may otherwise become lost in translation. Because dementia means that key facts and events are essentially lost in the mind, medical appointments are a risk when attended alone. Being there when possible, or being present in some form or another means you can keep an active role in their care and advocate for all the support on offer.
Help with Basic Routine and Structure
One of the best things for dementia sufferers is a reliable routine and daily structure. With all the confusion and disruption in their mind, following a pattern of habits and behaviors will be helpful regardless. They are more likely to revert back to what they know and can become distressed or have their symptoms exacerbated if there is a major change to face. This will be distressing for everyone, especially if a confusion episode is particularly extreme.
While routine won’t always preclude the chance of a memory loss event from happening, being around familiar things and having an anchor point to come back to are two positive things to have in place. You can help with that by just being yourself and supporting them through the hard days.
Dementia is a hard condition to manage. Being a part of someone’s journey with this condition is a big task, but one where you can make a positive impact if you have all the facts and the confidence to make informed decisions.
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