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Dementia is a disease that has a great impact on the daily life of the person with dementia and the immediate environment.
Dealing with a person with dementia can be challenging and even lead to frustration. In this blog, we give a number of tips to keep the relationship with a person with dementia as pleasant as possible.
Dementia is a collective term for brain disorders where the brain gradually deteriorates. It becomes increasingly difficult for the person with dementia to process information, and physical skills are also affected in later stages. By doing your own research into what dementia is, it will be easier for you to understand people with dementia. This is a good first step in dealing with you.
What to watch out for
Dementia is a complex disease and develops differently for everyone. The different forms of dementia make it difficult to create a clear request for help. There are of course some things you can be aware of when dealing with a person with dementia.
Take the person with dementia seriously
It is important, for example, that you take the person with dementia seriously. This means that you show interest in the worldview of the person with dementia, even if it seems illogical or wrong. If you don’t understand a story, just keep asking questions. Do this in short sentences and ask one question at a time. During this contact, it pays to be patient and let your loved one take control as much as possible.
Focus on activities that are still possible
For some people with dementia, it is difficult to make verbal contact. It is good to acknowledge this without reacting with anger or disappointment. Try to raise awareness of the activities that the person with dementia can still do. For example, think about looking at pictures from the past or listening to his or her favorite music together. Allowing the person with dementia to smell or touch something can also help. These senses are associated with long-term memory, which often still functions well.
Take time for yourself
Caring for a relative with dementia can be a complicated and difficult process. It demands a lot from you both physically and emotionally. Especially when your loved one continues to deteriorate. It is important to take time for yourself in those situations. You can, for example, ask people from your environment if they can help you with the care or summon help from a professional in time. The private care institution Martha Flora offers a personal living environment, but also supports informal carers with paperwork so that they are completely unencumbered.
What should you avoid?
Regardless of the decline of the brain, the person with dementia remains an adult. It can be very derogatory to treat them like children in communication. Although it sometimes seems that the person with dementia is behaving childishly on purpose, remember that he or she does not choose this.
Please don’t contradict your neighbor
Your loved one with dementia may say things that are not true or simply accuse you of something. This can lead to unpleasant feelings for you. Still, in such cases, contradicting the person with dementia does not help. This will likely cause frustration for both of you. If you find that you find the topic of conversation annoying, it often works better to give the conversation a new twist or change the subject.
Avoid impatience or anger
In addition, it often happens that a person with dementia does not always understand you immediately, which can make you impatient or angry. These feelings may be there, but try not to express them to the person with dementia. If you start talking or mumbling loudly with emotion, the person with dementia will become more confused. It is wise to avoid this. Communication is a little more difficult. It is important to remember that this is the disease and not the person.
Personal dementia care
Dementia develops differently in everyone. Good dementia care can therefore only be specialized care. Martha Flora offers a unique care concept with a focus on dementia and where real attention is the key. The better and more personal the relationship between relatives and the person with dementia is, the better the quality of life. In this way, your loved one can continue his life as much as possible as he/she is used to.
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Managing people with dementia in your area
Health professionals, policy makers, informal carers, students