Introduce the topic of “dementia” at your next Texas summer barbeque and you’ll find the mood quickly turns from happy to heavy-hearted. For most of us, negative experiences are all that we have read, and perhaps have experienced, with this disease. And because there is still not yet a cure, it’s natural that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in a loved one creates an array of concerns, making it hard to think of a loved one “living well with dementia.”
What isn’t typically mentioned – if at all – are the bright parts of dementia. Actually, research shows that as few as 25% of individuals with mild or moderate dementia self-describe their lives as negative. According to Dr. Peter Rabins, author of “The 36-Hour Day” where the study is presented, and a professor at the University of Maryland, “I’ve seen that you can be a wonderful grandparent and not remember the name of the grandchild you adore. You can be with people you love and enjoy them, even if you’re not following the whole conversation.”
It may help to consider that regardless of the external changes found in people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they are still the same person inside with many of the very same character traits and feelings as always. They appreciate being in a relationship with others, find peace of mind in familiar surroundings, and enjoy meaningful, purposeful activities. It’s a matter of spending some time to better understand the particular person and devoting quality time to attempting to engage in hobbies that he or she appreciates.
There are lots of ways one can help cultivate wellbeing and a positive mindset for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, even while the disease advances. Helping a loved one with socialization is one of our top recommendations. Many relatives are fearful and uncomfortable around their loved one with dementia, and consequently, very often will cut back on visits or even just abandon them entirely. It’s crucial to seek out ways to help your loved one stay socially connected. Continue to visit, and hire the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as Heaven at Home Senior Care provides, to fill in the gaps.
Call us at 866.381.0500 at our Denton, TX home care office for further suggestions or to go over additional ways to help a family member with dementia improve total wellbeing. Our professionally trained Alzheimer’s and dementia care team is readily available to give you dependable respite services, allowing members of the family necessary time away to rest and refresh, knowing their family member is in the absolute best of care and living well with dementia.