Dealing with dementia

A brief guide for sufferers and their caregivers

As science progresses, there is a lot that can be done to help manage the early stages of dementia. The aim of this blog is to provide some tips for the sufferer on maintaining their independence; as well as tips for family, friends and caregivers to cope with the responsibilities.

3 tips to help for dementia sufferers cope

Dementia is a horrible problem, so it’s no wonder that when people are diagnosed they experience a range of emotions from: fear, loneliness, denial, loss, frustration, anger and depression.

Here are 3 tips to help manage dementia in a way which benefits you and your family:

1.       Take care of your body

Exercise daily, take enough rest and watch what you eat. A good diet will benefit your oral and overall physical health.

2.       Regular medical check-ups

Make sure you schedule check-ups with a medical professional who has some expertise in dementia and related issues. If you do suffer depression, do not be embarrassed, seek treatment. Untreated depression has its own problems that could exacerbate dementia symptoms.

3.       If you have not yet retired, look for job opportunities

If you’re still working, try get yourself reassigned to a more manageable position or early retirement if you aren’t confident you can’t keep working.

Having dementia does not mean your life is over. It’s another chapter in your life; a more challenging chapter that you will need to think about and face head-on.

3 tips for the caregiver

While a dementia diagnosis is harder on the sufferer, it can pose challenges for the caregiver taking care of the patient. Caregivers and family members who take care of dementia suffers often are subject to extreme stress and feel alone having to deal with the unknown that is dementia’s effects on their loved one.

Here are 3 tips for the caregiver:

1.       Look after yourself

There is research which says dementia caregivers are at an increased risk of illness and depression. If you are a caregiver, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself: get enough sleep, exercise, make sure you’re eating right and still socialising with friends and family.

2.       Learn as much as you can

Even though the symptoms come on gradually, when a diagnosis is given, things can change quickly. Study as much as you can about dementia, it’s symptoms, causes and how you can help a sufferer live as full a life as possible.

3.       They’re a still a person, not their disease

As a dementia sufferers understanding wanes it’s easy for them to become objects: things that need caring rather than the people they are. This is a sad reality for many dementia sufferers: all carers can do is understand as much as they can, and accept the dementia sufferer can do nothing about their deteriorating health.

Dealing with dementia

If you’re the sufferer, then you are dealing with dementia, and there is help available. If you are a caregiver, then you are helping a person. And that is how you should think about it. You should also remember that your health is important too.

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Dementia, senior health

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