Dementia can be difficult to deal with. Not only is it difficult for those who have it, but it can cause difficulties for those caring for dementia patients as well. That doesn’t mean, though, that there’s nothing you can do to help improve the situation or make things easier for everyone involved. If you’re looking for some ways to help keep a dementia patient comfortable and happy, here are a few things to try.
Be a Good Listener
One of the best things you can do when it comes to caring for someone with dementia is to make an effort to be a good listener. Because dementia can cause forgetfulness, a dementia sufferer may frequently repeat themselves, or tell the same story over and over. While you may remember what they said, they will often not remember telling it to you. Hearing the same thing over and over may lead you to be less receptive when they speak, or begin being dismissive when they talk, which they can be sensitive to, and can hurt their feelings. By making sure they feel heard and listened to when they speak, you can ensure that you’re showing them respect and making them feel valued.
Provide a Routine
Another important aspect of caring for someone with dementia is making sure that you create a reliable routine for them. Because their mind is changing from day to day, it can make life feel complicated and confusing. The more that you can stabilize their routine, the more they can feel acclimated to their surroundings and comfortable in their environment. It may also make it easier for them to remember certain things and can help improve their overall quality of life.
Include Them In Fun Activities
Just because someone has dementia doesn’t mean that they don’t still want to have fun or be creative. In fact, doing creative and fun activities, like painting or playing board games can help them keep their minds sharp, and may help them to retain more of their mental faculties over time. Additionally, the more people that you can include in a group, the better, as this can help them bond and experience a sense of community that can be beneficial for their wellbeing.
Be Responsive to Their Emotions
Those that have dementia can be very in tune with emotions and can be sensitive to both what they are feeling, as well as what you are feeling. This means that they may respond more emotionally to situations than what would be normal for a person without dementia. When you notice that a person with dementia is having an emotional experience for whatever reason, it can be helpful to be responsive to their feelings and to find ways to show them that you understand and care.
A Few Final Words
Dementia is not easy to deal with. This can be true for both those that have it, as well as those that care for them. However, while it isn’t always easy to deal with, there are things you can do, like listening to them carefully and being responsive that can make things a little easier for everyone.