HOW TO HELP seniors who are struggling with Dementia to stay more healthy and happy?
Staying mobile is one of the keys to stay healthy and happy. Whatever approach you choose, try to make it dependable, and as much pleasant as possible, so it will be comfortable and reassuring instead of new and challenging. Here are some suggestions:
Don’t leave the person at home alone
Try to keep your loved ones connected to people who are important to them and your relative
Go with them for walks and stop for snacks or drinks
Go to the places of interest, which often trigger old memories and interesting conversation
Drive in the country or just around the neighborhood can be soothing too
Limit errands to one or two a day.
Honor who the person is now and who she or he was before the disease.
Give the person a purpose and feeling to be needed.
Love. Give a lot of love. It makes the person feel safe and cared for.
Don’t let your fear that he may make a mistake in public stop you from trying a potentially enjoyable activity.
If something goes wrong try to stay calm. People with Dementia or Alzheimer’s are more sensitive to your response that to the mistake.
Try to ignore any rude comments, or stares that may come your way and revel in the kindness you will encounter.
Never argue with the person with dementia. It causes agitation for both of you and makes everything harder.
Be patient, It can take someone with dementia longer to understand your question and come up with an answer.
Redirect. If the person is frustrated or upset, try changing the topic. Suggest a favorite activity.
Simple. Keep sentences simple to facilitate communication. Talk about things from the past. Recent memories will fade more quickly
Validate feelings and thoughts.
“Yes, It is Tuesday (even if it is Friday) but today we are going to do a Friday activity” Do not tell the person that he or she is wrong.
Be empathetic. He or she is frustrated by the disease too.
Follow the lead. If the person with dementia wants to tell the same story or wash the same dish over and over again, let them.
Investigate. If the person is agitated, he or she may not be able to tell you why; Is she hungry, or thirsty? Tired?
Keep eye contact. It establishes trust and helps you make a connection.
Person with dementia should be involved in doing home chores. Even if it is done wrong, the person will feel worthy and useful.