For years dementia has been one of the major dead causes. One in five people will, at some point in life, face this demolishing illness. About 70% of the people that have dementia are having the most recognisable version of dementia, called Alzheimer disease. Unfortunately there is not yet a remedy for this disease, but because of a lot of new techniques and thousands of researches there will be a solution for dementia one day. Luckily there are some medicines that slow down the process of dementia. Besides that, people are also able to do something about the wellbeing of people living with dementia. In this article you will receive a few tips on how to deal with dementia.
One of the things that is important is to retrieve memories. In the initial stage of dementia people will only find it difficult to remember short-term events. Their long-term memory is still completely fine. Memories from the past can be retrieved in a better way by using pictures. For example a picture from their childhood.
Another important thing is the use of more than one sense. When the person with dementia sees and smells something, the person will better understand what you mean than when one of those senses is missing. When you are asking your mother with dementia “Do you want a piece of pie?”, it is better to do this when you are standing next to her and she is able to see and smell the pie, other than asking the same question from the kitchen, where she cannot see it.
Fun is another important thing. When doing this, the life of you and the person with dementia becomes more delightful and happy. Fun is seen as good for a person’s health. Besides that, smiling and laughing is a very good way to get in contact with people near you. In a Dutch blog about dementia, caregiver Femke wrote this:
“Mum is already indicated and is on the dormant waiting list of a nursing home. The unavoidable is going to come over once, and it is something that mum finds awful.
“When I’m locked in, I’ll keep all the pills I get and eat them at the same time.” When I explain that she will not understand that at that moment, she is disappointed and sad. “Then I want you to push a pillow on my face.”“Okay, but if I do that, I’ll end up in jail and that does not look like a nice situation, either.”
Then she looks straight at me and starts laughing out loud, and I laugh with her. Humor is the only thing that keeps us going in this sad situation.”
Source: (Dementie.nl, 2019)
A very important thing in the life of people with dementia is structure. A clear division of the day gives a person with dementia more grip than when every day is different. As a result, a person suffering from dementia has more control over the day and it can be easier for him / her to remember certain things.
The last but most important tip for people who are dealing with a person with dementia in their environment is: ” Control them without giving them the feeling you control them”.By checking the person with dementia you can identify certain stages in dementia earlier. You will be quicker when it gets worse or when certain things, such as cooking, get out of control.
One way to do this is to make contact with the social environment of the person concerned and to exchange information with each other. As a result, the person suffering from dementia does not feel like he/she is being watched by someone extremely, but simply has a nice social environment that helps them when necessary.
Another useful way to keep an eye on people with dementia is to install an integration system at home. This enables, for example, call systems, fire detection systems, wandering systems, etc. to be connected to each other on a device. This allows you to see at a glance what is going on. When the person in question regularly is wandering away from their home, it can be detected by checking the device and action can be taken right away. In the case of baking an egg, the system detects the problem, for example fire or smoke, and help can be called immediately. There are many ways to make life for people with dementia a bit more delightful and easy. Together we can improve care, and with the use technological help our care becomes a little bit less.