Discussing Dementia with Family and Friends

Dementia is an illness that can affect everyone that it comes in contact with.
Everyday can be a new challenge for both dementia patients receiving outpatient services and their loved ones.
It may also be harder for some to accept the diagnosis than others, but it doesn’t lessen the effects of the disease.
Although progression in patients is slow, family members can use the time that they spend with their loved one to understand the diagnosis and communicate to the rest of the family the changes that are gradually taking place.
Dementia can be managed if properly handled, allowing loved ones a little comfort and peace-of-mind.
Even if your senior is not receiving personalized elder care by a professional, here are a few ways that Freedom Home Care came up with to help make the transition easier for everyone involved.
Arm yourself with as much information as possible so that you know what to expect as the disease progresses. There are many resources and support groups for family members dealing with dementia. For spouses of those suffering from dementia, feelings of loss or loneliness are normal.
It’s important that you stay in tuned and as involved in your partner’s life as you can. Alz.org suggests: modifying activities to suit your loved one needs, discuss how you can help each other in everyday routines, and decide together what types of services they will need now and in the future.
Talk openly about costs and how your family will afford care.
Try to dispel any misconceptions or misplaced ideas about the disease. Understanding that dementia is only a symptom of another disease or disorder like Alzheimer’s, brain tumors, liver, thyroid and kidney disease, is important.
Explain to your family members that aggression or agitation is common in dementia patients.
Many people feel like they’ve done something to cause your senior’s behavior, but it could actually be a lack of sleep or comfort ability that might cause your senior to become irritable.
Remind them that it’s usually never personal.
Keeping your conversations short and simple is always a good way to communicate with your loved one. There are instances when you may have to repeat your words before he or she understands you. Patience is key.
Lastly, keep up on medications and routine doctor’s visits to ensure your senior has the best possible chance for a normal, healthy life.