December 2018

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How to Respect Dignity When Caring for Dementia Patients

caring dementia

Caring for a loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be stressful for both caregiver and sufferer. The mental decline in older people can cause memory loss, confusion, and an inability to do even basic tasks. What can make caring for a person with dementia even more distressing is the fact that the disease slowly progresses. 

Many people who care for dementia patients also say that they do experience good days as well. These precious moments can bring with them joy as you find time to reconnect with the person in your care. 

How can you care for a patient with dementia to help respect their dignity and also look after your own health? 

Use empathy

Empathy is extremely important to dignify people with dementia because it can help you to show personal care and compassion. Being empathetic to a dementia sufferer will help you deal with the situation as you would like to be treated in that situation. For example, you could imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly in a strange place and couldn’t understand what people were saying to you. 

Dementia is more than just memory loss

It is also important to remember that suffering from dementia is more than just suffering from poor memory. The gradual mental decline affects a number of other neurological orders that can affect mood and behavior. So, it is not surprising that elderly loved ones can suddenly become aggressive or start cursing. Dementia patients can also suffer from paranoia or even hallucinations. 

Be realistic

In order to continue caring for a loved one with dignity, it is also important to be realistic about your own strengths and weaknesses. Getting frustrated or overly tired can also affect your mood and behavior. So, it is important to seek support when you need it. This could be from other family or friends or social care that is available in your area. 

You should also remember that you can’t feel guilty if you can’t do all that you want to do. 

Keeping your strength up, looking after your health, and taking a break will allow you to enjoy the good days when they come. This will also help you adjust to changing circumstances as the disease progresses and more care is needed.

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