June 9, 2017
Bringing up the topic of “dementia” at your next summer pool party is a surefire way to turn a festive atmosphere into a subdued atmosphere. It seems only natural that negative associations go along with this difficult disease. And since there is still not yet a cure, it stands to reason that an Alzheimer’s medical diagnosis in a family member leads to numerous worries about how the loved one will deal with living with dementia.
What isn’t as frequently talked about – if at all – are the bright experiences of dementia. In fact, research shows that as few as 25% of those with mild or moderate dementia self-describe their own lives as negative. As outlined by Dr. Peter Rabins, author of “The 36-Hour Day” in which the study is outlined, and a professor at the University of Maryland, “I’ve seen that you can be a wonderful grandparent and not remember the name of the grandchild you adore. You can be with people you love and enjoy them, even if you’re not following the whole conversation.”
It may help to bear in mind that regardless of the external changes found in those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they are nevertheless the same person inside with many of the same character traits and feelings as always. They enjoy being in a relationship with others, find peace of mind in familiar surroundings, and really benefit from meaningful, purposeful tasks. It’s a matter of spending some time to better understand the person and dedicating quality time to participating in hobbies that he or she really loves.
There are a variety of ways one can help foster wellbeing and a favorable outlook for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, even as the condition progresses. At the top of our list includes socializing. Quite a few relatives are anxious and self-conscious around their loved one with dementia, and consequently, are more likely to cut back on visits or even abandon them completely. It’s imperative to seek out ways to help your loved one continue to be socially connected. Continue to visit, and hire the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as Continuum’s St. Louis home care provides, to fill in the gaps.
Call us at (314) 863-9912 in St. Louis, MO, or contact us online for additional tips or to discuss ways to help a loved one living with dementia improve quality of life. Our professionally trained Alzheimer’s and dementia care team is available to provide trusted respite services, allowing family members vital time away to rest and recharge, knowing their family member is in the very best of care.