Caring without a cure: Dementia
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Greetings everyone! Today we welcome guest blogger Andrea Bell to The Purple Jacket.
Caring without a cure: Dementia
When you realize that you or someone you love has been diagnosed with dementia, a progressive disease that has no cure whatsoever, what do you do? After a decent amount of panic and existential crisis, you begin to understand that the right kind of care is necessary in order to cope and survive in this situation.
The most significant thing to be noted is the fact that dementia has a huge impact on the emotional as well as the physical characteristics of the patient. Caring for both becomes absolutely crucial considering the amount of depression and withdrawal that the person suffers through. There is a lot of mental pressure involved.
Emotions and Feelings
It is completely alright to go through a range of new feelings post-diagnosis because your body and mind need time in order to adjust to the news. It might start with a feeling of helplessness, which is absolutely alright as long as there is a gradual shift towards normalcy. Acceptance is key. The faster you learn to accept the truth, the better the situation becomes. Thus, the first step of self-care or caring for others suffering from dementia is acceptance.
This highlights the significance of positivity in these situations. In progressive or regressive diseases, keeping a positive attitude is half the battle. Under no circumstances must you or your patient leave hope of ever living a normal life again. Even though it may seem impossible considering the current that goes down your spine when your physician mouths the words “there is no cure…” and typing ‘dementia cure’ in your Google tab does not turn out be as fruitful as expected, you must understand that a positive approach can be an alternative maintenance formula nonetheless. However, individual differences outline the fact that every person will go through a different set of emotions, depending on their personality and thought process.
Relationships and Socializing
Dementia patients are in constant need of support and reassurance – after all, they’ve just learned that their mental capabilities are declining. If you are suffering from dementia it is highly advised that you try to spend as much time as possible with your family and friends, because the unconditional support that comes from loved ones has an automatic healing effect which will help you release mind and body stress. All of this is significant not only in order to make the patient ‘feel better’ but also to try and reverse the adverse psychological impact.
Family ties, relationships or your care givers can help you or the patient to stay grounded with reality and a sense of self. So you must follow your daily routine as closely as possible. Social media is another fun and easy way for staying connected and it stimulates the functioning of the brain which makes it work hard.
Finding your people
Since you’ve transitioned into this new life, it would be a good idea to reach out and connect with people who share the same condition as you. This way you will find people from different cultures who have experienced or are experiencing the same irritations and problems such as you. Their experience could be useful to you in many ways and at the same time provide you comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone in the abyss of suffering. Get a chance to communicate with people suffering from dementia on numerous blogs on the internet, just like this one here.
Be your own Anchor
Being independent is important for everyone not only patients because by doing things your way will prevent your condition from getting worse rapidly. It is natural for people around you to try and do everything for you. Let them take care of you from time to time, and do not hold back from telling them that you would like to do your own work and discussing your other independent choices.
Daily tasks will become much more challenging if you forget minute things like a certain date or a password. This can also impact your decisiveness. However, if you decide to remain independent and as mentioned above ‘take charge’ of your life, these challenges could become less complicated, some steps are mentioned below:
- Sticky Notes – stick them all around the house
- Keep a Diary – writing about your day or a special event can help
- Hang a large digital clock in every room.
- Hang a whiteboard for reminders
Get more gifts and health care products targeted for dementia patients at Unforgettable.org.
Eating well with Dementia
Unfortunately, dementia can cause a change in your dietary habits as you may begin to feel how some of the food tastes.
The two keys to a healthy diet are:
- Consume only what your body needs.
- Choose a variety to get all supplements.
Read more about proper diet and nutrition in a guide by Eatwell here.
The Doctor is on your side
Regular trips to the physician can be very beneficial for Dementia diagnosis, test, and screening if you are open enough to discuss your problems. This will allow the doctor to keep a check on your progress, and change your medicines or diet accordingly.
Doctors can offer you:
- Medical treatment and advice
- Specialist help and referrals and
- General advice on fitness and preventing further illness.
If you are accompanying a dementia patient to the physician’s clinic, it can be considered a good idea to note down the points that you or your patient wants to discuss, so that you do not forget by the time you get there. Also, making a note of what the doctor has to say during the consultation can be useful, so that you or the patient can refer back to time and again.
Author Bio: Andrea Bell
I am a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. I write about tech education and health related issues (but not at the same time). Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover. Find me on twitter @IM_AndreaBell.
This article gives also a lot of input for other chronic or not curable diseases, like Parkinson. Thank you.