17 Jan Dementia: how can we help a loved one?
I think of my future a lot. Most of us do. I have two young children so I imagine them older and providing me with grandchildren one day. I imagine seeing the world and learning a new skill or enjoying a hobby. It consists of family, food, travelling – making memories with my loved one. I also go into that dark corner that I try not enter too often but it pulls me towards it. I also try to imagine life with no meaning.. feeling scared.. wondering what it would be like if I didn’t recognise my own children or my husband. Or what would it be like not knowing how to eat or dress myself or even walk? These are some of the things that about 520,000 (according to the Alzheimer’s Society) people effected by Alzheimer’s experience today.
There is a wide misconception that Alzheimer’s disease only affects a person’s memory. Although this is one of the major symptoms it can also cause people to become disorientated, confused and unable to function in their daily lives as they used to.
I recently spoke to a friend who saw his dad over Christmas who suffers from Alzheimer’s. During lunch his dad would check his watch as he thought he had a plane to catch. As they ate their lunch my friend noticed that manners seemed to be thrown out of the window… it was okay to get straight into the food with hands (yes in some cultures this is acceptable, but this was out of sorts for my friends dad). Having asked my friend how they coped he said he eventually took him back to the nursing home as his dad was getting agitated, couldn’t sit on their furniture in comfort and was just getting anxious about this flight he had to catch. He said he doesn’t know how to deal with it and although the nursing home he is at provide him with what he needs he feels they don’t get enough information from them about how to handle their dad’s situation.
This is just Alzheimer’s – one form of dementia. There are so many other forms such as Parkinson’s, Lewy body dementia, Vascular dementia, etc, all of which have damaged the brain in way or another.
Here at Acacia Homecare we have become a Dementia Friend and one of the things we pledge to do is inform people on what dementia is about and how it can impact a person and how everyone else around them can help support them. When we care for people with dementia we provide support not just to the individuals but also their loved ones.
The Dementia Friends is an initiative set up by the Alzheimer’s Society with it’s own website with a plethora of useful resources and information.
So I say don’t wait for it to happen to you or a loved one, prepare yourself with information and resources so you can be much more understanding and be able to deal with certain situations if it does ever arise. It may not even be a loved one but someone walking down the street who seems lost.
Sign up to become a Dementia Friend today, it’s free and simple: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
For further information on dementia visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk
To find our more about how we can help with dementia care, contact us at https://www.acaciahomecare.co.uk