When you or your loved one is diagnosed with a type of Dementia this means there will change a lot in both your lifes. Dealing with Dementia is not an easy thing, the one affected with Dementia will go through a lot of changes and this might be hard to cope with. Dementia means literally the deprivation of mind. Although that is not exactly the case, all that was normal will not be normal anymore in the future. As a psychologist I have seen many different mental diseases that affect the behavior and life of a person. However, I believe there is almost nothing more striking than dealing with Dementia patients. I love working with them, but when I see in what kind of world they life in now, and hear what kind of persons they were, that is a very sad thing.
Many people don’t know how they must cope with the behavior of a demented person. Should they correct them if they say something that is wrong or should they just leave it? I always give the advice that the person they life with is not the same person anymore. Knowing how to deal with dementia is trying to place yourself into that person. However, that is easily said knowing that they have a history together for many years. People living together strive to some kind of equilibrium, a Ying and Yang, a balance in the relationship on how they both can cope. With Dementia in the picture, the balance is changing as the person with dementia is not able to do the same things as before. On top of that they will change in behavior and might not be the same nice person that you loved before.
Advice in dealing with Dementia is easily given but as stated there are more things to think off. The hard thing about Dementia is that there are no real visual signs that show a disease. When you have a broken leg there is something to see but Dementia will not show anything, especially not in the beginning. Although you can not see anything, there are many things changing into the brain of the demented person. The world will go faster, is not as easy to follow. On top of that, they will start forgetting things and sometimes are not able to speak as well ad before. In short, the person looks the same but sure not is the same.
There is some advice on how to deal with Dementia patients. You should never blame a person with Dementia for making mistakes as he is not doing this on purpose (although you might think that he is). Persons with cognitive impairment have troubles doing things at the same pace or speed. Try to speak a bit slower and see if he is following you. Also avoid loud settings because when too many people are talking, the person with Dementia is not able to follow all that information coming in. Caretakers who have gone through a rn-bsn program learn the aforementioned as well as other valuable methods for helping the affected cope with dementia.
Some mistakes that are often made, is that people try to protect the person with Dementia too much. They don’t let them do anything so they can not fail anymore. This is not a good thing to do. You should try to avoid activities where the person will fail, but let him do things he can still do. It is not a bad thing if it will cost more time, doing nothing is not a good option to go for.
Dealing with Dementia is not easy and although you might find some good advice in this article, it will not become easy. Be sure to find the help you need when you can not handle it anymore. There are many organizations that might help you and give some relieve in caring for demented persons.