The word dementia has become almost as despising as the word cancer for some. It’s ways deplete people’s ability to communicate and live their everyday life in this world, making them dependent on others.
Caring for those takes heart and love as their needs are great, yet they are still cognitive to understand more than some give them credit for, so greater attention needs to be given.
Many businesses who care for dementia patients offer assistance and helpful hints.
This is a collage of the ideas that have been given if someone has dementia:
- “I want my friends and family to embrace my reality.”
- “If I think my spouse is still alive, or if I think we’re visiting my parents for dinner, let me believe those things as I’ll be much happier for it.”
- “Don’t argue with me about what is true for me versus what is true for you.”
- “Just show lots of love.”
- “If I am not sure who you are, do not take it personally as my timeline is confusing to me.”
- “If I can no longer use utensils, do not start feeding me. Instead, switch me to a finger-food diet, and see if I can still feed myself.”
- “If I am sad or anxious, hold my hand and listen and try not to tell me that my feelings are unfounded.”
- “Please talk to me like an adult as I prefer not to be treated like a child.”
- “I still want to enjoy the things that I’ve always enjoyed, so help me find a way to exercise, read, and visit with friends.”
- “Ask me to tell you a story from my past.”
- “If I become agitated, take the time to figure out what is bothering me.”
- “Treat me the way that you would want to be treated.”
- “Make sure that there are plenty of snacks for me in the house as I may have trouble explaining what I need and that could frustrate me.”
- “Please don’t talk about me as if I’m not in the room.”
- “Please don’t feel guilty if you cannot care for me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s not your fault, and you’ve done your best. Find someone who can help you or choose a great new place for me to live.”
- “If I live in a dementia care community, please visit me often.”
- “Don’t act frustrated if I mix up names, events, or places. Take a deep breath as it’s not my fault. Imagine how I feel.”
- Please make sure I always have my favorite music playing within earshot.
- “If I like to pick up items and carry them around, help me return those items to their original place.”
- “Try not to exclude me from parties and family gatherings.”
- “Always know that I still like receiving hugs or handshakes.”
- “Always remember that I am still the person you know and love.”
Though dementia can be a difficult “disease” to attend to, when one extends the heart of understanding and patience, the person usually responds with great gratitude.