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Tips for supporting someone with Dementia

Tips for supporting someone with Dementia

New Age Care News

Tips for supporting someone with Dementia 

A diagnoses of dementia for someone you love or care about can be very worrying but it’s important to remember that people with dementia can still live fulfilling lives. Understanding the form of dementia your loved one has and how it progresses can help you to better support them on their journey. 

 

What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a disease but rather an umbrella term for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain’s function. It is not a normal part of aging and is caused when a disease damages nerve cells in the brain. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

 

Our Tips for Supporting someone with Dementia

If you are a family member, friend or carer of someone with dementia there are many practical ways you can help them in everyday life. Here are our top tips:

 

Be patient

Someone with dementia may take longer to explain things or complete certain tasks, so remember to be patient. Don’t try to hurry them along or complete tasks for them unless they ask for help. Instead, be encouraging and supportive and provide guidance if necessary.

 

Keep a routine

Routines can help someone with dementia feel safe and in control. Try to keep daily activities such as waking up, going to bed, bathing and eating to the same time each day.

 

Minimise Choices

Having too many choices can be confusing for someone with dementia. Try to keep choices to a minimum or just offer one alternative to make things simpler.

 

Create a dementia friendly environment

The layout and design of a person’s home can have a big impact on someone with dementia. For some tips on making a home more dementia friendly check out this fantastic booklet from The Alzheimer’s Society.  

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets/making-your-home-dementia-friendly

 

Use memory Aids 

Forgetting things can be very frustrating for someone with dementia, so memory aids and tools can be a great help. Common memory aids include a calendar, alarm clock, journal, smart phones & tablets, sticky notes and labels. 

 

Build quiet time into each day

It’s great to plan activities but for someone with dementia too much activity can be overwhelming. Try to schedule in some down time or quiet time each day to allow their mind and body to rest.

Buy easy to use, loose fitting clothing

To help someone with dementia live independently for as long as possible consider buying easy to use, loose fitting clothing such as elastic waisted trousers or clothes with zips instead of buttons.

 

Communicating with someone who has dementia

Knowing the best way to communicate with someone who has dementia can be difficult as it can vary from person to person. However, some general communication tips that may help:  

  • Maintain eye contact
  • Speak slowly and pronounce your words as clearly as possible
  • If a person struggles to understand verbal communication try non verbal communication such as hand gestures and facial expressions
  • Listen to the person’s concerns or frustrations and look out for non-verbal cues that can tell you how they are feeling.
  • Use a quiet space for your conversations and reduce distractions
  • Avoid asking too many questions as this can be confusing

 

Further Support

Dementia Friends

https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Alzheimer’s Society

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

Age UK

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/

 

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