How to Support a Family Member Suffering from Dementia

When a family member is first diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult to foresee how much life can change. As their condition changes, you may struggle to know how to best support them through this often frightening syndrome. Here, we take a look at how you can better support your family member and give them the best quality of life possible.

Do some research

Dementia has stages, and in order to provide the best support, you need to know where on this scale your loved one is. They may have very minor impairments or more serious issues associated with dementia, such as significant memory loss and loss of physical functions. Being able to grasp where they are now and what could come next lets you prepare fully and give them the right reassurance and care.

Don’t forget to involve them

No matter which stage of dementia your loved one has reached, it is important to keep them involved in any activities and decisions, as much as possible. Providing them with meaningful choices will help them to remain as engaged as they can.

Keep talking

It can be easy to forget to include your loved one in conversation on a daily basis, but this can be harmful overall. Engaging them can be as simple as continuing to talk to them even if they may not be as aware as they once were, and if they don’t seem to be making sense, take the time to try and understand. This kind of connection can make them feel far less alone.

Provide activities

Finding activities that your loved one enjoys can be extremely helpful when it comes to memory loss and bringing them out of the fear and isolation that dementia can cause. This might be a trip to a familiar, beloved location, a simple puzzle game, or swimming. There are many dementia-friendly group activities available, as well. Being patient with them is essential, and each activity should be tailored to their capabilities and interests to avoid frustration.

Be kind to yourself

Supporting someone with dementia is extremely taxing emotionally and can be physically and mentally draining, too. It can feel like a loss for you. Providing the best support sometimes means knowing you can’t do it all. Engaging with Rosemont Care services such as home care, respite care and supported living could be beneficial for both you and your loved one.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is never going to be easy, but with the support of family and professionals, they can enjoy a better quality of life for much longer – and you can enjoy time with them, making memories of your own.

Ailbe Kash
the authorAilbe Kash