Hive Health Media

How To Care For People With Dementia

People with dementia should be treated with the utmost respect. For starters, we must have in mind that in spite on the medical condition, that person is still a human being. People who are aware that their mental abilities are starting to feel extremely vulnerable and ashamed to ask for help. Whether we like it or not, they need support and reassurance. Family, friends, social and healthcare professionals, and carers must do everything in their power to make that person retain a sense of identity and feel worthy.

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How to help a patient with dementia feel valued

People with dementia must feel treasured and respected for who they were, and for who they are at the moment. Try to be tolerant and flexible, make time to listen to them, enjoy spending time with that person, show genuine affection, and find ways to make them feel that they still have reasons to live.

How to act

Generally speaking, people who suffer from dementia are extremely fragile. Hence, it’s critical for us to treat them with the utmost respect, regardless of their dementia level. Try as much as you can to be kind and reassuring with the patient you’re caring for, and don’t talk down to them. Avoid criticising them and try to understand something from what they’re saying, even if at first sight it doesn’t make any sense. As a last resort, try to put yourself in their shoes, and picture how you might want to be treated.

Respect their privacy

We are all entitled to privacy, whether we’re sane or not. Therefore, it should be your duty to make sure that your patient’s privacy is being respected. For example, you can suggest to others to knock on the patient’s door if they want to do inside, and not barge in. If the person with dementia you’re caring for needs assistance with more delicate matters such as going to the bathroom or washing, try to as gentle as possible, close the door every time, and make them feel comfortable and secure in your presence.

Help people feel good in their own shoes

There are plenty of ways to make a person with dementia feel good in their shoes. After spending enough time with that individual, make sure you’ve assessed his preferences, abilities, and interests. Take not that these can change as the dementia level progresses. Although it might not seem easy, it’s important to help your patient feel valued, confident, and worthy.

Support their feelings

Dementia is a cruel disease that affects a patient’s ability to reason, think, and remember things. You should try to help them keep their feelings, but don’t allow them to be sad and upset all the time. In the early stages of the diseases, patients are probably extremely ambitious and scared. Talk with them about those fears, and together make an attempt to overcome them. Don’t ignore them and make time to listen. As far as their worries are concerned, don’t be ignorant and show your patient that you’re there for them no matter what.

Give simple choice

People with dementia should be treated like equals, in spite of their condition. You need to give them a chance to make their very own decisions regarding matters that happen on a daily basis. If you’re trying to help, always explain why you’re doing it. In addition, you’ll have the chance to judge their reactions, body language, and expression. Remember to keeps simple and don’t force them to make tough decisions. When you’re asking questions, make sure they can give you a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

How to maintain respect

Don’t encourage situations that could make patients feel humiliated. Try to look for assignments that they might enjoy, offer them a lot of encouragement, allow them to do things in their own personal way, and don’t rush them in any way. Rather than perform actions for the patient, do them together to make them feel independent. Always encourage a person with dementia to take pride in their actions, and try to compliment their looks and actions. Don’t correct their mistakes because accuracy is not that important; they might want to express something and they can’t, so it’s up to you to read between the lines.

People with dementia are often aged between the ages of 55 and 90. The disease is slowly destroying their reasoning abilities so it’s up to the healthcare provider to help the patient keep track with the real world. Although the symptoms are similar, the disease is not the same and it affects each patient in a whole different way. It’s vital to approach patients with care and try to empathize with them. At the end of the day, they’re humans and they should have the right to live a perfectly normal life, in spite of a condition that’s slowly driving them crazy.

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