There may be no faster way to turn a conversation at a Boston summer barbecue from joy to gloom than if you were to bring up the topic of dementia. Whether you’ve witnessed it firsthand or know only about this disease through what you’ve read, typically the experience has involved negative connotations. And because there is still not even a cure, it’s natural that an Alzheimer’s medical diagnosis in a family member leads to numerous concerns.
What isn’t as often discussed – if at all – are the bright experiences of dementia. In fact, studies have shown that as few as 25% of people with mild or moderate dementia self-describe their lives as negative. According to Dr. Peter Rabins, author of “The 36-Hour Day” in which the study is presented, and a professor at the University of Maryland, “I’ve seen that you can be a wonderful grandparent and not remember the name of the grandchild you adore. You can be with people you love and enjoy them, even if you’re not following the whole conversation.”
It helps to consider that despite the outward changes seen in those that have Alzheimer’s or another dementia, they are still the same person inside with many of the very same characteristics and feelings as always. They take pleasure in being in a relationship with other people, find comfort in familiar surroundings, and benefit from meaningful, purposeful things to do. It’s a matter of making the effort to better understand the person and dedicating quality time to attempting to engage in hobbies and interests that he or she appreciates.
There are lots of ways you might help promote wellbeing and a favorable mindset for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, even while the condition progresses. Helping a loved one with socialization is one of our top recommendations. Many relatives are fearful and self-conscious around their family member with dementia, and consequently, will usually cut back on visits or even just abandon them entirely. It’s crucial to look for ways to help your loved one stay socially connected. Continue to visit, and hire the services of a professional in-home caregiver, such as North River Home Care provides, to fill in the gaps.
Call us at (781) 659-1366 for further tips or to discuss additional ways to help a loved one with dementia improve his or her quality of life. Our professionally trained Alzheimer’s and dementia care team is on hand in order to provide reliable respite services, allowing members of the family vital time away to rest and revitalize, knowing their family member is in the best of care.