How to Cope with a loved one who has dementia?
The number of dementia cases worldwide is on the rise year after year. How, then, would you cope when you discover you have a loved one that has a dementia?
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. And, not all elderly may experience the syndrome. Sadly though, around 7.7 million cases worldwide are added every year to the already 47.5 million dementia sufferers. The thing is, it’s not only the elderly’s problem. Rather, dementia is everyone’s concern. No particular geographical location or culture is spared from it.
Tips on coping with a loved one who has dementia.
Dementia is not only difficult for the person diagnosed with the syndrome. It is also a challenge to those who take care of the patient. Family members and caregivers are subject to stress. The impact of dementia goes beyond physical adjustment. It can be a drain to the psychological, social, and economic well-being of everyone around the patient.
In many cases, a full-time caregiver or a family member develops a feeling of isolation, anger, and resentment on seeing a loved one becoming more distant and estranged day by day. And when his situation is left unchecked, he may even suffer from depression.
If dementia does not affect you already, it might some day. You could become a caregiver or the patient. I don’t mean to scare you. I’m just saying it pays to be prepared when the inevitable comes. If you have an older member of the family who had suffered from a disease, injury or other condition, he might be at risk of getting dementia.
But don’t panic yet! Don’t readily jump on the bandwagon of stigmatization. Just remember, you will be unable to help someone else if you are not helping yourself first. Sadly, the lack of awareness and understanding of dementia has made life difficult for many dementia patients, their respective families, and the community. But you can do better. Here are some tips that you can apply to minimize stressful situations in dealing with a dementia patient.
Join a caregiver support group.
Inquire from your local community if there is an existing organization for caregivers. Such group can give you moral, emotional, psychological, social, and even economic support. You can learn from other members’ insights on how to deal with difficult behaviors in your own patient. Most often, too, the group may conduct workshops related to caregiving.
Take good care of yourself.
Make sure to get enough sleep at night, take a regular break and alone time, exercise, and eat proper nutrition. No matter how dedicated you are to your job or to your beloved, you need to keep your emotional well-being, too. Ask someone to relieve you while you take your alone time. Your disposition can affect the person in your care. When you are not in a good mood while attending to your beloved, he will pick up on it. Thus, making him more confused and agitated.
Seek mental health care.
Check yourself for signs of burnout or health issues. Do you already notice that you easily get angry, anxious, irritable, or depressed? Do you suffer from frequent migraines, ulcers, or high blood pressure? Consult an expert in dealing caregiving depression, burnout, and grief. Do not hesitate to get help in time.
Ask for advice online.
Who else can empathize with you than someone who is also a caregiver? If you cannot leave home, seek advice from a professional online. Leave me a message. I have a considerable track record in caregiving, having attended to varied levels of dementia patients.
Keep coming back to this page. I will be posting more about dementia in the next few days.