If you’ve ever wished you could look a senior with dementia in the eye and understand exactly what they’re thinking, we just might be able to help you with that! Communicating effectively with someone with dementia isn’t easy, especially as the disease progresses. Following are several statements provided by seniors with dementia in the early stages to give you some insight into what it feels like to live with the disease.
- You haven’t lost me. A diagnosis of dementia does impact a person in many ways, but it doesn’t change the essence of who they are. “I love the same people and doing the same things I did before my diagnosis,” explains Dale Rivard.
- Talk to me directly. Dementia is an isolating disease, and even more so when family and friends avoid interactions. Jerry Smith shares, “It’s upsetting to have others ask my wife how I am doing when I am sitting right there or nearby.”
- My disease-related behaviors are not character flaws. Understand that aggression and other challenging behaviors are a manifestation of dementia. A little patience, understanding, and grace are necessary tools in your dementia care kit.
- My life isn’t over. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is difficult, but does not mean that the person is unable to dream new dreams or set and reach new goals. Help a senior with dementia live a fulfilling life according to their particular abilities and desires.
- Accept my diagnosis. Family members may be in denial if the senior is in the very early stages of the disease and showing few symptoms. It’s important, however, to let the senior know you’re right there with them in this journey. Laurie Waters explains, “You may not see my illness, but I live it every day.”
At Serenity Home Care, the leading provider of at-home care in central Saanich and surrounding areas, our dementia care team is trained and experienced in helping those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia live life to the fullest. Additionally, our care team is highly skilled in helping seniors with dementia better manage such troubling symptoms as:
- Memory and other cognitive functioning problems
- And much more
Each senior receives a personalized plan of care to outline the strategy for addressing problems and overcoming challenges, both now and as needs change over time.