Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

WITH De­men­tia Aware­ness Week com­ing up from May 15-21, Home In­stead will be shar­ing some es­sen­tial ad­vice for those of you car­ing for some­one with de­men­tia.

One of the most im­por­tant things to un­der­stand about de­men­tia is that it is es­sen­tial to change the ways in which you care for the per­son in or­der to main­tain their (and your) qual­ity of life. Putting your­self in their world, rather than try­ing to bring them back into ours, will give you the op­por­tu­nity to be a much more ef­fec­tive care­giver.

The De­men­tia care ad­vice be­low is taken from the book, Con­fi­dence to Care (UK Edi­tion), pub­lished by at-home com­pany, Home In­stead Se­nior Care which spe­cialises in car­ing for the el­derly. 1. Re­di­rect. Re­di­rect means ‘change di­rec­tion’. Chang­ing the topic or mood from bad to good and cre­at­ing a more pos­i­tive and safe re­sult are the ob­jec­tives.

For ex­am­ple, if your fam­ily mem­ber asks the same thing over and over again, such as, ‘What time is it?’ you could use your knowl­edge of them and re­di­rect to a favourite sub­ject or ac­tiv­ity. 2. Apol­o­gise and take the blame. Apol­o­gis­ing or tak­ing the blame takes the at­ten­tion off the per­son. The in­di­vid­ual may calm down if he or she be­lieves a sit­u­a­tion was not their fault. Even when it isn’t your fault, an apol­ogy some­times solves the prob­lem and al­lows you to re­group and move to a more pos­i­tive sit­u­a­tion. 3. En­gage in mean­ing­ful ac­tiv­i­ties. Men­tal, phys­i­cal and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties can cre­ate pos­i­tive emo­tional re­sponses that di­min­ish stress and anx­i­ety for the per­son with de­men­tia. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties helps the per­son feel a sense of pur­pose and ac­com­plish­ment. 4. Phys­i­cally re­move the per­son or change the en­vi­ron­ment. Peo­ple can be­come ag­i­tated, up­set or overly fo­cused on some­thing in their en­vi­ron­ment. For ex­am­ple, they may be­come up­set be­cause there are too many clothes in the wardrobe. 5. Main­tain a rou­tine. Set reg­u­lar times for daily ac­tiv­i­ties, such as bathing. Do things the same way and at the same time. Only change rou­tines when they don’t ap­pear to be work­ing.

It is im­por­tant to recog­nise that it may take var­i­ous at­tempts and ap­proaches be­fore these tech­niques be­come truly ef­fec­tive. If a tech­nique does not work first time, it is best to take a step back and try again a few min­utes later, tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach.

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