When it comes to dementia, everyone’s journey is different. With symptoms ranging from changes in thinking, remembering, and reasoning, there are all sorts of challenges that come with a dementia diagnosis. But the truth is that no-one should ever have to face them alone. There are plenty of useful and practical steps that can be taken to help not only with initial symptoms, but also for the future. Read on to find out more.
We all know that eating well has a huge effect on our overall health and mood, and this is no exception when you’re living with dementia. However, certain dementia symptoms can make mealtimes difficult or even stressful for an individual. Here are some things that can help:
- A loved one with dementia may forget to eat, or not be hungry at specified times, so try not to enforce rigid mealtimes. Eating along with the person and making it a pleasant, calm and enjoyable experience can help, rather than making it feel like a chore they have to complete. Pre preparing finger foods or easy to eat meals ahead of time can take the pressure off the individual and allow them space to eat in their own time.
- Choosing and preparing a variety of brightly coloured, fresh foods can peak the attention of someone with dementia and can be used to encourage appetite.
Listening to music is a universal mood booster. But more than that, studies have long shown that when carefully selected songs are played regularly, they can have powerful benefits for those living with dementia. Music therapy is said to spark memories, help reduce anxiety, and even help to maintain speech and language in some cases.
The effects of dementia can be challenging for everyone involved, so it’s important to make the person’s living spaces as comfortable and practical as possible. A brightly lit, clean home, full of familiar home comforts (important photographs, their favourite paintings and knickknacks) can do a world of good. Making sure their surroundings are as safe as possible is the most important priority. Having the right kind of mobility aids installed can bring peace of mind for and individual and their whole family, as knowing they’re able to get around safely and independently is important.
Seek the right support
Whatever stage of dementia you or a loved one are at, there are specialist support systems, resources, and services that can help. An endlessly useful place to start is with community resources such as Alzheimer’s Association. Family members, friends, and neighbours can of course also work together to share responsibilities and provide breaks for any primary caregiver who maybe living with a dementia patient. Ultimately everyone’s experience will differ so don’t be afraid to consider a range of options like seeking expert advice from nonprofit organizations advice and even considering paid services and care if it’s an appropriate option for you and your circumstances.
If someone you know is living with dementia and needs extra support getting around their home, then having their own stairlift installed can be life-changing. Halton Stairlifts will never recommend a stairlift to any customer if we feel that it is not a safe or suitable option for them, and we’re happy to provide a no-obligation quote to anyone curious about installing a stairlift. If you’re concerned about stair safety and dementia, speak to the team on 0151 433 3562 to find out whether a stairlift is the best solution for you.