47.5 million people are living with dementia in the world. It’s an incredibly sad time for family members and natural feelings of loss and grief can become overwhelming. Whether you are their caregiver or just a loved one, things are sure to become difficult.
How can we handle the pain of a family member with dementia? Read on to find 5 tips for coping with dementia.
- Understand Dementia
The first step to dealing with a grandparent, loved one, or parent with dementia is to understand the disease. As you gather more information about their new behaviors, ways of communicating, and processes you will better understand why they have changed.
Being well-informed will open your eyes and create an effective way of responding to them. There are many different resources you can use to learn more about the disease and caretaking.
- Use Available Resources
Utilize resources that are there to support you and your family. There is a multitude of online and community resources available to those who need them.
A great place to start is by locating the Alzheimers Association to find further info on how to cope with Alzheimer’s. You’ll have access to advice, helplines, training, and more. You can even find a resource for Rare Dementia Support.
- Remember the Past
Communicating with your loved one has changed drastically. It will likely be challenging to talk to them at times. Don’t let that change how you see them.
Take time to remember your memories together. Enjoy who they truly are because their disease does not change that.
- Allow Yourself Time to Think
It’s important to give yourself some space. Allow yourself to feel those emotions because they are valid. Practice techniques that support your own mental and physical health.
Be sure to look out for excessive amounts of stress or depression. By visiting the doctor regularly, exercising, taking time for yourself, connecting with others, and pursuing your hobbies or interest can help you stay healthy. Your loved one needs you to be in tip-top shape.
Of course, you want to give yourself completely to the person who is suffering but you also need time away from them. You are still a person.
- Connect With Others
Many people are going through the same situation. Spend time talking with others about how you are feeling. This could be a professional, other caregivers, other family members, or someone who has experienced the same thing.
Having someone that can relate is very cathartic and a wonderful source of stress relief. If you don’t know anyone that you can talk to, try asking the aforementioned resources in your community or online.
Coping With Dementia
Coping with dementia could be a long and hard process. Remember that your loved one is still there and they need you to be strong. With these tips, you’ll be better prepared when it comes to how to cope with dementia.
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