Plans for the future may change, but that doesn’t mean you or your loved one need to stop doing what brings the most pleasure. They can be done a little differently.
Some of the changes that can occur with dementia may include:
- Memory loss
- Problems with thinking and planning
- Difficulties in communication
- Confusion in time or place
- Vision and vision difficulties
- Apathy and withdrawal
Ways to combat change:
- Let the people around you know how they can help.
- Get help with homework such as cooking, cleaning, shopping or showering.
- Get access to official services to help with your daily needs.
- Keep practicing within your means. It will improve the way you think and feel.
- Train your mind. Keep learning, thinking and engaging in different activities.
- Stay social.
- Ask family and friends to reassure you if you get lost.
- If you or your family and friends have noticed these changes, it’s time to adapt your daily routine and start joint discussions. The changes that have taken place can be anxious or reluctant. But with support, a person living with dementia can continue to do what he wants or should do.
Dementia Australia, founded by carers 35 years ago, is the national peak and voice of people living with dementia, their families and carers. Dementia Australia supports people living with dementia every day and has created resources and support programs to help people make these changes in their own way. You can call the National Dementia Helpline at 1800 100 500 to talk to someone about the diagnosis or start searching for resources online in due course.
The Dementia Guide is a comprehensive guide that includes checklists and practical tips to support people living with dementia, their families and carers.
“This guide is a great starting point for those who live with or care for dementia. This is especially helpful for newly diagnosed people to help them understand how to continue to lead a productive life, ”said Bobby Redman, a member of the Advisory Committee on Dementia in Australia and a person living with dementia.
Useful communication tips and ways to navigate a relationship also make the guide a good starting point for those who support a loved one through a diagnosis of dementia. If English is a second language, there are also suggestions on how dementia can affect communication and how educators can navigate these changes and best support them.
«This guide is a great starting point for those who live with a person with dementia or care for them. It is especially useful for newly diagnosed people to help them understand how to continue to lead a fruitful life. ”
Bobby Redman / Dementia Australia Advisory Committee and a person living with dementia
“The Dementia Guide will also promote positive discussions for people with dementia, family and carers,” said Anne Peach, a member of the Advisory Committee on Dementia in Australia and a person living with dementia.
With the right support, people living with dementia can maintain independence and live well for many years. There are ways to improve your life at every stage. A well-designed house can help maintain independence, and proper practical modifications can help the abilities in the house.
Some changes in your home can help you feel safer and more secure:
- Improve lighting:
- replacing current globes with brighter ones
- placement of chairs and couches by sunlit windows
- install a light sensor to reduce the risk of falls at night.
- Show personal belongings and photos. It helps to remember quickly and can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Place items that are used regularly in your field of vision.
- Group common items together to make them easier to find.
- Use shortcuts to help find and identify items.
- Make sure the taps are marked hot and cold.
- Replace devices (if necessary) with familiar and recognizable models.
- Use distinctive colored doors and contrasting door frames to help with orientation.
It is estimated that 70% of people diagnosed with dementia will live in society, so it is important to integrate these simple changes to safely support this independence.
People living with dementia can also sometimes feel lonely and isolated from their society. It is important to establish a routine that keeps you in touch with family and friends or meeting other people in the early stages of dementia. By calling the National Dementia Helpline, you or a loved one can contact a support group in your area.
The National Dementia Hotline is a toll-free telephone service that provides information and advice to people living with dementia, their friends, families and carers. Dementia Australia also offers online training and free post-diagnostic support for people of all ages diagnosed with dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
If you suffer from dementia in any way, Dementia Australia has services, education and information that can help you plan for the future of you or your loved one. With dementia you can live well, and a little support is very important.
If you want to talk to one of our trained counselors, the National Dementia Hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding public holidays.