Medical science can help slow the progression of the disease, but it is a terminal disease (HelpGuide.org). While this can be difficult to accept, understanding the disease at its outset will help you learn about what is going to happen in the coming years. Expectations also help limit feelings of grief and anger as you endure difficult days and challenging moments.
Patients with dementia often cannot control their behaviors. They may ask the same question over and over or get lost easily, according to caregiver.org. An individual with dementia may also experience mood disorders and extreme anger. They can forget people, places and events. As a caregiver, expect to face hardships and challenges that can be physically and emotionally draining.
Preparation for Help
Throughout your dementia journey, you will need help. Trying to do it alone will only make it difficult and frustrate both of you. In addition to emotional support, you'll likely need the ongoing help of a health care professional with the proper health care background and education, such as certifiable PSW courses in Ontario or another city. A PSW is a personal support worker who has the trained skills and knowledge to care for clients suffering from dementia. They can help with mental activation and assist with personal hygiene.
Watching someone you love slip away little by little is painful. Grief and anger are normal. You may even question the diagnosis when things are going well, according to StrengthforCaring.com. Emotions and denial can impact your ability to care for the individual, so it's important to understand, accept and deal with them. In the midst of negative emotions, consider these strategies, as recommended by CaregiverSupport.org:
Your bond with your loved one will grow as you care and provide companionship. You'll create greater compassion and acceptance. You'll also make new relationships as you seek support and education.
Practical Tips for Dementia Caregivers
When you are in the trenches of caring for someone with dementia, life can feel overwhelming. Keep the following tips in mind:
Calling this journey difficult is an understatement. Asking for help doesn't mean you love the individual less or are less committed. Learn your limits and research what you can about the disease. Accept help and you'll get through this journey gracefully.
By Alexis Brown