We are getting our information into a final state of readiness to go onto the portal and thought we’d show you some of the content we have got so far. Here are a couple sections taken from the section aimed at people in Coventry and Warwickshire who are supporting someone who has had a dementia diagnosis:
Don’t forget to look after yourself
Sometimes it is possible to become so engrossed in your supporting role that you forgot to think about yourself. Here are some tips to think about to maintain your own wellbeing:
Time to yourself – Make sure you have some regular time to relax or do something just for you. Put aside some time, each day, for yourself – you could have a cup of tea and read the paper, listen to some music, do the crossword or go for a short walk. Remember, there are plenty of options to help you meet your own needs without compromising the needs of the person you’re caring for.
Your health – Caring can be hard work, and you need to be healthy and happy if you are to manage it. Try to eat a well-balanced diet, with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This will make you feel better and give you more strength and energy. Taking regular exercise is vital for your health and will give you more energy. Walk in the fresh air each day if you can, or do some exercises at home. Ask your GP for advice.
Annual Health Checks – Carers of someone with dementia should have an annual health check once a year to assess both physical and mental capacity to continue in the role.
Your financial well-being – Your legal and financial situation may be affected if you are caring for a person with dementia. There are a number of areas to think about before you make changes to your circumstances.
How can you best support someone with dementia?
There are a number of things that you can do to help someone who has had a dementia diagnosis. Below are some things to think about:
- Try to put yourself in the person’s situation and understand what they might be trying to say or what they are feeling and relate to that.
- If memory loss is a problem, give tactful prompts about what time of day it is, what day it is, what you are going to do next.
- A regular routine might help a person feel more secure and make it easier for them to remember what usually happens during the day.
- Try not to contradict the person or get into an argument – you’ll both end up exhausted! Try to ‘go with the flow’ and acknowledge what the person has said, even if you know it’s incorrect.
- Involve the person with daily activities and events, to keep their skills alive and be part of what is going on around them.
- Break down tasks into sections that can be achieved step by step. For instance, lay out clothes in the order that they will be put on.
- You might both find it enjoyable to share some happy memories from the past. Photographs and souvenirs may help jog a memory. A person who has short term memory loss may be able to remember things from a long time ago quite clearly.
- Using questions that start with ‘What / Where / How / Who / When’ may be quite challenging to a person who has difficulty remembering so it might be worth trying to avoid those.
Please tell us what you think. Have you got some tips as someone who supports a person with dementia? Let us know. You can post your suggestions in the comments section under this post or send us an email.