It’s crucial that dementia care residents are treated with respect and understanding and made to feel like they’re a unique and valuable human being. Untrained people occasionally forget that people with dementia have their own life experiences, needs, feelings, likes and dislikes – despite their illness.
A person suffering from dementia often feels vulnerable and need constant reassurance and support when they realise their mental abilities are declining.
Those closest to them need to do everything possible to help the person retain their own sense of identity and self-worth.
As a relative of a dementia care resident, this is what you can do to help…
Use these tips to help support your loved one with dementia:
- Try to be flexible and tolerant
- Make time to listen and be with your loved one
- Keep your tone of voice calm and friendly
- Speak slowly and clearly and use short sentences
- Show affection in a way that you both feel comfortable
- Find things to do together, like creating a life history book
- Give them simple choices
- Make eye contact with the person when talking to them
- Make sure that anyone involved in caring for your loved one has as much background information as possible, as well as information about their present situation. This will help them to value the person rather than see them just as someone with dementia.
Prim Villa in Primrose, Germiston, is part of the Methodist Homes group and specialises in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. For further assistance with caring for someone with dementia or placing them in a specialist care facility, please contact Sharon or Sister Anne at Prim Villa on 011 873 8677.