Patients with dementia have a tough time. It takes a person’s ability to function. Coherent speech, perception, and problem-solving, all of these become a cause of trouble for the patients. In the last stages of this disease, people develop an inability to smile or swallow.
Dementia is an umbrella term ascribed to a decline in memory and other brain functions such as language and attention. In cases of mixed dementia, blood vessel changes (vascular dementia) and Alzheimer’s disease are observed together.
Dementia can wreak havoc, annihilating a patient’s entire existence. People forget who they are, who they love or even what they want.
This disease is said to be the leading cause of death in the elderly.
Nearly all of us are in danger of falling prey to dementia’s trap. The disease begins in the damaged brain cells, and then, dementia progression eats up the entire identity of the person. Gender, genetics and a history of physical injuries play a vital part too. However, we suggest that taking BrainTest into use would be of great help. This medically proven app will help you diagnose any malfunction of your cognitive abilities due to a decline in brain function.
It is difficult not only for the patient but also for the family members. Seeing your parent or a close relative suffer from menial everyday tasks becomes a source of anguish for a lot of us. We may not be able to pause the progression of this disease, but we can surely try to make their lives easier.
Here’s a list of 6 of the best items that you can give to someone living with dementia.
Listening to music can bring a positive change to your brain. Music activates every part of your brain, thus improving its functioning and health. Neuromusicologists have proven that music can improve a person’s mood and help them feel good.
People struggling with dementia need to feel uplifted. Music can bring back old memories and rekindle old relationships. Singing along to music will keep the person engaged. They will find themselves immersed in the task and bask in happiness.
Getting them an easy to use musical device would be a source of joy, not only for them but also for the caregiver.
Our sense of sight is our connection with the outside world. Visual stimulation would be of great help when you hand them to your loved one. It will not only keep them busy but also provide help in remembering things. Sitting with them while they go through the books will help the patient socialize.
Interactions are important for people living with dementia. Picture books will help them express their needs or wants in a clear way when language fails to be of use.
People with dementia tend to get fugitive with clothes. People with dementia progression find it hard to dress. There could be a time when they may refuse to wear clothes at all. It is essential to get them the clothes that make them feel comfortable.
Easy to wear and wash clothes would help not only the patient but also the caregiver. Adapted clothing would make things a lot easier when your parent has a hard time doing the buttons. Since the elderly often have secondary issues such as arthritis and body aches, clothes that are easy to slide on will relieve that as well. Since disrobing is common amongst the last stages of this disease, anti strip clothing has the potential to solve this.
All of these clothing issues can be solved by Silvert’s adaptive apparel.
Sensory stimulation gifts
Getting your loved one a scented soap, a plush robe or one of their favorite perfumes would do a lot of good. Sensory stimulation has been a widely used therapy option for people living with dementia. It helps to invoke a response. People who may find it difficult to express themselves through words would find joy in the reminiscence.
A hand massage, an old favorite book, a movie that they enjoyed could all be a reminder of what your loved one appreciated previously.
Nostalgia will evoke self-esteem and push the patient to interact with others confidently. Being a part of something, no matter how small, will benefit your loved one more than you know.
Framed photographs or photo albums
Old photographs are an engaging way to spend some time with your loved ones. This could be a little tricky. Use albums with labeled photographs that give details about the people in them. Having written clues would help your loved one not feel frustrated when their memory betrays them.
This is an activity advised for people with moderate stages of dementia. The older the photo, the better the response you get.
However, you need to remember not to ask too many questions. It would irritate the patient and worsen their mood. So try helping them by giving those clues and information. Instead of ‘’who do you think that is?”, “I think it was me when I was two years old” would be much better.
A companion pet
Pets are great for everyone. They help in keeping the blood pressure and cortisol levels down. Pets increase serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical responsible for making you feel good. Such unconditional love and companionship are ideal for someone in the holds of mixed dementia.
The pet may be helpful, but the person’s behavior is unpredictable. Stay updated with your loved one’s mood before leaving the pet with them. Keeping the patient and the pet in the caregiver’s supervision is advisable. Excessive noise or hyperactivity from the pet has the potential of aggravating the patient. Resulting in more harm than good.
The gifts will be of little value if you won’t be there while your loved one uses them. Above all, your time and unconditional love is the greatest gift you can give them. Be there for them and help them acquaint themselves in the new life that has fallen upon them. This progressive disease may not be curable, but your love would heal a little of their hearts. Make them happy and remember the good times you’ve had.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan: Alycia is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia