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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Improving Quality of Life of People with Dementia

Meaning of quality of life differs from person to person for some it may be playing guitar for another it may be enjoying traveling to exotic locations or spending quality time in front of beach.  Social relationships, cultural values, financial conditions, physical and mental health are the different factors which defines each person’s quality of life. Despite changes and loss of abilities, people with dementia can still find happiness and experience satisfaction.

Picture courtesy: Silver innings 2015

Caregivers who take care of people with dementia should understand that they enjoy some types of activities and also like to do useful things. Caregivers should add creative, meaningful and fun-filled activities and encourage people with dementia to enjoy what they can still do. With appropriate environment, they can lead productive, happier and satisfying life and are less likely to show disturbed behaviour.

Include Fun-Filled & Meaningful Activities

The idea behind including fun-filled activities is to have fun, don’t force them to be perfect or follow complex set of rules. Do not point out mistakes or seize control of what they are doing. Support them, but do not push them. While selecting an activity, ensure that it is something they will like to do. They may enjoy painting and playing games such as Snakes & Ladders or stacking colored rings.

Person with dementia might feel insignificant and useless due to their reduced abilities as compared to their active life in the past. Explore activities that can make them feel positive and good about themselves. They may lose interest in midway while performing any task or perform the activity at slow pace. Do not except them to do it faster or push them to complete the task. The idea behind this activity is to make them feel useful and happy.

Provide a Relaxed & Safe Environment

Each person finds relaxation in different things depending on their character, likes & dislikes. Some may like listening bhajans, while some might like aromatherapy or some may like spending time with pets for their unconditional love.

Use different types of reality orientation techniques, which can help in reducing confusion among the persons with dementia about the time. Have a suitable communication so that you can understand them and they can understand you. Ensure that they should not get frustrated due to any kind of excess help or changing their daily routine. Provide them with exact amount of help they require, so that they feel capable and independent.

To conclude, people with dementia can still find happiness and experience satisfaction, if we include fun-filled & meaningful activities in their daily routine as well as strive to provide a relaxed and safe environment to them.

Ravi Shet is the writer of this article and Co-founder of www.treatum.com, an online healthcare portal connecting patients with right doctors.


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