As we grow older, many of us fear certain diseases such as cancer. But even more than cancer, we dread becoming ill with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. We’ve seen what it can do to people and how memory loss affects their lives. Many don’t know that it is only in the final stages of dementia that this usually occurs and up until then many seniors with dementia are living well.
There are ways you can live well with dementia and lead a full life. Some of these include:
Maintain a social life.
Those with dementia don’t have to and shouldn’t hide away from others. The daily contact with friends or family helps keep them stimulated and active. Many towns have groups where dementia patients can interact with each other at weekly meetings. If you or a loved one has dementia, do everything you can to stay active and socialize with others. Just because you have dementia, doesn’t mean you no longer want to be with people.
Take care of your health.
Though we should be thinking about our health before we become ill with any disease, self care is even more important if you have dementia. Poor nutrition in dementia patients can be caused by changes in appetite and sometimes because the patient has forgotten words for certain foods. Eating well and exercising will keep you healthy while helping to slow down the advancement of dementia.
You are not your disease.
Sometimes, once a diagnosis of dementia or another chronic illness is given, others tend to focus on the disease instead of the person. Those with dementia still cherish their independence. They need to feel accepted as they are and not looked upon as a dementia sufferer.
Improving the quality of life should be of the utmost importance with dementia patients. A better quality of life means those with long term illnesses will have less depression, anxiety and other symptoms. To read the full article on steps to help people with dementia live better, click here.