Because dementia progresses at varying rates, and because the disease allows for moments of clarity between bouts of forgetting, making a connection can be challenging.
In this video, Tim Tholen, CEO and Founder of Thoughtful Health Care in Kansas City, shares tips and ideas for maintaining a relationship with a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia.
Keep the Focus on the Loved One
Set your goals appropriately. Dementia is a moving target, which can be confusing or frustrating for family and friends. An immediate fix to frustration is to lower your expectations—it’s okay if the visit isn’t perfect. Enjoyment is the goal here.
Try to meet your loved one where he or she is. Take a little time to adjust your expectations to what is, rather than what used to be.
Attitude is everything! Your positive words, your smile, your kindness and curiosity will make a difference for your loved one. Just knowing that you brought your best self to the visit will make you feel good as well.
Arguments Are a Waste of Time
Set aside conflicts, because arguing with a person with dementia is a losing battle. The disease is frustrating, but the person behind the disease is still human.
Enjoy the Time You Have
Nothing is permanent, even the current stage of your loved one’s dementia. Do what you can to listen, to bring back fond memories, or reminisce over happy stories.
Our experts at Thoughtful Health Care are here to support you in keeping your loved one safely and happily at home. Contact us for more information.
Watch the “Connecting with a Loved One Who Has Dementia” video below.
For more information about Thoughtful Care visit the Thoughtful Care website.