During my privileged experience of working with dementia clients and their families I always maintain that getting to know the unit is vital. Making my sessions personal and enjoyable for the person facing the challenge of dementia has been my daily aim this will include working with all the senses to act as triggers for positive and happy memories. Music is one way of communicating universally with people of all ages and with all challenges including children with severe learning difficuties as well as those with alzheimers.
Last night when attending a local talk I discussed how I feel very strongly that nobody should be forced to attend a day centre if that is not for them and/or to take up painting or any other activity – if they didn’t like it before then don’t assume they will now! Encouragement yes by all means. I have heard how people have become agitated when placed in unfamiliar surroundings and one of the best and easiest ways to dilute anxiety is to avoid it.
Carers wellbeing is just as important as those suffering with dementia and too often pride prevents them from asking for help from those that believe they are coping better than they are. They need a break away from the 24/7 life with dementia which may have become their way of life and often making them a prisoner in their own home.
Sometimes carers lead a withdrawn life as they feel embarrassed by their partners behaviour or others have made them feel uncomfortable – we need far more understanding generally towards those families living with dementia.
I often write about dementia being similar to a bereavement and talking to children faced with parents with dementia this is so often the best way to describe how they feel as they lose the person they love.
If you are looking for a new charity to support then consider the dementia charities -Alzheimers Society and/or Dementia UK they need your help to fund care, research and support.