Learning to Care for Dementia Sufferers Can Make All the Difference
As children, it seems there is one main goal in life, and that is to hurry up and become an adult. But somewhere along that road to adulthood, just about everyone has a bit of a change of heart. Somewhere along the line, we realize that we do not want to hurry up and grow older. Time is precious, and aging, especially after a certain point, can become a difficult and sometimes scary thing to face. Through the power of modern medicine and technology, we are able to handle aging quite a bit differently than our ancestors did. But even though we are generally living longer and have more ways to battle aches, ailments, and illnesses, it can still feel like a pretty heavy load to bear when you begin to notice those signs of aging.
Caring for dementia patients
Society in general is not always very kind to the elderly. In a world that is endlessly obsessed with youth and strict, however unrealistic standards of beauty, there are too often stigmas related to life after a certain age. There exists quite a puzzling inconsistency, however. Everyone is afraid of death, and of course, wants to do everything possible to avoid it. Yet that means, naturally, that old age will come instead, which most people seem just as obsessed with avoiding.
Getting older, having more candles on your birthday cake, and yes even those wrinkles, should all be marks to be respected and appreciated. Society has a long way to go before embracing that line of thought. In the meantime, there are steps that everyone can take in order to help contribute to that shift in collective thought. One such step is in learning about, understanding, and caring for dementia sufferers.
The prevalence of dementia
Over 75% of residents in assisted living facilities have experienced or are currently suffering through at least two of the top 10 common chronic conditions. One major culprit was high blood pressure. The other most prevalent condition was dementia in some form or another, such as Alzheimer’s. Caring for dementia patients is not always an easy thing to do, especially if the task falls to just one family member. Life is busy, and caring for this type of patient requires a lot of time and energy.
These factors, of course, do not even begin to compare to the mental and emotional difficulty that can be experienced while trying to take care of someone who is beginning to lose their memories and what makes them who they are. This is why awareness and education of dementia care in the community is so crucial. No one should have to be an island, especially in the face of dementia. It is also a good reason to look into different types of memory care homes and other assisted living facilities that might be better equipped to help care for your loved one.
Celebrating life at any stage
Life always has its challenges. Those challenges just have different faces through different phases of your life. Growing older, or watching someone close to you grow older, is just one more thing to learn how to do with grace. One of the most important things to remember is that it does not always have to be some somber or scary experience. Look for the good moments, the excitement and joy that life brings. Moving into an assisted living facility will certainly be an adjustment, but think of everything that comes along with it. There will be a whole new community of people to meet, and often new activities to get involved with. And depending on the facility, you or your loved one could be looking at a whole slew of services, such as health care, personal care, transportation assistance, housekeeping, maintenance, and more.
Dementia is never an easy thing to face. Growing older does come with its fair share of difficulties. But if we as a society can learn how to make caring for dementia sufferers a priority, perhaps growing older does not have to be such a scary or unpleasant thing.