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The importance of Dementia education and awareness among caregivers

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Lack of education awareness about dementia can have emotional and practical consequences for seniors with dementia and their caregivers. Being unaware of dementia and its symptoms can also lead to incorrect assumptions and harm the individual with the disease.

It is necessary to educate yourself about dementia, create awareness among yourself, and help your loved ones gain access to the care they deserve and require. Being informed also reduces the stigma against dementia. Some of the leading causes of dementia-related stigma are stereotypes and misinformation, which can hurt your loved ones and prevent them from sharing their feelings. Here are some ways you can help someone living with dementia feel valued.

Seek specialized care

Taking help from organizations specializing in memory care is a great first step towards educating yourself. A memory care home with specialized staff can guide you and help you learn more about dementia and how it affects your loved one. You can start your search by Googling memory care homes near me and reading reviews of the first few options that appear.

If your loved one needs assistance that you cannot provide, consider moving them into a dementia care home to access the care they deserve. The suitable memory care home will be staffed with registered nurses, provide a home-like environment, and help you learn more about dementia and how to help your loved one.

Caregiver supporting senior woman on wheelchair outdoor
Caregiver supporting senior woman on wheelchair outdoor – Credit: Dominik Lange Via Unsplash

Encourage socialization

Being surrounded by people and engaging in conversation stimulate their brains and help them feel better about being in a lively environment. Even if your loved one doesn’t engage in conversation like they used to after their dementia diagnosis, it is essential to keep them involved. Ask them to participate in social events by inviting them to places and taking them with you. According to Science Daily, socializing may improve older adults’ cognitive function in daily life.

Consider changing needs

A dementia diagnosis is a life-altering event that can alter how an individual thinks, feels, or functions. It is vital to adapt to their changing needs, and the best way to do this is by observing the changes that occurred. Once you’ve determined which aspects of their lives are different, you can provide suitable solutions to help them become comfortable. 

Group of seniors playing a card game while sitting outdoor
Group of seniors playing a card game while sitting outdoor – xels

Treat them with respect

One common mistake many people make when dealing with seniors with dementia is disrespecting them. A person with dementia may act differently at later stages of the disease, changing your relationship with them in many ways. But, it is still equally important to treat them with dignity and respect. Mistreating them can impact their quality of life and result in unwanted behaviours.

Stop making assumptions

Assumptions are one of the leading causes of the stereotypes about dementia, as it leads to people undermining those living with the disease. Some assumptions can include determining how a senior feels or what they can or cannot do. It is important to educate yourself about the disease and refrain from making assumptions. 

You may find many programs or services that support individuals with dementia or their caregivers. Allocate enough time to learn about dementia and create awareness to reduce the stigma against the disease and stop stereotypes from spreading. 

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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