Whether you or someone you love is diagnosed with dementia, it can be a very distressing time for both the patient and their family. Although there will still be good periods to enjoy, as dementia progresses, it can become harder to deal with, which means it’s important to think about what steps you can take to make sure that the right level of care is in place.
If you or a relative has recently been diagnosed with dementia, below are some things to consider to help you navigate this diagnosis and prepare for what may come later.
Expand Your Knowledge of Dementia
To better understand how to deal with dementia moving forward, the best thing to do is expand your knowledge of the condition. While it might be commonly known that dementia can affect an individual’s memory, other symptoms include mood swings, struggling to keep up with a conversation, or difficulty communicating generally.
You can speak to a dementia specialist to find out more information about this condition, and they may also be able to signpost you to other organizations and online resources for further support and advice.
Practice Good Self-Care
Both those diagnosed with dementia and those caring for someone with the illness need to remember to practice good self-care. You might find that you feel overwhelmed after receiving this diagnosis and perhaps even experience periods of depression, stress, and anxiety as a result. While these emotional responses are understandable, they can also impact the way you care for yourself and live your life.
This is why practicing good self-care is important, such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies and spending time with friends and family. All of these things can help lift your spirits as well as give your body what it needs to function properly.
Look into Dementia Care
You should also ensure that you understand the different kinds of care available for dementia patients. Even if you can live independently at this stage, or you are a relative caring for someone with dementia, you will need professional support as the condition progresses.
There are specialist memory care nurses that could do home visits, or you might find that visiting a day center or moving into a dementia care home would be a better fit. For an example of what you can expect from residential dementia care, visit signature-care-homes.co.uk.
As a dementia diagnosis can be difficult to process, you might find that speaking to a professional counselor helps you work through this. Again, this is beneficial for both dementia patients and their relatives and carers who might be feeling uncertain about the future and dealing with emotional distress.
There are also support groups you could get involved in if you would like to speak with those who are going through the same thing and might be able to give you comfort and advice.
If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with dementia, consider the above points and see how they can help you work through this difficult time and prepare for the future.