An important aspect of ensuring that individuals living with dementia have a high quality of life is making sure that they are able to take care of themselves, at least to a reasonable extent. People with dementia who are able to complete daily tasks and meaningful activities on their own will maintain a sense of independence and fulfilment, especially if they continue to incorporate the things that are important to them and the things they love doing into their daily lives as much as possible.
Here are some self-care tips for people living with dementia:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s important for those with dementia to eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise consistently, as well as maintain a good sleeping pattern. It’s a good idea for them to talk to their doctor about what types of activities would be appropriate for them to do in order to stay active.
Do one thing at a time.
Those with dementia should focus on completing one simple element of a task at a time, as it’s less confusing and easier to do. It’s even better if they write out step-by-step instructions for themselves. For example, a written reminder saying “do the laundry” is much less effective than “1. Put dirty clothes into the washing machine. 2. Get laundry detergent from cupboard…”.
Avoid large crowds.
Larger crowds can become too confusing and overwhelming for those with dementia. More moderate environments are easier for those with dementia to enjoy.
Don’t avoid spending time with family and friends.
Spending time with family and friends is very important, and can bring a great sense of belonging and fulfilment for those with dementia. It’s important that people with dementia try not to shy away from participating in certain activities and that they do their best to take the opportunity to spend quality time with those they love.
Avoid dwelling on things that can’t be recalled from memory.
Sometimes people with dementia will find that they cannot recall something they know they should know. It’s important for them to recognize that this is okay and that dwelling on the matter may only frustrate them.
Ask for help when it’s needed.
Everyone needs help sometimes – this is completely normal and not something to be ashamed of!
Do you have any more relevant tips? Tell us in the comments below!