Patience is a virtue

I can’t remember where I was but I’ve had a few animated conversations lately with carers and professionals about making ‘time’ available to enable people with dementia to remain independent.

There’s no worse feeling than realising you have to rely on others to do things for you. It reduces confidence and ‘disables’ the person before they have lost the ability to perform simple actions. Simply because time is a factor doesn’t mean you should automatically take over. A good example of this is tying someone’s shoe lace….yes, you can do it twice as fast and you might be in a hurry but has the person lost the ability to tie it themselves if you gave them more time? If they have lost the ability, slip on shoes or shoes with velcro fastening may enable the person to remain independent.

Some carers are fearful of their loved ones going out alone. This ‘fear’ may make the person with dementia feel as though they have totally lost their independence and are reliant on others. Think how you would feel if you were no longer allowed to go out on your own. No longer able to pop to the shops or have a half hour walk on your own to clear the cobwebs away. If you really are so concerned,  maybe come up with different strategies – arrange to have someone else meet them at the destination; or use current technologies to locate their whereabouts; or come up with coping strategies for if something went wrong – e.g. make sure they have your phone number on them and a charged mobile and their name and address written down. Talk through what to do if they become confused or lost.

Simple adaptions can keep a person independent for longer – it also gives you a break – as long as you don’t spend the time worrying!

The sooner the person with dementia becomes familiar with  strategies, the easier further down the line it becomes to use them. For those with dementia and for loved ones, don’t leave it too late to use new strategies. If you become familiar with them now you won’t have to learn them later on.

Plan and adapt for the future now and the future will seem less daunting.

 

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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