A diagnosis of dementia in your family can be life-changing and devastating. Relatives may experience confusion, sadness, and undefined loss. The condition cannot be cured, although treatments to relieve symptoms can be prescribed. The progression rate and prognosis vary from person to person.
Understanding the type of dementia your relative is affected by
Dementia is a broad term, encompassing multiple different types. The most commonly diagnosed include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease – long term memory often remains strong, while the short-term is unretainable. There are seven stages of progression, beginning with mild confusion, but always characterised by a particular weakness in short-term memory.
- Vascular Dementia – this is seen after damaging events in the brain, such as a stroke, and the symptoms are drastic behavioural and cognitive changes. Specific symptoms vary and depend on the area of the brain that has been affected.
- Lewy Body Dementia – symptoms often appear to be a combination of the mental decline seen in Alzheimer’s and the mobility restrictions of Parkinson’s Disease – often leading to misdiagnosis. Visual hallucinations differentiate this form of dementia from other types.
- Fronto Temporal Dementia – affecting the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, symptoms appear in speech and language, behaviour, and personality. As this form of dementia progresses, lack of inhibition and lack of emotion increase.
Understanding the effects
Understanding how your relative’s condition will progress, and what to expect as it does, can prepare you for the difficult challenges faced by dementia sufferers and their loved ones. Do your research into the specific type of dementia your relative has and discuss the general topic with other trusted family members and professionals.
If you feel you can, talk to your relative about how they are feeling, be patient and be willing to listen.
How to access some help
Do not be afraid to approach the subject of a care solution for your relative, if it is in their best interest.
For around the clock dementia care that’s luxurious and trustworthy, look no further than rosebery manor in epsom. It offers specialist dementia care nursing staff, homely rooms with stylish adaptations, a wide range of beautiful common areas, an en-suite and kitchenette in every room, a cinema area, a therapy room, restaurant, bistro, and library for residents and their families to enjoy.
All apartments and rooms can be adapted for individual needs and every space is designed in collaboration with the University of Stirling to ensure a dementia-friendly environment.
Focusing on yourself
It can be easy to forget about your own needs when family life is demanding or overwhelming. It may feel selfish to look inwards when there is so much chaos surrounding you, but taking a step back and allowing some time to accept and deal with a dementia diagnosis will benefit enormously.
For some, this might look like a spa day with tiny sandwiches and luxurious facials, for others, a long walk. However you decide to relax, try to allocate some substantial time focus on yourself and your feelings.
It may also be extremely useful to seek professional help to talk through any worries, and cultivate coping strategies to implement as the condition progresses. Talking therapies can help you to feel more understood and make the situation feel more manageable.
Dementia can seem like an overwhelming condition to deal with and you may never have imagined it would affect someone you love. Keep communicating, stay open to receiving help, and spend some time focusing on your own needs to deal with a dementia diagnosis in someone close to you.