Having dementia is often described as a number of losses, one after the other, each one difficult to become accustomed to. With this in mind, it's important to understand that the person's feelings and experiences are down to more than just the condition itself. Dementia can affect people's social lives, as they forget close friends and their times together, they can lose their hobbies because of forgetting how to do them and all of this can be very frustrating, especially if they realise it's happening.

This means that if you want to give the person you're caring for as nice a time as possible, it's important to know how to make things easy for them. Below are some tips to help you do exactly that:

  • Develop a predictable routine. It's important to establish a predictable routine throughout each day, or at least weekly, this might mean having meals at the same time each time, going out to shops after dinner etc. This will help eliminate frustration and confusion from the person with the disease.

  • Let them be independent. It may seem normal to try and do everything for the person you're caring for, however this can sometimes leave them feeling completely dependant on you and they may often wish they could do things or themselves. So letting them do some things, such as turning on the radio when you're at home can help retain their feeling of independence.

  • Daily exercise. During and after exercise, our body releases a "feel good" chemical called endorphins (also known as a natural painkiller!), so it's a good way to release some stress and have fun.

  • Use different methods of communication. If the dementia gets to point of your loved one not being able to understand verbal communication, other methods such as reading, art, music or touching them on the shoulder can all be effective ways of showing them you care.

  • Make time for yourself. When caring for someone with dementia, it's important not to get burnt out. Taking some time for yourself can help you keep going in the long run. 

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