Once the diagnosis of dementia is made, the affected senior is subject to feeling a range of challenging emotions. Reactions to receiving such a devastating diagnosis suggest that the senior understands her quality of life is expected to change as a direct result of developing the incurable brain disease.
The elderly may feel grief and loss. Anger is common, as the senior has yet to come to terms with losing important cognitive abilities. Fear is likely, as the individual worries about handling daily life in the future. Relief may even occur, since the frightening dementia symptoms are finally explained.
Despite dementia having a profound effect on the life of a senior, many studies point to the disease as having less influence over a person’s quality of life. While initial depression may occur after learning of the diagnosis, a depressed state of mind can be effectively treated with therapy.
Optimism about one’s overall life before the diagnosis is made is the most critical factor when attempting to predict whether or not the senior will experience a good or poor quality of life. When it exists, a positive outlook is likely to be sustained even throughout the stages of dementia. Professional home health care can also help those affected by dementia sustain a good quality of life.
What leads to a poor quality of life?
Several aspects influence whether or not a senior with dementia will experience a low quality of life. Poor physical or mental health, for instance, are two influencing factors. Seniors whose needs are unmet also experience a poorer quality of life, which exacerbates when dementia sets in.
Considering the above, seniors with dementia are likely to experience a low quality of life when they remain socially isolated and alone. Having to manage this progressive brain disease without assistance is likely to challenge seniors’ abilities to perceive life as hopeful or good.
What influences a high quality of life?
Positive relationships with family and friends lead to a better quality of life, even for seniors with dementia. When these seniors are involved in social activities, their well-being improves. The capability to manage everyday affairs is also linked to a higher quality of life for individuals with dementia.
Seniors living with dementia have the right to living a life they enjoy. Empowering the senior suffering from any stage of dementia goes a long way toward helping them develop or sustain a higher quality of life—despite the disease. Caregivers are instrumental in facilitating independence in the senior.
A satisfying and productive life for seniors living with dementia is possible by making small adjustments to daily life. Equally important is receiving the help of family members or a professional support team, such as live-in caregivers, to ensure these modifications are set in motion.
What are recommended adjustments?
Routines are known to give elderly individuals living with dementia a sense of predictability. Knowing what to expect is easier for these seniors to handle than a schedule filled with surprises. A relaxing atmosphere is also key. Elements that promote relaxation may be different for each individual.
Examples of relaxation techniques that work for some seniors include lighting incense and aromatherapy. Playing music on a schedule (rather than constantly) is relaxing and can trigger pleasant memories. A pet’s unconditional love can be soothing to seniors who enjoy the company of animals.
A professional or family caregiver is helpful in creating an environment in which the senior with dementia feels safe. A live-in caregiver may play music, light incense or introduce a pet. Feelings of safety are integral to helping seniors living with dementia experience a better quality of life.
Social engagement is important to improving the lives of those with dementia, especially if they find pleasure in meeting new people or having candid conversations. However, for some seniors, excess stimulation can be stressful. Keep interactions brief and include plenty of breaks during outings.
Trips may be made possible by caregivers or relatives who are available to provide safe transportation to social activities. Accompanying the senior provides security. Plus, be prepared to cut social interactions short if the elderly individual suddenly chooses to return home.
What are suggested in-home activities?
If the senior affected with dementia is not characteristically gregarious, fun activities at home are recommended. Relaxing hobbies include painting or playing board games. Caregivers and family members might play card games with the senior or help them assemble puzzles.
Activities in which seniors may engage with caregivers include watching movies, flipping through photo albums or sharing life stories. Compassionate in-home caregivers wholeheartedly listen to their senior care recipients’ anecdotes from their past or watch movies reminiscent of the senior’s childhood.
It is important to know that seniors with dementia are most comfortable engaging in activities at their own pace. Complex activities may be frustrating, while the right pursuits instill a sense of achievement.
Alter the course if the senior shows disinterest or is too tired to engage in the activity.
The frequent togetherness provided by relatives or live-in caregivers and participating in appropriate activities increase the quality of life for seniors living with dementia. Families with aging loved ones who suffer from any stage of dementia find reliable support from dementia care service providers.
Assisting Hands Home Care is one of Illinois’ leading senior home care agencies, offering comprehensive, non-medical Alzheimer’s and dementia care services. We provide companion care, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation and gentle guidance when seniors are prone to wandering.
Families in Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Oswego, Romeoville, Yorkville and surouding areas in Will and Kendall Counties, Illinois, turn to the area’s most reputable in-home memory care service provider, Assisting Hands Home Care, for compassionate elder care services. Each of our professional caregivers is licensed, insured and bonded to ensure families have full confidence in our in-home care services.
A flexible home care plan is developed upon meeting with your loved one at home. Our skilled staff members make sure the home environment is safe for the senior with dementia. When experience and quality care matters, consult Assisting Hands Home Care. Our dependable, compassionate memory care services are designed to improve your loved one’s quality of life.