Dementia and the family by Rachel Johnstone
Dementia and the family is a tactile resource for anyone caring for a loved one with dementia. It offers over 160 activities that are intergenerational and allow for improved communication, interest and fun.
There is also a really interesting and informative introductory section covering 20 pages.
Rachel has included
“Ten ways to show you care”.
It is often the little things that make the biggest difference. Knowing how best to care for someone with dementia can be overwhelming but you don’t have to become an expert in dementia care to improve the quality of life for a loved one. The little gestures, small acts of kindness, considerate behaviours and words of comfort – things all too easily forgotten with our busy lives are the foundation for caring for about someone with dementia.
Ten ways to show you care;
- Savour every moment that you spend together by giving your undivided attention. Be there and totally present in the moment.
- Treat your loved one as the person you know and love by being genuine in what you say, your body language and eye contact. Treat them with respect and avoid being patronising.
- Always acknowledge their feelings even if you do disagree and allow them to release their emotions.
- Wherever possible involve your loved one in decisions. Never force them to do something they don’t want to do.
- Involve them in conversations and don’t talk over them or exclude them.
- Find ways to make life easier without taking over. Help compensate for the effects of their illness whilst supporting their independence.
- Look for every opportunity to engage in some creative activities and play games, share jokes, laugh, reminisce about funny stories and acknowledge your loved one’s sense of humour. Activities and hobbies that they have always enjoyed are particularly important since they help to retain their sense of identity.
- Find ways to stimulate all the senses, from taste to touch. Going for a walk and hearing bird song is a great one.
- Try to be understanding and see things from your loved one’s point of view. Never blame someone with dementia for their actions, criticise or ridicule.
- Keep to the rhythm of their life, being respectful of daily routines. Do not put pressure on your loved one to “Keep up” such as talking too fast.
Use this link to buy your copy of “Dementia and the family”. It is ideal for anyone working in a residential home, memory cafe and day care services. It is also extremely useful for anyone caring for a loved one with dementia.