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6 Best Ways To Support Your Loved One With Dementia

When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it seems as though your entire lives have changed. You will be responsible for helping with a loved one’s care and needs, as well as helping support them through trying times when things get difficult. There are lots of things that you can do to help ensure that your loved one has a great life, even with dementia. Here are six of the best ways that you can support your loved one with dementia and give them the best life possible.

Ensure they get proper nutrition

1. Ensure they get proper nutrition.

Proper nutrition is essential to everyone, including those with dementia. In fact, getting the proper nutrition, vitamins, and minerals can help keep your loved one healthier. Since many patients with dementia have a difficult time preparing their own meals, it is vital for you to support healthy eating habits and make sure that they are getting the right nutrition for their health needs.

Be familiar with medications

2. Be familiar with medications.

For a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, it is important that they have someone who understands their medication needs, can administer the medications, and are familiar with side effects, interactions, and the importance of each medication. Becoming familiar with your loved one’s medications, as well as how to give them their medications and stick to a schedule, is one of the most important things you can do to help.

Make sure health concerns are addressed

3. Make sure health concerns are addressed.

Patients with dementia may not understand exactly what they need in terms of healthcare, as well as what may be causing symptoms they are experiencing. Because of this, it is important that they always have their healthcare concerns addressed, and that they receive regular care from physicians.

Keep your loved one’s mind engaged

4. Keep your loved one’s mind engaged.

One of the most crucial things that you can do to help a loved one with dementia is to keep their mind engaged and occupied. Regular mental stimulation can actually help decrease the severity and progression of dementia symptoms. It keeps them thinking and helps keep them focused. Jigsaw puzzles, board games, and even puzzles like sudoku can be very helpful in keeping the mind busy.

Listen and talk about the past with your loved ones

5. Listen and talk about the past with your loved ones.

Even though you’ve heard a certain story at least a dozen times, listen to it again. Go through old photo albums and talk about the pictures there with your loved ones. Keep their mind occupied and remind them of their past and the present whenever you can. Support them when they talk about events with you.

Encourage them to foster relationships and be social

6. Encourage them to foster relationships and be social.

While it may not be the first thing on their minds, encourage your loved one to spend time with friends and family. Being around people who have always had an impact on your loved one’s life can help them to be the here and now, and can keep their memories intact (and allow them to have more fun times!).

Supporting your loved one with dementia is important, before, during, and after the diagnosis. Keeping their mind busy and engaged can go a long way to helping them process and retain information, as well as recall memories. Spending time with friends can be a big help, and allow them to feel that they are not alone. When caring for a loved one with dementia, watch out for signs of depression, and be sure to attend healthcare appointments with your loved one and speak to their doctor regularly.

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