Support for Individuals with Dementia
Supporting Adults with Dementia
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be devastating. Fortunately, there are many resources available to support those living with dementia. Finding the support you need can sometimes be overwhelming. The tips below will help you get started.
Supporting Participation and Engagement
It is common for individuals living with dementia to withdraw from activities they once enjoyed. This is often due to cognitive changes caused by dementia. Memory and problem solving difficulties can make it harder to complete some tasks. Depression can also lead to withdraw and isolation. So, it is important for the person with dementia to continue to be involved with their hobbies and interests. Simplifying tasks may help. For example, someone who enjoys woodworking may no longer be able to make a cabinet. However, when provided with the necessary tools and supplies, they may be able to work on a less complex project- like a birdhouse. Setting-up the task and suggesting a simplified project can be a wonderful way to support ongoing engagement!
Another great idea is to seek out online or in-person classes about topics of interest. Classes for seniors can be found online, like on the AARP website. You can also find enrichment programs at local senior centers. Even scheduling a weekly card game or lunch date with friends can support mental health and overall quality of life.
Dementia often results in changes in thinking skills and communication. If you have concerns about independence, safety and quality of life, a speech therapist can help. You may not realize that speech therapists can treat cognitive skills. That’s because cognitive decline impacts communication. An experienced speech therapist can recommend strategies, tools, and environmental modifications. They can also provide education and training for patients, families, and caregivers.
How Do I Seek Help from Experienced Professionals?
Providing support like this takes time that some families just don’t have. For that reason, there are organizations that offer hourly companion care. With companion care, experienced professionals spend time with your loved one. They can provide transportation, prepare meals, or just sit and talk. There are also free online support groups that can be found through the Alzheimer’s Association.
For treatment of cognitive and communication problems, it is important to work with a speech therapist with experience treating adults. Adult Speech Therapy Services is dedicated to helping adults with dementia, their families and caregivers. Call us at 301-323-8486 today for a free consultation to discuss our approach to treatment. We look forward to the opportunity to help.