Experiencing difficult emotions frequently? Think you might need extra support on some days? Feel like you are not able to take control of your situations? There is nothing wrong with having such thoughts. We don’t have to go through hard times alone.
Older adults are more vulnerable to certain stressors such as grief of losing someone, illness, disabilities, and lack of novel experiences amongst others. Such stressors can lead to a number of psychological concerns such as feelings of isolation, helplessness, dullness, irritation, etc.
While aging is inevitable and imperative to our growth, certain brain conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can blow these symptoms out of proportion and cause drastic changes in our lives. Caregivers of Dementia affected people can also experience significant distress which can cause difficulty in providing the necessary social support.
In such a scenario, physical healthcare is not enough. A changing brain needs a changing environment that tailors to its needs. Some extra care is required to help persons with Dementia and their caregivers cope with the evolving circumstances. This additional support can be sought through mental healthcare activities that provide the individual with the necessary resources to revive their resilience. Older adults who are not going through dementia must also practice strategies to work on their mental health. Let’s discuss how:
5 ways to prioritize mental health in dementia care:
● Seek support: Reaching out to our caregivers and sharing our diagnosis can be a difficult experience. The right company can not only support you but also prove to be beneficial and reinforce healing. Caregivers can also join support groups and access mental health resources such as talk therapy to process their feelings.
● Revive the brain: Mental exercises like puzzles can keep the brain active and prevent further decline.
Consulting a doctor during that time can be helpful to find out which exercises are more important than others.
● Engaging in a routine: Maintaining a sense of routine by following up on daily activities as well as indulging in
hobbies can make the person feel empowered. One must tailor their expectations related to task completion and be realistic in their approach. It is okay to not have definite goals
and look at activities from a multidirectional lens.
● Avoiding Overstimulation: Creating a safe environment that accommodates the behaviors of the person with
dementia must be the utmost priority. One can avoid surrounding noise or uncomfortable spaces to make sure that the person feels cared for.
● Taking care of physical health: The benefits of mental healthcare have to be supplemented by properly looking after our physical health. This includes taking the prescribed medicines on time, regularly checking in with the doctor, scheduling memory screenings, getting appropriate amounts of rest, and carrying out many such precautionary tasks.
While dementia can feel like a life-altering experience, one can focus on cultivating a positive
mindset towards the circumstances and stay resilient. It is possible to lead a meaningful life with
dementia and at Samvedna Senior Care, we want to support you the best we can in that process.
You can access free resources on our website and reach out to our professionals anytime.