When someone is diagnosed with dementia it can be a devastating time in their lives. Unlike cancer, dementia has no cure or treatment plan. Many people think it’s the end of their life. They don’t know what to do, which way to turn or who to speak to.
The first days after diagnosis are critical to how people approach the future. They need compassion and humanity from people who are prepared to listen and support them through this challenging time.
At the moment we quite rightly talk about “living with dementia” not “suffering with dementia” which is an important distinction. However, I think we should take it one step further and start talking about “enjoying life with dementia”.
Once a person has come to terms with their diagnosis – which can take some time – formulating an “enjoyment plan” with them that encapsulates all the the things they “ENJOY DOING” could be the way to get them living a longer, happier life.
Early intervention is crucial. The sooner you get the enjoyment plan together the better. The longer people are left without help & support the harder it becomes for them to focus on a positive future.
The enjoyment plan works by identifying a number of “enjoyable activities” and plotting them into a weekly schedule. This generates a list of “enjoyable services” to be delivered throughout the week. These “enjoyable services” would be delivered by local service providers who specialise in helping people with dementia.
Not only would the enjoyment plan transform the lives of people diagnosed with dementia, it would provide much-needed respite for carers and families.
Imagine the positive impact this would have on families living with dementia every week.