Imagine the impact on your life if you were to receive a dementia diagnosis. Imagine the impact it will have on your family. It must be one the most challenging life changing situations anyone has to deal with.
As you know I’ve come to terms with it and written my own dementia will. I’ve seen too many people that we’ve helped have their life choices “refused” due to a lack of understanding of how life can still be enjoyed with dementia.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s a hugely complex and difficult time for all concerned, especially for the person diagnosed. They have probably heard the “horror stories” and all the negativity associated with the disease.
Yes, it’s terminal. Yes, life will never be the same again. Yes, you may become a different person to the one your family has loved and cherished for a lifetime and yes, the future may look bleak. However, there’s still a lot of great living to be enjoyed and we need to start supporting people far better than we do today.
Taking a positive attitude to dementia is a great place to start.
Here’s 10 ways you can help create a positive attitude towards dementia
- Be prepared to listen and be understanding
- Smile and laugh as much as possible
- Treat the diagnosis like the start of a long holiday when you get to spend time doing everything you enjoy in life.
- Treat people with dignity & respect
- Get support and take time out
- Create a network of like-minded people around you
- Keep life as normal as possible
- Tell everyone that matters so they can support too
- Remember the person and remember it’s not their fault
- Let people do what they want for as long as possible
Whilst it’s by no means an exhaustive list at least it’s a positive contribution to the debate on how we can help families live well with dementia.