How to Combat Confusion in Those Living with Dementia
Dementia affects almost a million people in the UK, and for many of us we start to notice the signs of it in our loved ones early.
Living with dementia can be an incredibly challenging experience, both for the people living with the condition and those offering care to them.
Confusion plays a large part in those challenges and can lead to all manner of behaviours. That can be difficult for professionals to manage, never mind people trying to juggle looking after loved ones with work.
However, specialised dementia care centres and professionals do have a series of strategies they use to manage confusion and ease the stress caused by it on those living with dementia.
Seeking professional care can be the best way to get those living with dementia the help they need. However, if you’re caring for someone living with it, here are some key strategies in helping combat confusion when it arises…
Establish Consistent Routines
One of the more effective ways of combating confusion in people living with dementia is by establishing routines. That structure helps loved ones know what’s coming next and have a sense of predictability and comfortable daily patterns that will reduce the risk of confusion, disorientation and anxiety.
Things such as waking up and going to bed, eating meals and doing certain exercises at the same time each day can all be beneficial, while having a familiar environment, with the same furniture and belongings in their living space, and in the same place, can also provide that comforting anchor.
Communication really is key, so speaking to people in a clear and concise way can be very valuable. Speaking in a calm and reassuring way is a good place to start, while using straightforward words and sentences will make it much easier for you to be understood.
Non-verbal forms of communication such as using touch, and sight can also be helpful, offering a friendly demeanour as well as establishing that more
Provide Memory Aids
Confusion often stems from the loss of memory that dementia brings. That can be hugely overwhelming and terrifying for those living with the condition. Providing memory aids can be a good way of giving back that sense of control, trying to enhance recognition or trigger certain memories.
Memory aids can come in all forms, from calendars and notes to photographs and voice notes. Finding a method that works well can be a real game changer in limiting confusion and increasing independence in those living with dementia.
Foster a Supportive Environment
Naturally, it makes sense to provide as supportive an environment as possible, whether that be encouraging them to be part of a support group or ensuring that you’re creating the right type of environment for them.
That could be reducing noise levels, creating a comforting living space, placing visual triggers throughout the room that can evoke positive memories, or simply being a regular, understanding face and ear to listen to. It all helps create a reassuring environment and atmosphere that can limit the amount of confusion in their life.
Engage in Meaningful Activities
Finally, it can be important to stimulate the brain through various meaningful activities. Completing activities with them daily or weekly can be part of a structured routine that provides a sense of enjoyment and positive mental health.
That could be anything, from simple exercises to listening to music, crafting or doing puzzles. They’re all brilliant for mental health, really boost self-worth and aid in managing confusion much more effectively.
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