How to Spend Time With Your Loved One With Dementia on Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day!

A day filled with love and appreciation for each other. 

This can be a difficult time for folks who are losing their loved ones slowly to dementia, but with some preparation, you can make the day a good one. Here’s how to spend time with your loved one with dementia…

  • Send them or together make a homemade card - it means a lot more when the noodles are glued to the construction paper and the words are your own, compared to current Hallmark options
  • Share old pictures with them - they’ll remember the older memories more than the recent ones, and it’ll give them a chance to share their own stories with you
  • Make their favorite meal - food is a love language for many, and a favorite meal goes a long way when you’re activating multiple senses
  • Turn on some old tunes - they’ll connect more with the older songs they grew up with and find a sense of calm and joy
  • Plan a day with their favorite activities - there’s nothing...
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How to Care for Someone With Dementia

When a loved one becomes diagnosed with dementia it’s a shock on the individual and their family. Often times, the management of the changes becomes the responsibility of the caregiver. Families must adjust their lifestyle, routines, and even the way they communicate. This requires an understanding of the abilities of their diagnosed family member. The number of changes can be overwhelming, especially at first. Below, we outline 3 different areas to focus on for a more thoughtful approach. 

 

Communication

Establishing productive communication with someone with dementia can be difficult at first. If you keep in mind these approaches you’ll have better luck.

During Verbal Communication

  • Use exact, brief, positive phrases
  • Speak slowly
  • Use a warm, genuine, adult tone of voice
  • Use words familiar to the individual
  • Ask for instructions
  • Ask one question at a time (wait 90 seconds until the next)
  • Eliminate distractions (e.g., radio on)
  • Use different forms of their...
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How often do caregivers struggle with self-care and guilt?

A couple months ago we surveyed a group of healthcare professionals and caregivers who work with dementia individuals. 

The survey was focused on caregiver self-care and guilt. We asked the following true or false questions.

  1. I have struggled with self-care at some point in the past
  2. I have lost touch of my hobbies, or I don't have a hobby
  3. I spend so much time taking care of others that I don't take time to care for myself
  4. At times, I feel guilty when I'm caring for myself, because I could be caring for others

The results were unfortunately not shocking since we know the burden caregivers carry, often putting their own needs last.

55% answered that they have struggled with self-care at some point in the past

45% answered that they have lost touch of their hobbies, or don't have a hobby

60% answered that they spend so much time taking care of others that they don't take time to care for themselves

40% answered that at times, they feel guilty when caring for themselves,...

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