As part of our current focus on dementia care, we wanted to post some helpful tips on how to live a more stress-free life with dementia. These tips will help you handle day-to-day difficulties, maximise your independence and live a more meaningful life with your dementia:
- Approach one task at a time and try not to get stuckTry to give yourself enough time to complete every task. Don’t pressure yourself to succeed with your objectives. Spending time to do something you cannot control can be a waste of energy and discouraging, so if something becomes too difficult, take a break and try again later.
- Know that you can try more than once to solve most problemsIt’s easy to be discouraged by challenges, but it’s not uncommon to have to try different strategies to achieve your overall objectives. Assess what could have been done differently and make adjustments as needed.
- Recognise the triggers that cause you stressThink about the triggers that cause you stress, worry and anxiety. An example could be when people are hurrying you, explain to them what you are trying to accomplish and ask them to give you the time you need to be accomplish it. Knowing what causes you stress allows you to make plans in advance or decisions about the type of activities and tasks you want to participate in.
- Develop a daily routineTry making a daily plan to keep track of the few tasks you want to accomplish each day. Having a schedule can reduce the time you spend figuring out what needs to be done and when. It helps you be more successful in accomplishing your goals and limiting mistakes.
- Use your sources of strengthFamily, friends, church, pets, your inner strengths – all these are sources of strength that can help you during difficult and hard times, even as you face daily challenges and set backs.
- Set realistic goals and focus on what you can do todaySet realistic expectations for yourself and use the skills you already possess to help you achieve more during your day. Some tasks may become too difficult for you to complete, even with reminded aids. Reduce your stress by asking family and friends for help when needed.
Here is a list of specific coping strategies that you may find useful:
- Remembering which medications you have taken: try placing a yellow sticky note onto a particular medication saying, “Do not take me” as a reminder that the medication has already been taken.
- Locating your spouse in a crowded area: wear the same colour shirt as your spouse when going out in public. If you become anxious in a crowd and can’t them, simply look down at your shirt colour to help you remember what they are wearing.
- Difficulty writing: use a computer, smart phone or tablet to write and send messages, or have your carer or friend assist you in writing.
- Remembering daily tasks: use a monthly calendar with hour-by-hour scheduling to plan your to-do list.
- Reducing stress: do a regular physical activity such as gardening, walking or yoga to help you relax and reduce stress.
- Facing stigma of being treated differently: be patient and polite, and try to reassure others that you are still the same person. Try not to internalise other people’s reactions.
- Difficulty completing tasks: don’t put too much pressure on yourself, stop and do something you enjoy and try again later.
Remember, you’re never alone. You may have the support of your family, friends, local community groups and specialist organisations such as Dementia UK to help you live a fulfilling and happy life, even with dementia.
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At Assured Quality Care, we have a local, community based focus and specialise in the delivery of care within the South Leeds, Morley, Dewsbury, Batley and Wakefield areas. We have a proven, reliable, fexible and high-quality care service delivered through our trained local care team.
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If you would like a chat, or more information about how we help, you can contact us to discuss your requirements, or arrange a free care assessment, at a time that suits you on 01138 300926.