Latest Update as of July 2023
Aging is inevitable and necessary for our growth. As people age, they tend to become emotional and more vulnerable to certain stressors and this is normal. But you don't have to go through tough times like this alone.
Stresses such as grief over the loss of someone, illness, disabilities, and lack of new experiences among others can lead to a number of psychological concerns such as feelings of isolation, helplessness, dullness, irritation, etc. Some brain conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer's disease can blow these symptoms out of proportion and cause extreme changes in our lives.
Oftentimes, because of this scenario, physical healthcare is not enough. Even caregivers of people affected by Dementia can also experience severe anxiety which can make it difficult to provide the necessary social support. Some extra care is needed to help people with Dementia and their caregivers cope with these evolving conditions.
With this, additional support is needed and can be pursued through mental health care activities that can help revive their resilience. These strategies should be used by older adults even those who do not suffer from dementia to address their mental health. Here are 5 ways to prioritize mental health in dementia care:
SEEK SUPPORT: Look for the right company that can not only support you but also proves to be helpful and promote healing. There are also several support groups that their Caregivers can also join to access mental health resources such as talk therapy to process their feelings.
REVIVE THE BRAIN: To keep the brain active and prevent further decline, let them do some mental exercises like puzzles, etc. They can also consult a doctor during that time to find out which exercises are more meaningful than others.
ENGAGING IN A ROUTINE: To help them feel empowered, let them have a sense of routine through different daily activities and building important hobbies. One should adjust their expectations related to task completion and be realistic in their approach even without definite goals and look at activities from different aspects.
AVOIDING OVERSTIMULATION: For them to really feel cared for, maintaining and creating a safe environment for them is very important and should be a top priority. Avoid noisy surroundings and uncomfortable places.
TAKING CARE OF PHYSICAL HEALTH: Taking care of our physical health is very important to good mental health care. All the necessary tasks should be properly practiced such as taking prescribed medications on time, checking in with the doctor regularly, scheduling memory tests, and most of all getting the appropriate amount of rest.
Although dementia can feel like a life-changing experience, one can focus on cultivating a positive mindset towards the events and staying strong. It is still possible to have a meaningful life together even with dementia.