Written by: Kristen Pagulayan
After working for several years providing education and supporting those affected by dementia, I have found that it is vital to maintain a person’s dignity. I believe in supporting a person’s ability to find purpose in a world that is increasingly confusing and frustrating. It is this purpose that provides amazing power for patients and for those who love them.
I accomplished some of this by not being afraid to think outside the box and being willing to try sometimes unconventional methods. At other times, I had to get back to basics, reviewing and thinking about our basic needs as humans– hunger, thirst, comfort, our need for companionship and love. For the caregivers that means allowing freedom from guilt and taking time out to focus on self-care. It can be such a difficult thing to do.
It is estimated that 1 in 9 people age 65 and older will at some point have a diagnosis of dementia. As the baby boom generation has begun to reach 65 and beyond, it is estimated that by 2050 this number may triple. It seems imperative that we learn how to effectively cope with, and adapt to live with, such a diagnosis.
Here are some tips for living with Dementia: