“Just treat them like a child”

There is a strong myth that people with dementia become childlike and that they don’t know what is best for them.

Not only is this a myth, it is also an unnecessary stigma.

Though the behaviour of a person with dementia may resemble that of a child, the two are worlds apart. The social inhibitions, which normally regulate our responses, lift in a person living with dementia so that they may share the same spontaneous joy and appreciation of a child.

However, it is crucial that you continue to see the person with dementia as a whole person, one who has lived a long life, contributed to society and who carries a backpack filled with life-history, experience and wisdom.
If you fall into the trap of thinking of them as a child, it will affect the way you treat them, which in turn will affect the responses you get back. Thinking of the person with dementia as a child will ‘program’ your whole approach. It is likely you will talk to the person the same way as you would talk to a child and they are likely then to become defensive and respond with anger.

To access my services and learn how I can work together with you and your loved ones, please contact me here .

Read more in the article ‘From Parenting to Caring Support’ under the You As the Carer banner on the dementiacareaustralia.com website.

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