“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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Living well with dementia

Living well with dementia can mean so many different things to different people.

My biggest passion is educating and supporting those who do not understand the process of dementia. Those who see it as a terminal illness with no hope of joy or life in the years to come, or  those who make fun of the process and progress of dementia.

It may be our way of coping, but these two things isolate not only the person living with dementia, but often more so the supportive person in the relationship.

A diagnosis of dementia can be extremely distressing and the current medical view of a pessimistic future disheartening.

I believe improvement is possible. Looking beyond the diagnosis to the person and consider fulfilling the individual needs of people with dementia is paramount to social and emotional wellbeing and therefore improvement of the person living with dementia.

It is important to know that stages and symptoms are not definite prognoses for everyone with a dementia diagnosis. Each person will be affected in his or her own unique way, which is also dependent on the life they have lead and the type or cause of their dementia.

For inspirational and practical ways to be able to work with a person with dementia and also to be able to have the power and knowledge to support the loved ones, I would love you to look up the Dementia Care Australia Website, and join their free newsletter.

After joining and seeing a different perspective from the truly heart centred practical advice and tips, many of my clients and their families have seen improvements not only in their loved ones wellbeing, but also improvements in how they react and relate to changes from symptoms relating to dementia.
All I can say here is please try it -it is something truly positive in the often dreary world that people like to see dementia as. I can guarantee it will lift your spirit.

I am also very happy to provide short insights on any issues that you may be having on your journey, or work in a longer term commitment with you for the best outcomes for all involved with the person living with dementia, and most importantly, the person living with dementia themselves. With love, Bianca