When a loved one has dementia, sometimes it can be difficult for us to think about what he or she can do, rather than focusing on what he or she can no longer do. The “can’ts” seem to be more obvious and intrusive to us than the “cans.”
As we provide care for our loved ones, it may seem quicker and easier to do things for them. We can wash the dirty glass more quickly, we can cross the room to get the TV remote more quickly (and safely), and we can help them bathe more thoroughly. It’s only natural to feel that way. But it’s important to remember that as much our loved ones have lost, there are still things that they can do. And the more they can still do, the longer they can maintain a bit of their independence and feelings of self-worth.
Here are six examples from Dan Lonigro, CPI Global Professional Instructor, of things that your loved one may be able to do:
- I can still smell the flowers. I don’t garden any more, but I can still smell the flowers. Bring me some of my favorite flowers. This will remind me of the past.
- I can still communicate. I can’t talk the way I used to, but I can still communicate. Be patient as I try. This will help me feel connected.
- I can still make decisions. I don’t have the judgment I used to, but I can still make decisions. Give me choices. This will make me feel like I’m a part of things.
- I can still wash my face. I can’t take a bath by myself anymore, but I can still wash my face. Assist me with direction. This will help me feel purpose.
- I can still sing. I can’t dance anymore, but I can still sing and enjoy music. Help me enjoy music. This will enrich my life.
- I can still move my body. I can’t walk unassisted anymore, but I can still move my body. Walk with me, and support me if I stumble. This will help me feel engaged.
Finding the Best Dementia Care Services
Helping your loved one maintain a sense of independence, even for the smaller things in life, can go a long way in making life more pleasant for both of you. But caring for a loved one isn’t always easy, even if he or she can still do some things. And we can help you. Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, expert provider of Portage in-home care and senior care in the surrounding areas, delivers professional care and safety solutions for loved ones with dementia.
Call us at (269)-849-9252 in St. Joseph, (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek, (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, or through our online contact form, and we will provide you with an in-home assessment to see how we can best help you and your loved one. Click here to view our locations page.