Getting to know the person with dementia
Each person with dementia is different: when it comes to offering support, different things are helpful for different people. Knowing the person, their history and interests, and understanding how dementia is affecting their life is crucial if the support offered is to be genuinely helpful.
See past the dementia
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My life is changing because of dementia
Each person's emotional responses to a diagnosis of dementia, and to living with it, will be very different, and individuals will have different emotions at different times too. Dementia can change the way people experience and handle their emotions.
Dementia is only part of my life
People with dementia have a present and a future: focusing too much on a person's past may make them feel as though their life now is less important. Some things can make dementia much harder to cope with: bad attitudes, poor communication, illnesses and sensory impairments, and difficult or new environments. Life brings many rewards and challenges to us all. People with dementia are no exception.
Each person is different so get to know me
Each person with dementia is different: when it comes to offering support, different things are helpful for different people. Getting to know a person with dementia is an ongoing process. Take time to find out about a person's history and their interests: this can make all the difference in helping to connect with them. Friends and family can also help with this process of getting to know the person with dementia.
What other people can do to help me live well
The way we support a person with dementia makes a huge difference to how they experience living with dementia. Make an effort to understand the person with dementia, communicate well, and build a caring relationship with them. Remember that generally people with dementia want to be as independent as possible and this may involve taking risks. Encourage and support people with dementia to make links with others who are also living with dementia.