It's important we all stand up and speak out to raise awareness for Dementia and understand when we separate into "camps" of "types" we lose the ability to wage the major war necessary to stop its effects or even possibly end some or all of these Thiefs of Life.
Long Term Care Facilities and others need to step up and recognize the majority of their residents have some form of Dementia.
The tools we currently use to recognize Dementia are obsolete and the general population and even some medical professionals still believe the disease has to be overtly obvious.
This means the person has to demonstrate visible and possibly audible affects showing their mind is not capable.
My story, Her Story, is one of waging a battle against the status quo to move society into the brave new world of recognizing and realizing Dementia can be managed, can probably to some degree be detoured and may be handled without severe medical intervention but most importantly, MUST BE SEEN AND MUST BE RECOGNIZED.
ACCEPTANCE. Key #1
Focus on the person, where they are, with communication and compassion.
Understand the first line of defense is a community of support, a family that works with rather than administers or directs relationships along the way of life.
Those who listen, those who actively learn, make their path and the path of their loved ones less challenging and more rewarding.
LEARN ABOUT DEMENTIA. Key #2
We can learn more from networking and collaborating with agencies and organizations who have shown over the years to be "forward thinking" and effective in their ability to work with people with mental and emotional limitations.
TAKE/MAKE TIME. Key #3
Give your loved one and yourself time. In today's push-me-pull-you challenged society it's difficult but it's critical to a balanced life for them and for you.
UN-ISOLATE. Key #4
Dementia isolates. The person from themselves and the person from the family/care giver(s).
Sitting alone. Laying in bed. Staring out a single window.
Rights are important. Decisions should be honored.
Dementia is a medical challenge and with that comes responsibility to interact and assist.
DON'T DIRECT. INVOLVE. Key #5
Take cues from what you observe, listen to your tone of voice and move slowly and ensure you're in their line of vision, hearing and/or at their level and remember these "senses" may be affected by the Dementia and may vary.
The same great methods taught by leaders in the field of child and personal psychology can be applied with Dementia.
It's not an "I win" situation, it's a "we all win" plan.
LEARN AND PASS IT ON KEY #6
It's not easy. It takes time. You're busy. You have "a life". It's too far in the future. It may never happen....
We make time in life for what we value.
Qualify of life through the ages and stages is important to living together and living the solitary life.
We share this world and we affect what's been given to us by those who came before us.
Honor those going forward and moving quickly into the last of their time.
Push Forward in Social Media Key #7
Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use, wherever you post or speak out, add a line, a phrase, connect with an article.
The need to recognize DEMENTIA in all its forms is critical as is the focus and the collaboration of the organizations already established: Alzheimer's, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinsons, etc.
Reach out and raise your voices to include those among the dozens of other types of dementia. Here's a list from the Alzheimer's Association of a few they recognize:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)
- Mixed dementia
- Parkinson's disease
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Huntington's disease
- Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome