Dementia Action Week, May 20-26, 2019, unites people, workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia. According to The Alzheimer’s Society in the U.K., the goal of Dementia Action Week is to encourage people to take action to improve the lives of those affected by dementia, working to create a dementia-friendly UK where those with dementia do not feel excluded. (Alzheimer’s Society U.K.)
In the United States 5.8 million people are living with Alzheimers. Every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops the disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death. Many people with Alzheimer’s report feeling lonely and cut off from their communities, friends and family.
Living with Alzheimer’s shouldn’t mean people live in isolation and alone.
Alzheimer’s & Building Meaningful Connections–5 Tips
- Engage them in meaningful activity. Shared activities increase a sense of belonging and socialization.
- Visit loved ones when they are at their best. If they are living in a facility ask the staff for guidance.
- Plan activities around a person’s hobbies, work and interests. Using theme-related items or music can help a person connect through a variety of senses.
- When speaking with a person, look them in the eyes. Standing about 3 feet away on the person’s left side will help engage their social right brain.
- Enter into their reality. Arguing with them will only cause agitation and they will likely forget what you told them. Their reality is the only reality they know.
The biggest challenge is letting go of the desire for things to be the way they used to be. Embrace your loved one for who they are now. Meet them where they are and find meaningful ways to connect.
Here is a song to get you started.
In what ways have you connected with someone with dementia. I’d love to hear your stories. Share in the comment section.