Living Well with Dementia

06/06/2018

Thankfully, dementia is no longer a taboo subject, but we still have a long way to go in helping people to be more dementia friendly.  This can be done if we all take some care – after all, it wasn’t that many years ago that “the big C” and AIDS carried huge stigmas, and we are seeing great strides in de-stigmatising mental ill-health.   Sadly, many people’s perception of someone with dementia is that of an elderly person slumped in a chair talking gibberish, we all have a responsibility to change our attitudes and those of people around us. 

The key to living well with dementia is finding a good quality of life and this will be different for each person.  One person may define quality of life as enjoying a beautiful sky at sunset, for others it may be about spending time with family, enjoying music or art, films or literature, but generally it is about finding peace and contentment.   

The aims are for someone living well with dementia to be:

  • Calm

  • Connected and engaged

  • Healthy

  • Productive and purposeful

  • Safe and secure

  • Stimulated

  • Understood

  • Well rested

  • Practising faith if they wish

Over the last few years, research has shown that there are many non-pharmaceutical interventions that can help someone live well with dementia.  This can include personal music www.playlistforlife.org or learning a language www.lingoflamingo.co.uk  - both of these have been shown to have tremendous positive effects.

In Dementia Awareness Week and going forward, let’s make dementia a topic that we talk about openly, and help those with the disease to live well.