Feelings of fear, guilt, despair and bitter injustice – it is very difficult to describe everything that is experienced by those whose parents or loved ones lose themselves day after day.
Light disorders of attention, memory, speech are experienced by 83% of men and women over 60 years old. This is due only to natural age-related changes, it is noticeable to the person himself and does not interfere with his life. But in 25% of older people, these disorders transform into dementia. Its severe forms are also called dementia or insanity.
In the book “Dementia: Diagnosis, Treatment, Patient Care and Prevention,” doctor Igor Damulin and psychologist Alexander Sonin tell you what to do if someone close to you is diagnosed with this.
It doesn’t matter what caused dementia – irreversible brain damage can dramatically change a person’s life. He ceases to understand and memorize new information, think logically, does not recognize his children, and may consider close friends to be long-dead relatives. Gradually, he loses all life skills and cannot remain alone, can no longer rejoice, wonder, empathize. The person loses his personality.
Another life begins for the one who takes care of the sick person. For this, it is often necessary to sacrifice work, to see how the husband (wife), children, friends move away.
As our average life expectancy grows, the number of dementia sufferers is also increasing: today it exceeds 36 million people in the world, and about 1.5 million in Russia. And next to them, millions of those who will have to participate in this drama before the very end.
Learn to speak and listen again
The diagnosis of “dementia” is a serious shock for anyone, even if the person himself could admit his possibility. All his life plans are crumbling. Very quickly, the disease limits contacts with other people: it is difficult for him to speak clearly, it is not always possible for him to complete the phrase he has begun, to remember what he is talking about. To help the patient, family and friends must learn to communicate with him again. 10 tips for loved ones:
one. Speak slowly and fluently.
2. Avoid raising your tone dramatically. Forgetting the meanings of words, but retaining the ability to emotionally experience, a person suffering from dementia primarily reacts to intonation.
3. Make sure you succeed in drawing attention to your words. To do this, gently touch a loved one, look eye to eye. If he is sitting, sit down too to be on the same level with him.
four. The initiative in the conversation should be yours.
five. As dementia progresses, it becomes more difficult for the person to initiate a conversation on their own.
6. Formulate the question so that it can be answered in monosyllables: yes; No; do not know.
7. If he does not understand you, even if you repeat the same phrase several times, try to formulate your thought differently.
eight. The past is remembered better than the present.
nine. Therefore, with a person with dementia, try to talk more often about the distant past, this calms him down.
10. If a loved one has ceased to respond to your phrases, never speak in his presence about him in the third person – this humiliates his dignity.