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Methods of helping a loved one with dementia retain as much independence as possible 

August 23, 2023, 9:40 am

Memory-based illnesses such as dementia and related diseases are, unfortunately, one of the possible conditions you or a loved one could develop as you age. Although such a diagnosis can be emotional, there are still plenty of ways to manage the illness. 

With this in mind, continue reading to discover three methods of helping a loved one work to retain as much independence and feelings of freedom as possible. 

1.   Help Them to Write a Daily Schedule

Having a routine, as informal or formal as you prefer, is a mainstay of living well with a diagnosis of dementia. Of course, it helps no end with retaining a visual list of things they need to remember. 

There does not need to be tens of items on the list, but working with your loved one to note down a couple of tasks, however small, to be completed that day, along with a couple of fun and relaxing activities to enjoy, either solo or with other family members, is a good place to start. A daily schedule means your loved one can decide what they want to do that day, and is an excellent way to promote freedom. 

Enjoyable and relaxing activities to suggest to your loved one who is living with a memory-based illness such as dementia include:

  • Listening to music (and singing along)
  • Yoga
  • Dancing 
  • Walking 
  • Dementia-friendly swimming classes 

2.   Encourage Physical Movement

Senior living facilities provide and offer a wide range of physically and indeed, mentally, stimulating exercises suitable for people living with dementia and help to not only encourage independence but also health and wellness too. 

Muscle and bone strength is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle for people of any age, specifically for older adults and even more pertinently, those living with dementia. For example, you could suggest including a fifteen-minute accompanied walk in the morning, gentle stretches and jogging in the garden or another leisurely yet heart-pumping physical activity when devising the above daily schedule. 

Furthermore, this is why more and more older adults are choosing to make the move to a prestigious living community with restorative therapy for seniors in order to safeguard their future. 

3.   Help Them to Build a Social Circle

Human beings were not meant to be solitary creatures, and back in the beginning of evolution, the human race depended on each other to survive.

Now, in the modern day whereby, at least in the Western world, the majority of people are afforded luxuries and high levels of comfort as part of their day-to-day life, it is still important for emotional and physical well-being to have people around to talk to and confide in. 

Your loved one may well be lucky enough to have a strong support system around them consisting of family members. However, it would still be an excellent and multi-beneficial idea to encourage them to join a dementia-friendly group, evening class, or adult daycare center in order to expand their social circle. 

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