Living with dementia – Challenges people face

Living with dementia

Individuals who develop dementia face a range of complex challenges on a daily basis. The reasons for the complications are the symptoms brought on by dementia, such as memory loss, depression, language problems, withdrawal, unresponsiveness, and confusion. Even performing daily tasks can become next to impossible for them due to spatial disorientation or temporal lobe changes. They can find social interaction challenging, as well.

While it may seem unbelievable, overcoming these challenges isn’t impossible. This is especially true if their family, caregivers, and friends can help out a bit. If you find yourself on either side of the dementia issue, this article can prepare you better on some of the problems that it brings. For ease, we have divided them into broad categories:

Physical challenges

Dementia can be the source of various physical challenges. We will discuss some of these below:

  • Incontinence

Many caregivers find dealing with this issue overwhelming. For the individual with dementia, it can feel like a loss of their dignity. We’d recommend seeing the doctor to determine if a urinary tract infection may be behind it. Remember that not doing anything may make dementia symptoms worse.

  • Dressing or Bathing

It can be tough for the partner of someone who has dementia to find the right balance between helping them carry out these tasks and still respect their privacy. Discussing this with a medical professional can help reach that balance much more smoothly.

  • Diet

Individuals with dementia should consume a balanced diet, just like everybody else. But swallowing and chewing problems can make this difficult. So, watch out for them.

  • Sleep

People with dementia may not get sufficient rest or enough sleep. However, this issue may be resolved with professional help too.

Emotional issues

Besides an onslaught of physical troubles, people with dementia also experience the following emotional problems. We mention two of these so that you can keep an eye out for them:

  • Depression and anxiety

Getting diagnosed with dementia may bring on depression and anxiety. It is seen quite commonly and makes it difficult for a person to cope with the news while still carrying out daily tasks. If medication or cognitive treatments aren’t used to treat extended bouts of depression and anxiety, the person in question may feel a sense of isolation. If the mood disorder is temporary and presents mild symptoms, then counseling, life story work, reminiscence activities, and other types of talking therapy can be tried.

Mental faculties

Forgetfulness can be a common occurrence too. Working on keeping the brain functions active can slow down the progression of dementia. You can keep the brain healthy with these tips.

  • Confusion

People living with dementia may also experience directional difficulties. Such confusion will not just worry them, it will result in anxiety for their family members who care for them. Hundreds of people with dementia go missing each year. Many of them never find their way back home. However, with modern technology, this shouldn’t be a huge problem anymore. You can use GPS to track your loved ones with dementia.

Remember that not allowing a person with dementia some time outside should never be the solution to opt for. After all, walks and fresh air are highly beneficial for both their physical and psychological wellbeing. With GPS tech, such an individual can keep their valuable independence and give their loved ones less of a reason to worry.

Intimacy and sexual predicaments

It is natural for people with dementia to have sexual needs. However, they may express it in a way that isn’t considered an appropriate sexual behavior by others. Judging them over it or rejecting their advances without explanation may hurt their feelings. Find a way to help them express sexuality in a socially appropriate manner.

Moreover, the reason someone with dementia is acting sexually interested may not be intimacy. Talking to them to uncover the real reason can be helpful. Finally, having dementia does not always affect that person’s capacity to consent to sex. Confirm it is what they want before engaging in any amorous activities and you’ll be fine.

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