People with dementia perceive things differently due to their illness. They can no longer adapt to their environment.
Everyday life is easier if the following rules are observed:
- Make eye contact
- use short and clear sentences
- do not point out mistakes (the person concerned is right because of how they perceive things and due to their illness, they cannot understand a different point of view). As the illness progresses, people with dementia need more orientation and support.
It is helpful to:
- have a consistent and manageable daily routine (structure)
- attach signs to doors and objects
- use easily recognisable clocks and calendars
- make activities simpler by dividing them into individual steps – such as setting the table
- Provide support if you and your ill relative meet someone you know by introducing the person "Oh, there's Mrs .......".
Changes to behaviour
As the disease progresses, there may be situations where the person who is ill exhibits challenging behaviour. For example, because the person who is ill perceives a situation differently, misunderstands it, or is frustrated because they cannot do something.
It is important:
- to stay calm and radiate calmness; the behaviour is as a result of the disease and it is not malicious
- to try to find out the trigger for the behaviour in order to avoid it in the future
- in some situations the person can be distracted and the subject can be changed. Meaningful activities and tasks help people to get on better in everyday life.
It is important that the ill person has fun and is not overburdened, otherwise this will lead to conflict. Family, friends and relatives should be informed about the disease and how to deal with it. Ask for help and support. Care becomes easier and will take place in the home for a longer period when the burden is shared by several people
Find out about respite options, such as nursing services, day care or care services. These are partly paid for by the statutory nursing care insurance.
- 11 tips to communicate better with people with dementia (11 Tipps zur besseren Verständigung mit Menschen mit Demenz), Deutsche Alzheimer Gesellschaft
- Communication (Kommunikation), Dementia Australia