How to Socialize with Friends with Alzheimer's
The CDC says that more than 5.8 million Americans over 65 are affected by dementia. Unfortunately, the symptoms often come on slowly and don't show up until the disease has progressed far enough to cause significant health issues.
Many seniors from Sacramento, Roseville, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Antelope, Rancho Cordova, McClellan, Elverta, Mather, North Highlands, Rio Linda, or Loomis develop some form of dementia during their later years.
While they can live independently at home, they may require assistance from family members and caregivers. Dementia is a condition that causes a progressive decline in cognitive function. For persons 65 years and over, the risk of developing dementia increases dramatically.
While medical treatments can slow its progression, Alzheimer's disease is not curable. However, support can help those battling the condition cope and stay strong. Here are some tips for how to keep social when your friends are going through dementia.
Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer's
Dementia is a progressive condition that affects memory, thinking skills, judgment, behavior, personality, and physical abilities. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia and is usually the most common. A person with Alzheimer's loses mental flexibility and adaptability and begins to forget how to do even simple tasks, like getting dressed in the morning.
As symptoms progress, a person with Alzheimer's becomes increasingly forgetful and quickly loses their temper. As the condition worsens, a person may experience agitation and aggression, become apathetic and withdrawn, and develop delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.
Alzheimer's patients living in Sacramento, Roseville, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Antelope, Rancho Cordova, McClellan, Elverta, Mather, North Highlands, Rio Linda, or Loomis rarely recover all of their lost memories.
However, they may still speak intelligibly, respond to questions appropriately, and demonstrate other cognitive abilities like memory and planning.
Staying Social When Friends are Diagnosed With Alzheimer's or Dementia
- Don't Try To Act Normal Around Them
You don't have to pretend everything is normal. If your friends have dementia, they still need care, just not the same type as before. If they seem confused about something, don't worry about figuring out what it is. Be patient with them; remember who they were and are now.
- Find Ways to Make Memories Together
Maybe you could take walks or go on trips together. You can do many activities together that won't require much of your brain power. Capturing moments makes people feel good and helps remind them of happier times.
- Involve Them in Daily Routines
Even though they may not understand simple instructions, they might enjoy simple tasks like setting the table, doing dishes, or cleaning the house if capable.
- Talk to Them
Talking to someone with dementia can be challenging. However, keep in mind that not everyone responds well to verbal communication, so be prepared to use visual cues to communicate or physical touch to convey meaning.
- Keep Their Medication Schedule Straight
When you spend time with your friends who have dementia, make sure you know their medications, how often, and what time of day they should take them. If possible, check with a physician to ensure you give the proper doses and timing.
Improve the Quality of Life for Friends with Dementia
There's no cure for dementia, but caregivers can ease anxiety and stress for your friend with dementia. They can also help manage behaviors that negatively impact the person with dementia and their social interactions, such as agitation, depression, and aggression.
Do you live in Sacramento, Roseville, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Antelope, Rancho Cordova, McClellan, Elverta, Mather, North Highlands, Rio Linda, or Loomis?
Consider caregiving services for your friend with dementia. Senior Helpers offer compassionate in-home personalized care wherever your friend is. Contact us at 480-745-2493 to schedule an in-home appointment.