Cope with Dementia: not an easy task
Whether you are a patient, a relative, spouse, close friend, no one can tell you or make you see what it feels to face dementia. However when it happens we ask ourselves to do a very hard task and it is to cope with dementia. But, how do you do it, where do you start? There is all this mixture of sudden feelings, most of them confirming that terrible suspicion you had and now you have to gather yourself and face the unknown, sometimes feeling you are alone in this new struggle.
First let's get one thing clear, you are not alone.
Dementia affects thousands of people in your country, millions across the world, not only patients but those close to that person facing this difficult disease. Probably the number of support groups reach those same thousand numbers. You can find them everywhere, at your local church, on the closest clinic, at the care home, on the internet, on the phone, you name it. The only effort they ask of you is to reach out, and they will gladly offer their help no questions asked.
Get a free hour each week or once a day to talk to someone about this condition, whichever the topic. It can be relieving and sometimes rewarding since you too can also provide assistance by sharing your own experiences. You would be amazed of the amount of “Twitter chats” that talk about this condition and the great friendships and excellent contacts you make with people around the world who are going through the same battles you are facing. We must raise awareness and take down social stigmas around dementia.
To me the best way to cope with dementia is to accept what is and then inform yourself. Countless studies and research have been done that will tell you what to expect at all stages of this condition. Many books and online pages talk about any doubt or consultation you might have. Of course, talking to a doctor is the primary route to take, and then he or she will probably recommend support groups, websites or books to read on the matter. By taking the time to educate yourself on dementia you are taking down walls of the unknown.
Also, many turn to writing journals, keeping notes or even starting a blog. Putting your feelings on written words alleviate any built up emotions that most of the time are hard to get out because we want to be the tough ones, be brave. Tears do not make you weak, they build a stronger character in you.