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A lot of things can be done to cope with the initial stages of dementia. A person goes through a wide range of emotions such as fear, denial, frustration, and anger, post the diagnosis. Here is a list of tips that will help a patient with dementia to cope better:
- Physical health: For a dementia patient, it is very important to take care of one’s health. A good diet along with regular exercise and adequate rest is a prerequisite to manage this disorder.
- Regular check-ups: Regular medical check-ups with the doctor are necessary in this condition. Depression and other mental health problems should be discussed with a professional.
- Quit alcohol: Alcohol might give momentary pleasure from the misery, but it has long-standing implications. It reacts with the medicine and creates additional health and memory-related complications.
- Allocate time for difficult tasks: With time, it can become difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks. The patient should accordingly schedule the time to perform the tasks which may be difficult to carry out. Adequate breaks should be taken while performing a task to avoid getting fatigued.
- Redefine work: If a patient is suffering from dementia is still working, it should be ensured that the work is more manageable from a desk. Planning an early retirement may be a good idea in order to cope with dementia.
- Be organised: Keeping track of things can get difficult with time. It, therefore, makes sense to organise all belongings systematically. Putting labels on doors and drawers also help.
- Continue pursuing your hobbies: Amidst the difficulty and the depression, it is a good idea to continue doing things that are fun. While such activities might require some assistance from the doctor and family members, this helps the patient to be cheerful and healthy.
- Maintain notes: Since dementia is involved with forgetfulness, it makes sense to maintain a diary and keep records of phone numbers, people, appointments, etc.
- Communication channel: Maintaining a direct communication channel with family, friends, and relatives is a good idea. Sharing feelings will go a long way in maintaining relations with loved ones.
- Support group: Joining a dementia support group can be highly beneficial for the patient. It will not only give the patient company but also make sure that the patient gets a lot of useful information about the disorder. It also helps in keeping the morale up.
- Getting ready for the future: Things need to be meticulously planned well in advance to ensure that when the disease progresses, the patient has enough people to look after him. Things such as medical arrangements, financial assets, and property details should be carefully handed over as per the patient's wish. This will ensure a smooth run of the patients’ life when they can no longer take care of themselves.