Being diagnosed with dementia can be very daunting, but it does not mean that you cannot continue to lead a fulfilling life. Maintaining as much independence as possible and continuing with the activities you enjoy are important to preserving your overall wellbeing and a positive mindset, which are important aspects of living well with dementia.
Receiving a dementia diagnosis is a major life-altering event. However, there is a significant amount of support available for those who are living with dementia from family, friends and organisations such as The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK. In this article, we explore how you can live well with dementia.
Being diagnosed with dementia can cause some people to isolate themselves from their family, friends, and others. This can have a negative impact on your wellbeing. If you can stay connected to people online and in-person it will be easier to communicate and prevent yourself from becoming lonely.
Communications Apps such as Link-ages can help you to stay in touch with your family and friends online in a secure and private platform that is simple and easy to use. Our apps have been designed with older and inexperienced internet users in mind, you can use secure messaging, photo-sharing and our in-built calendar with reminders to make and share your memories with the people that matter to you.
As well as staying in touch online, try to engage in social activities with your family and friends. Activities such as enjoying a meal in a restaurant, watching a film, playing bingo and going to a café can be very beneficial. Many places within your community are likely to be dementia-friendly and welcoming.
Dementia is not something that you have to face alone, and sharing your experiences, worries and concerns with people that are close to you will help you to manage living with dementia. Your family and friends will be more able to help and support you if you share your thoughts and feelings with them.
You may also find that sharing your dementia experiences with other people who are living with dementia is helpful. In many cases you will find that they have had similar experiences, thoughts and feelings to you. By sharing and talking about them you will be able to not only help yourself live well with dementia but also others.
It is often easier than you think to meet with other people who are living with dementia. Dementia friendly support groups are active throughout the UK. For example, the Alzheimer’s Society runs activity groups where you can enjoy activities such as arts and crafts, walking and yoga whilst also sharing your dementia experiences with others. Find your local dementia activity group on the Alzheimer’s Society website.
Small changes to your day to day life can help you to adjust to living with dementia. For many people, following a routine can help to stimulate their memory and maintain structure in their day. Your morning and evening routines can provide reassurance and act as markers for your day.
To aid your memory of everyday tasks, you can use a combination of reminders, notes and a notebook or diary to record things and remind you to complete regular tasks such as putting out your recycling and making your bed. You could use Link-ages Hub to create reminders for your regular tasks through our MyDiary.
Another small change that can be helpful to those living with dementia is storing important items such as keys, glasses and your mobile/tablet in a single place. This will make it easier to find items that are important to you while also helping to prevent you encountering the stress of losing important items.
Music has well documented benefits for everyone, including those living with dementia. It has been shown to help people relive forgotten memories from their past while providing comfort and an easy activity to engage with.
When you are looking for music or radio stations to listen to, you could start with music and radio stations that you are familiar with. Once you start to recall forgotten memories you may find that you feel like doing some singing and dancing.
Reading books and newspapers are a great way to relax and take time away from your daily routine. You can read as much or as little as you like and read about topics that interest you. Whether you prefer to read short stories, a novel or a newspaper, they are all beneficial to your wellbeing.
By reading newspapers you will also be keeping up to date with the world around you. This can provide great topics for conversations with people, helping you stay social. If you struggling to make conversation with people, why not start discussing a recent news story? Most people stay up to date with the news in some form and are likely to be engaged with the topics that you found out about in your newspaper.