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Dementia Quality of Life Tips

Get some dementia quality of life tips from Seniorly. Our quick video explains how to ensure loved ones with dementia live their best life.

By Marlena del Hierro · Updated Apr 15, 2022
board-and-care-home

Tender Rose Dementia Care specialists Founder & CEO Jim Kimzey shares his best advice for caring for a loved one with dementia. His CareTalk includes three tips for how to help your loved one with dementia have the highest quality of life possible.

Tip 1: Raise Your Expectations of What’s Possible

No matter where your loved one is in the course of their disease, they have the possibility of living a higher quality of life. According to Kimzey, this overall quality of life will depend on the quality of the relationships they have with their family, community and care providers.

Tip 2: Encourage Care Providers to Focus on Person-Centered Activity-Based Care

Engaging the dementia patient in activities that used to bring meaning will keep their mind from going to places that get them into trouble. Person-centered activity-based care has been proven to be successful in persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Tip 3: Help Your Care Provider Connect with Your Loved One

When you move a loved one into assisted living or hire in-home care providers, it’s important to do your part to ensure that they can connect with your loved one. Kimzey suggests that you provide biographical information that can help the provider better understand your loved one, engage them in activities that provide meaning. This can help your loved one connect with any long term memories that may still be intact, adding a level of comfort and familiarity in new situations.

 

Transcript

Hello, my name is Jim Kimzey. I'm the Founder and CEO of Tender Rose Dementia Care Specialists. I want to offer three tips today on how to help your loved one have the highest quality of life possible in spite of their dementia.

Understand Dementia

The first tip is to raise your expectations of what's possible. When my own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, what I heard was a lot of negative messages about what the quality of her life was going to look like between then and the end of her life. When I was doing my research, I found a book that was published by the Alzheimer's Association that described the best practices for dementia care at home. There was one paragraph that particularly hit me, and in that paragraph it said, no matter where your loved one is in their disease, they have the possibility of living a higher quality of life. That quality of life will depend on the quality of the relationships they have with their family, their community, and their care providers.

Active Senior Living

The second tip would be to help your care providers, encourage them to focus on person-centered, activity-based care as opposed to just focusing on the physical needs of the client. If you can engage that your loved ones in the activities that always brought them joy and meaning, then it keeps their mind from going to places that get them into trouble, like who stole my car or who's managing my finances.

Personalized Memory Care

The third tip is to help your care provider connect with your loved one. The best way to do that is to provide biographical information about where your loved one grew up, where they went to school, what kind of career they had, their children, hobbies, anything that was important to them. Also, include information about anything that your loved ones still enjoy talking about because that helps the care provider connect with them and engage them in activities that bring them joy and meaning. It also helps them connect with the long term memories that might still be intact. 

These are three things that we try to practice at Tender Rose Dementia Care Specialists, and it makes a very big difference in the quality of life that we see in our clients. We hope that this helps you with your loved one.

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written by:
Marlena del Hierro
Marlena del Hierro, Gerontologist & Partnerships Manager at Seniorly
View other articles written by Marlena

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