DIY Communication Helpers for Dementia

Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a person. This can happen due to normal aging. This blog is about DIY Communication Helpers for Dementia.

Additionally, it may be the result of a brain lesion or injury. Further, resulting in long-term cognitive decline. Furthermore, dementia is common in the elderly, it can be seen in any stage of adult life.

Nature of Dementia:

Dementia is a non-specific illness. In other words, memory, attention, speech, and problem-solving are affected. The symptoms need to be seen for 6 months to be confirmed.

Diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Picks Disease,
Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), Dementia with Lewy bodies, Alcohol-induced persisting disorders causes dementia.

Problems faced by persons with dementia:

The caretakers play a crucial role in persons with dementia. Firstly, people with dementia suffer from speech issues. This includes spoken language issues, lack of planning, and grammar.  Secondly, general thinking and reasoning skills also decline. Thirdly, their ability to perform daily activities declines. Lastly, they experience insomnia, depression, or unusual feelings.

Here are some do it yourself (DIY) communication helpers for people with Dementia namely:

1.Creative Music:

Experimenting with music. In other words, if the person knows to play any musical instrument help them to use it. If not make the person create music and talk about it.

2.Talking about old photos:

Talk about the old photos helps the person to recollect the names. This improves their social connections. Always address the name and the person’s relationship before describing the event related to the image.

3. Watching old Movies and Family DVDs:

Play old movies and family DVDs and help the person to build conversations. Additionally, talk topics related to the event.

4. Folding Clothes:

Folding clothes need sequencing and planning. Therefore, it is good to do the house chore and also helps to identify the person’s using the clothes.

5. Smelling and Finding Objects:

Smelling coffee, flowers, and spices give them memories.  The person’s mood is set by smelling them. For eg: The coffee gives morning memories and the roses help in remembering tours in the garden etc.

6. Travelling through Cams:

Show them pictures of nature and wildlife to keep their memory active.

7.Exploring Textures:

Feeling different textures like rough, soft, hard, etc helps them to express how they feel. In other words, this keeps their memory active.

8.Helping with fitting small tools:

Making them tighten screws and fit PVC pipes helps them to problem solve.

9.Talking about directions:

Talking about directions and city landmarks. The place they live. Additionally, helps them to remind in guiding people when lost outside their homes.

10.Familiar Objects:

The familiar objects should always be talked about.

11.Creating a Food list:

A list of food items could be written and they can choose what they like.

12. Reading and Writing Skills:

Asking them to read a magazine or newspaper as a routine helps the hippocampus to be active and could help to improve the memory loss lesser and also by asking them to write the spellings of the known words help them to maintain their spelling ability.

Eg: A calendar instead of a Calendar is usually seen in young and adult persons with dementia.

13. Meaning of Words:

Also playing a game such as giving the meaning of a word and asking it to name them helps them in word retrieval which is usually affected in a person with dementia.

14.Maintaining Daily Routine Chart:

Making a systematic timetable like waking up and doing morning routines like brushing, combing, bathing, stools, eating breakfast, drinking water, etc could be of great use cause the person always forgets after performing the task.

In other words, while the caretaker marks done when the task is done helps the person to understand that there is no reason to anticipate and things are fine.

This communication helps the person with dementia to avoid actions of hastiness and trust issue problems.

15.Giving them a Step Watch:

The person with dementia fails to walk enough hence to maintain their body and to communicate to them that they have done enough physical exercise by walking the digital steps calculator helps the caretaker to convince them.

16.Engaging them in Board Games:

Firstly, the person with dementia always becomes silent and forgets to talk, swallow, etc. Similarly, playing board games as a family every day and spending time with them gives them a feeling of assurance.
It also the need to talk or initiate a conversation.

17.Avoid People on Photos Frames:

Persons with dementia may feel hallucinations in some instances. Therefore, not keeping photo frames hanging in their rooms of people helps them not to imagine them in the room.

18.Dressing Oneself:

Guiding them to wear a dress by giving cues but allowing them to do it on their own through verbal communication and gestures if needed, helps them to stay a self-efficient person.

19.Arranging Flowers:

The persons with dementia can arrange flowers every day on the dining table that are contrasting to the tablecloth. Additionally, this also gives them a hobby to performing every day.

20.Maintain a diary:

Firstly, help the person to maintain a diary so that they can recollect what they have spoken and also to check dates of birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. Secondly, helping them to wish to the person helps them to stay with the feeling of staying connected.

21.Naming Famous Person, Places, and Words:

In other words, giving them pictures of famous persons and accepting the similar sounds of the surname.
For Eg: Cherry Pitt instead of Brad Pitt. Also, sounds that are similar in the middle could be found like ‘indigent’ instead of ‘abdicate’.

22.Drawing and Colouring:

Firstly, Help them talk about happy memories by using objects and helping them to draw and color or make collages of them, helps them to communicate to people about their likes.
Eg: First Car bought etc.

Therefore, these activities help them to do it themselves with the preparedness of the taker.  Similarly, this creates an opportunity for the person with dementia to preserve their memory.

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