A recent survey reveals that people living with dementia and their primary carers — mostly spouses — feel alone. They are almost twice as likely to experience high rates of loneliness because of stigma.
In 2016, the acting CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Leanne Wenig confirmed the long-recognised fact that friendships and family relationships fall away dramatically when a person is diagnosed with dementia. Ms Wenig puts this down to “a general lack of awareness and understanding of dementia” that leaves people uncertain as to “how to interact with their friend or loved one with dementia.”*
This is the worst possible outcome for all concerned
People with dementia need the company and support of friends, and their carers need company too and regular breaks from their caring role. The Alzheimer’s Australia Report 2017 on Dementia and the Impact of Stigma confirms both people with dementia and their primary carers feel more isolated than the general population stating “I feel lonely more often than usual”.
Our message to people living with dementia is a powerful but simple affirmation that ‘you are not alone’.
We all have a role to play…
…in ensuring that relatives, friends and colleagues living with dementia are afforded the same companionship, love, respect and understanding as any other member of our community.
We asked Daughterly Care professional Hourly Caregivers and Live in Carers how they would support their best friend, if she or he was diagnosed with a form of dementia.
Their thirteen insightful answers are in the “comments” section below and will give you valuable ideas for how you can continue to support your family and friends.
Feel welcome to add a comment on how you maintain your friendship with a friend who has a diagnosis of dementia.
Daughterly Care Managing Director and Registered Nurse, Verlie Hall says
“the fact is you can have a form of dementia and still live a life that has meaning, purpose, value and joy. Read how best friends, Helena and Elizabeth, maintained their friendship through 10 years of dementia”
With almost 21 years’ experience, Daughterly Care offers elders living with a form of dementia a wide range of support options including music, reminiscence validation therapies, art therapy and communication strategies. No-one knows better than us that effective support is a combination of friendship, genuine respect and a commitment to understanding the challenges a person living with dementia faces every day of their lives and providing personalised and tailored support and in home care that is most helpful to the person.
If you care for someone living with dementia take a 2 hour break from your caring role every time we visit.
And for a longer break ask us about the Government funded carer respite service works. If you would like more information on how we can support you or a family member, take a look at our services or give us a call on 02 9970 7333.
SOURCE *(see http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/)
Question: If your friend had dementia, what activities could you keep doing with your friend? Let us know by adding a comment below. Your email address is not shown online.