Monday, 6 October 2014

UBC - Day 6 - Tips for Carers - Family and Friends

Caring for a loved one can be such an isolating experience with dementia unlike say a broken leg, the leg gets better people can see that the leg is broken and so there are certain expectations about things that you are unable to do.  With dementia there isn't necessarily any outward sign, as it gets worse and ravages the memory and leaves its after effects on its unwilling participants

As the carer I have found that your relationships with family and friends can suffer, as you try and navigate your way around the changes to your routines and additional things that you need to do in order to manage the caring role, you can end up drifting from your social life, too tired to call friends when you've been up all night trying to get your loved one back in bed cause they think it is day time.  

This is the same for those with dementia, people don't know what to say, they feel awkward with the silences and stop calling or passing by.  Where possible if you can have a few people that you can call on and will call you every now and again even if it is just to say hi, it is important that you keep the connections going, and for your loved one hearing a familiar voice of someone they know can help both of you.  

You could ask friends and family to make a voice recording of things they have been doing that week and play it back.  It is a way that they can feel included in things that are going on around them. There is lots of technology that you can use to facilitate this and it is also good for those people whose family live abroad.

For now, get together with family members and a few friends and ask them to be part of a schedule where they call once a week to see how things are going, or even come round and give you a much needed break!

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