Please remember that you’re not alone.

Call Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line on

0333 150 3456

or visit alzheimers. society

We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for support, help and advice writes Jacqui Justice-Chrisp, the charity’s Area Manager for East Sussex.

While some of us may have been fortunate enough to spend time with loved ones, feelings of hope and optimism for the months ahead may have been reduced by seeing worrying changes in someone with dementia.

Covid has changed all of our lives and it has been a difficult time for us all. But it’s been particularly challenging for people affected by dementia, who found themselves caught in the eye of the storm.

We’ve heard from thousands of people with dementia and their families who have been devastated by disruptions to routine, health services and prolonged social isolation - causing their condition to rapidly deteriorate, sometimes in a matter of weeks

Where can you turn for support?

Alzheimer’s Society offers personalised support and advice for anyone affected by dementia. Whether it’s advice on legal documents, help understanding dementia, or someone to talk to when things get tough, our Dementia Advisers are there to help.

Coping with behaviour that is challenging.

Everyone is different and finding your own ways to cope will be unique to you. The following suggestions may help, both when the behaviour is happening and over a longer period:

  • Try to remember that the person with dementia is not behaving this way on purpose. It’s important not to take it personally. They may be experiencing a different reality to you, and are responding to their needs. Look at the person’s body language and try to understand what they might be feeling at that time.
  • Try to adapt to the situation as it is. Trying to get things back to the way they were before, or expecting too much of the person, can cause more problems.
  • If you begin to feel frustrated or angry, try stepping away from the situation. Give yourself time and space to calm down. If you do lose your temper, try not to feel guilt. It’s a very stressful situation that you are dealing with.
  • If the behaviour is disrupting an activity, such as washing or dressing, ask yourself if this task really needs to be done right now or if you could come back to it later. Sometimes it’s best to leave the person to do things how they want to, as long as this will not cause any harm.Talk to someone about the situation and how you are feeling. This might be a friend, professional or another carer. Online discussion forums can be a good way of sharing your feelings and getting practical suggestions. For example, try accessing Alzheimer’s Society’s online community
    Talking Point: alzheimers society talkingpoint

Light the way
Good lighting helps us see clearly and make sense of where we are, especially during the gloomy winter months.

Dementia can make it harder for people to keep track of time and to understand where they are in their home. This is why it’s important to allow natural light in through clean windows, and for your home to be well lit.

Practical tips
Check that natural light is coming in through the windows. Move curtains or blinds, furniture, TVs or plants so they don’t block the light.

  • Get the windows cleaned regularly.
  • Use brighter bulbs in light fittings, if it’s safe to do so, or use extra lighting such as lamps.
  • Add sensor lights if you get up at night, or struggle to find light switches in the dark. These come on automatically when they sense motion.
  • Add dimmer switches so you can adjust the lighting throughout the day and evening.
  • Keep floor lamps and wires out of the way. Touch-operated lamps are easier to use if finding switches is becoming more difficult. The images and text contained within this article remain the property of Alzheimers society and should not be reproduced.
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