If a member of your immediate family has just been diagnosed with dementia you will probably be feeling a huge mixture of emotions. It goes without saying that you will have lots of questions you want answers to and you will be trying to reach out to professionals for more information. Unfortunately, at this time, lots of people take to the internet for quick answers, but this isn’t always the best thing to do.
Of course, whilst the internet can be helpful, you will also come across lots of incorrect information that can actually be quite scary and upsetting. To help put anyone’s mind at ease, our professionals here at Companions of London have put together a list of common misconceptions about Dementia. Below we will set the record straight and hopefully provide you with some of the answers you’re looking for at the same time.
“There is nothing you can do to help someone with dementia”
Whilst there may not be a known cure for dementia, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t actions that you can take to support your loved one during this difficult time. You can guarantee that they will be as upset and confused as you are about the whole situation so, the more personal support you can offer them, the better.
“People with dementia don’t know what’s happening around them”
So many people believe that just because their family member is forgetting things or they’re unable to effectively communicate, that they aren’t aware of what’s going on around them. This isn’t always the case, you will be surprised just how much they will be taking in even if they can’t relay their thoughts about things.
“Your loved one will become violent if they have dementia”
Everyone’s dementia journey is different and you can’t predict how someone will react. Whilst there will be some people who become violent in the later stages of dementia, it isn’t guaranteed. Often, violence and aggression is the only way your loved one knows how to express themselves. It is usually caused by confusion, it isn’t usually deliberate to hurt people.
“People with dementia need to live in a special care home”
Often, moving into a care home is just considered another stage of life and if your loved one has dementia and you’re unable to care for them, you may feel like you have no other option. There are actually lots of amazing dementia care services that can help you at this time. From dementia respite care to dementia live-in care, there is something that will work for everyone.
“Things will progress incredibly quickly, you should have a plan in place now”
All types of dementia are progressive, but how quickly things progress can differ from person to person. As mentioned above, everyone’s dementia journey is different. Having said this, it doesn’t hurt to start pre-planning, get the thoughts and opinions of your loved ones on what they want to happen when things do progress. This way, they get to stay in control for as long as possible.
“People will dementia will forget who you are”
Again, this isn’t something that is going to happen straight away after diagnosis. Often, significant memory loss doesn’t happen until the later stages of dementia so, try not to worry about this for now. Even if your loved one can’t place someone, they are still likely to experience feelings they associate with that person so, a familiar face can make them feel happy and safe.
“You have to become a caregiver if your loved one gets dementia”
Lots of people feel as though they have a responsibility to become a caregiver for their family member, but you don’t have to do things alone. There are professional carers and also dementia companions that can help you in this regard. Don’t forget that first and foremost, you are this person’s family and they need you to still be that too.
Getting support after a dementia diagnosis
Hopefully, finding out the truth about the common misconceptions above can help to put your mind at ease. Whilst there may be a difficult journey ahead, your loved one is still the same person and you should just take each day as it comes. We understand that things can feel incredibly difficult right now but, with time and knowledge, you will come to terms with what is happening and learn how to proceed.
If you find yourself in a situation where you require any support from a professional care company, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Companions of London. We offer a range of services for in-home care for seniors with dementia and our experienced team will gladly help. Whether you’re looking for short or long term care, we will help you find the perfect solution for both you and your loved one, you are not alone.