Among the concerns that caregivers and people with dementia have is the quality of life and dementia.
There is no universal definition for the term quality of life because it is personal and different for everyone.
Some people may consider spending time at the beach a definition of quality of life (QoL) while others may think that gardening defines the quality of life and so forth.
For people with dementia, the illness may affect the quality of life not only for the affected individual but those around them as well.
Worth noting, however, is that quality of life does not automatically decrease as dementia progresses.
This is because the illness does not remove a person’s ability to respond, appreciate, or experience various feelings like sadness, love, joy, or fear.
As time goes by the sick individual will lose abilities that they may consider crucial to the quality of life.
Scientists today consider the quality of life as an outcome measure for persons with dementia.
This is where researchers are now conducting studies to determine the factors that relate to changes in the quality of life.
Studies that have already been done give varying results.
To come up with conclusive results about the factors that affect the quality of life and dementia more research needs to be done to help both the caregivers and the persons with the illness.
How To Enhance Quality of Life for Persons With Dementia
This said, there are several suggestions that caregivers can work with to help maintain or enhance the quality of life for persons with dementia such as:
Understand what Quality of Life means to the Affected Person
It is easy for a caregiver to try and impose their perception of the quality of life to the person they are looking after.
This is the wrong approach because as earlier stated QoL means different things to different people.
Although it is not an easy task, you must try and figure out what good quality of life means to the person with dementia, so that they can end up living life on their terms.
Even though you think you may know a person well, keep in mind that interests and abilities may change with time.
Talk about likes and dislikes and take note of the things or activities that bring pleasure to the person.
If a person who has dementia is constantly doing the things they enjoy it can help to tremendously improve quality of life.
Supporting a person to be as independent as possible is another approach that can help when you are dealing with the quality of life and dementia.
One of the changes that persons with dementia struggle with is becoming more dependent on those around them.
Try as much as possible to make the ill person feel as though they are in control of their lives. This can be through something as simple as offering choices.
Letting a person decide what to wear or eat in a day can help to improve their quality of life.
Foster Social Relationships
Boredom and loneliness are some of the experiences that people face when they have dementia.
This is because many prefer to withdraw socially because of the disease.
As a caregiver dealing with the quality of life and dementia, you should not let this happen because it can be the cause of other health complications like depression.
Slowly introduce a social life to the weak individual so that they are around people they love.
You can do this by joining support groups so that the person with dementia does not feel like they are in it alone.
Relatives and friends should also try and spend quality time with the affected individual.
When a person feels like they are valued and loved, it can help to improve the quality of life.
While fostering relationships, you must also be tactful when dealing with conflicts so that you or the suffering person do not end up losing it, but end up co-existing peacefully and happily.
When you are dealing with the quality of life and dementia, you must remember to monitor the health of the person you are looking after.
This is because dementia can bring about other health complications that make the life of a person unbearable.
Visiting a GP, dentists, and other health professionals as needed can be instrumental in improving the life of a person.
This is because the experts can diagnose and treat other symptoms that you may not pick on. This way, the person with dementia does not have to live with unnecessary aches and pains.
The primary focus of care when looking after a person with dementia is to ensure that they enjoy the best quality of life as the disease progresses.
As you work with the person, you will be able to identify some of the factors that relate to the quality of life and dementia so that you can offer care that is based on their strengths, abilities, and wishes safely and effectively.