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Living in the Now; Being present for our loved ones

The Benefits of Creating a Purposeful Living Environment for Dementia Patients Through the Integrated Care Model

When you enter this house you are entering the now. Be present in the moment by noticing what smells you smell? What are the sites you see? What is the weather outside? What are the feelings being felt what is happening right now these are the things that your loved ones are focused on, and these are the things that we are focused on.

When a family member is diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult to know what actions to take in order to ensure that their needs are met. While increased awareness of dementia and the options available for care has been on the rise, navigating these decisions for our loved ones may at times feel overwhelming. One option many families have turned towards is creating an integrated care model designed around purposeful living and supporting those suffering from dementia. This model promotes a healthier, holistic approach which helps to improve both cognitive functioning and self-care while increasing overall quality of life. Through exploring this new way of fostering connection between caregivers and patients we further understand the importance being present can have when caring for someone with dementia.

Understanding the Challenges of Living with Dementia

Living with dementia is a unique and harrowing experience that can have a profound impact on both the individual diagnosed and their loved ones. It's a debilitating disease that can slowly strip away one's independence, memory, and ability to communicate with others. For those living with dementia, every day is a challenge that requires an immense amount of strength and resilience. Tasks that were once simple, like cooking a meal or remembering a familiar face, become increasingly difficult as the disease progresses. As a loved one, it can be tough to witness the changes in someone you care about and feel helpless as you try to support them. However, understanding the challenges of living with dementia is crucial in providing the care and support needed to make the journey a little easier.

The Benefits of an Integrated Care Model for Dementia Patients

Dementia patients require specialized care and attention, and an integrated care model can deliver the best results. This approach involves treating the patient with dignity and respect, performing care with them instead of to them. By involving patients in their own care, they are more likely to maintain their independence and feel a sense of control. The integrated care model also allows for better communication between caregivers, family members, and healthcare professionals. In addition to improving overall quality of life, this approach can help reduce hospital readmissions and decrease healthcare costs. Providing personalized, compassionate care is essential for dementia patients, and an integrated care model can help achieve that goal.

Creating a Meaningful Environment Through Activities and Companionship

Who said household tasks have to be boring? With a little creativity, everyday chores can bring laughter and joy into your living space. Turn up your favorite tunes and make cleaning an impromptu dance party. Invite your furry friends to join in and make the bed together. Better yet, why not create a menu for your pets and share a meal together? Adding some furry companionship and delicious food to your routine can create a sense of togetherness and meaning in your home. Don't forget to incorporate activities that bring you joy, like painting or cooking. Creating a meaningful environment starts with finding pleasure in the little things.

Helping to Maintain Quality of Life for All Involved

As we age, it's important to focus on the quality of life we have, rather than the quantity. This rings especially true for those who are battling dementia. It can be difficult to navigate the challenges that come with this disease, but finding ways to regain purpose and joy in life can greatly enhance the quality of life for all involved. It's easy to get bogged down in worry about the future or past memories, but the key to finding happiness is often in the present moment. Helping loved ones with dementia to live in the present, engage in activities they enjoy, and feel valued can make a world of difference. Being present in the now with your loved ones is the best way to enjoy time together. They may not remember in five minutes but, in the present, in this moment you are happy together and that is important.

Practical Tips for Developing a Purposeful Living Space for Dementia Patients

Creating a purposeful living space for dementia patients can be a successful endeavor if approached with a lighthearted and creative attitude. The key is to provide open ended tasks that stimulate the mind while remaining interactive and playful. It's important to remember that there's no right or wrong way to go about this, so it's a great time to get creative! Consider incorporating elements such as familiar music, visual cues, and tactile objects that can provide comfort and stimulate the senses. By embracing a playful and interactive approach, you can help create a living space that is not only purposeful, but also enjoyable for the dementia patient.

It is important to recognize that living with dementia brings a unique set of challenges, yet the personalized touch of an integrated care model can bring an immense level of comfort and support for patients. By developing activities and companionship, educating ourselves and our loved ones on dementia, and cultivating a meaningful environment that supports goals of daily living, we can make a significant impact on quality of life. Practical tips such as using plants to increase neurological stimulation, setting clear routines and reminders, fostering community outreach efforts in a safe way, as well as enabling technological aids are all helpful steps towards creating an enriching space for dementia patients. Above all else however, practice being present with your loved one; cherish every moment; not just for their sake but for yours as well. After all, it is through these simple yet profound connections that we can find joy amidst the chaos.

~Ahna, MSW Geriatrics- Creator Grace Manor LLC

1 Comment

I can't think of a better person than Ahna to deliver on this promise of integrated care. This is her calling. Liz B.

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