“One day I will wake up and see the sun shining above the clouds again, on this day there will only be love, I am the same individual you have always known, all that has happened is I see life through another lens.”
Lifting the clouds above Dementia can be a challenging, emotional, and a life-changing process not just for the individual who has been diagnosed but for the family and friends who are learning to see their loved one through another lens. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, this progressive and degenerative brain disease affects a high number of communities around the world with variant results on healthy living and the cause and effects of the brain disorders leaving many with memory loss, fear of social gatherings, interactions, and lack of ability to think and use everyday skills that seem to have been forgotten.
Imagine if you woke up one day and could not remember your own name, or where you are in that moment and most likely who the person standing next to you is. What you once saw as a loved one or place becomes distorted almost like somebody has switched the channel internally and all of the programs that you had set have been replaced with another movie. The truth, it is another movie one that is interacting on another level within your internal energy centers around the body. With the help of incredible charities such as https://www.alzheimers.org.uk which are worldwide, and many non-profit organisations who are now learning and developing new ideas on how to support somebody transitioning into dementia and also maintaining a healthy and manageable life around it.
Our culture, beliefs, and values play a very crucial part in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is no longer a Western Disease around the world, many Aboriginal people and communities are becoming aware of their elders suffering from this condition much younger than the Western culture have collated data on. Awareness is the fundamental point of bringing this condition to light so we can make changes, support and adapt our way of looking at somebody with Alzheimer’s.
It may feel like the end but it can also be the start, relationships will change, patterns and processes within the body will adapt, and with the right direction and awareness living with Dementia can be made enjoyable. Nobody has a book that you can read which gives you the answers or support that you are looking for, but the right positive mindset, along with loving, trained and guided practitioners will help you see the light above the clouds when you are only feeling the loss. In order to move forward, you have to grieve, it is a natural process as you are saying goodbye to somebody you once knew and hello to a new person who may change in every way.
As a qualified practitioner and carer within Alzheimer’s care, my experience and training has given me the joy of passing this guidance on to other’s with the hope that this new journey together will be one of peace and love.
Living with Dementia guidance list:
- Keep a positive mindset, use your energy and thoughts and guide them to what you have in that moment with the individual rather than what you see as a loss and change of person.
- Seek out alternative practitioners such as; Acupuncturist, Reiki, Bio-Energy Therapist, Equine Specialist, Grief Counsellors, Massage Therapist, Speech Therapist, Aromatherapists, Chiropractors, Chinese Herb Medicines, along with recognised and recorded practitioners within many alternative medicines.
- Change of diet is so important, sitting with a dietician who is trained to look at the changes within the mind and eating habits will help the individual to maintain healthy and vibrant cells to regenerate.
- Active gardening clubs and getting out in nature such as walking clubs, gardening workshops, and outdoor therapy practices helps an individual to adapt to social interaction and maintain a link to the outside world.
- It is very difficult sometimes to maintain a hygiene routine, especially if the individual is being cared for by a family member and will find it intrusive if their child has to wash or dress them. Speaking with a nurse or carer on how to bring a set routine in the home, will allow you to make adjustments to your bathroom, remove anything that may be of danger, and most importantly help that individual maintain a high level of dignity.
- Reading and creative writing will allow the brain to keep functioning, it is not about writing the latest book or making sense with the words, the act of expressing one’s thoughts and hearing somebody read to them on audio or in person will keep the brain at a high level of awareness.
- Music is a crucial part of communication, it can relax somebody if they become distressed, and it can lift somebody’s mood if they feel sad and it also acts as a reminder for the individual and may trigger a memory from the past.
- Dance and movement is a way to keep a healthy exercise routine, it does not have to be difficult just simple steps together, attending a fitness class is another way of allowing the individual to use skills and keep their reactions quick and alert.
- Special days out to the theatre, movie’s or social events gives the individual something to look forward to, although it can be very difficult and truly frightening to go out to a new place or a crowded place, if you create a badge that states you are caring for somebody with Alzheimer’s you will find most people will be very supportive and make your day out a really happy memory.
- Regular trips to the hairdresser or beauty therapist to have your nails cleaned and clipped will make the individual feel good inside, even if they do not recognise this has been done, energetically we all feel a lift when we receive these wonderful treats. It does not have to be expensive, there are many who will come to the house that has experienced knowledge of caring for somebody with Alzheimer’s and be gentle and loving.
Compassion, Regularity, Patience
Always remember to have compassion, not only for the individual but also for yourself. Most people feel anger first before compassion which is just a form of fear, once you deal with the fear and overcome the challenges you will start to feel compassion getting stronger in your heart until you no longer wake up feeling that sense of frustration. We are human beings, and trained to live a certain way, when you are looking after and living with somebody with Dementia you are starting a spiritual journey of learning how to communicate and resonate on another level by using all the other senses that are still available and active within the mind.
Maintaining an individual’s independence for as long as possible will not only give that person a sense of purpose but it will also help adjust to ongoing care as dementia progresses. Having regular routines and practices for yourself and the person you are caring for will help you adjust far quicker as it only takes 30 days for the mind, body, and spirit to energetically restructure.
Learning to be patient with the elderly or somebody living with a disability takes practice, it’s ok to feel frustrated at times as that belongs to you, my suggestion is to go on a course or seek guidance on how to relax your own mind and thoughts whilst caring for your loved one. Yoga, meditation, and relaxing music will re-train your brain and help you relax and take your time as things start to slow down and words, questions, confusion starts to happen with the individual you are caring for. Getting outside support to deal with your own frustration will truly help release all of your fears.
Forgiveness is something we all forget, try with all your heart to have forgiveness for other’s who may not be as open to this condition, aware of the requirements needed, or capable of accepting seeing somebody they love acting and living in a different way. Many families break apart with internal grief and without realising begin to build a wall around their hearts, if you notice a change in a family members behaviour reach out to them, find a trained practitioner or a really trustworthy friend for them to talk to and help everybody to bring light, laughter, and love back into play.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that no doctor or scientist can truly understand the cause behind the loss of memory or loss of empathy and feel to another human being. It feels like that person is no longer with you, however, they are still there but vibrating on a different frequency. If you can find the strength to change the way you look at life, great moments of joy can shine through; Let go and believe in the power of love.
Author Isabella Rose
Extract from Forthcoming book “I Still Know You, A Journey Of Love”
©2019 Copyright Isabella Rose