Individuals suffering from dementia must cope with many changes at once including declining cognitive abilities, memory loss, and impaired communication skills. Knowing that one may experience these vast changes at an unpredictable rate can provoke anxiety, fear, and feelings of helplessness. In order for patients to maintain a good quality of life, it is essential to address unresolved feelings.
Those with Alzheimer’s face crucial and stressful decisions concerning their care. Considerations such as how to preserve physical health and independence can potentially lead to tension between patients and their caregivers. The course of action taken by family members and physicians may differ from the wishes of the person with dementia. This process can be overwhelming, emotionally draining, and humiliating for the patient. In order to avoid negative emotions and reactions, patients need a coping strategy with different outlets to express emotions.
Discussing feelings with a confidant is one of the best ways to help sort out emotions. Simply sharing worries with a loved one can immediately alleviate a sense of helplessness and provide comfort. Maintaining relationships and having a social life makes patients feel less alone. Being connected to other individuals suffering from the disease allows patients to feel supported and understood. Continuing to take part in enjoyable activities – walking, listening to music, gardening, painting, or other physical or creative interests – can also be tremendously beneficial in reducing stress and coping with burdens. The resonating idea is that dementia patients need to feel that their life has value.