The title is not accurate for this blog. Validation Therapy do not treat dementia patient but it definitely eases their pain.
Google just stated, 50 million people around the world currently have dementia and there are 10 million new cases every day.
Does that statistic scare you? That is a scary thought. That means when I am older there is a good chance of me being diagnosed with dementia. This means, I would have impaired reasoning and memory loss.
People with close loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer and dementia face tremendous hardship. People diagnosed with this disease need round the clock care. If the patient is not under supervision then they might not get proper care and might get hurt due to impaired reasoning.
The carer has to go through much frustration as the person with dementia has their own way of thinking and do not recall a lot of old information. The carer themselves go through of a phase where they would like to fix and help their loved ones get back to what they once were. However, instead of trying to bring them back, let’s help them live their last bit of life with peace.
Validation therapy is a form, which helps people with dementia feel validated, respected, and understood in the last phases of their life. Please follow these techniques to learn how to act more empathetically towards a patient with impaired reasoning,
- prepare yourself to listen empathetically, set your own emotions and anger aside to be dealt with and acknowledged later. Concentrate fully on what they are sharing, making sure you’re able to pick up on any little nuance they exhibit or share.
- Reminisce with them, especially talking about how they were able to solve a problem. A person with dementia cannot learn new coping skills; but, remembering how they handled problems in the past may help them rediscover a way to deal with problems they currently face.
- If the person with dementia enjoys physical contact, and would not consider you to be violating their space, use touch to establish a relationship with them. Gently stroking their cheek or hand may remind them of pleasant times from the past, such as times when their mother did the same. Remember, people who have problems with others being in their personal space will continue to have those issues, disoriented or not. Respect for their boundaries is important.
- Maintain close eye contact. Gazing into their eyes will help them feel secure and loved.
- Music is a great tool. Music and songs often transport us to another place and time. Think how many times a song reminds you of other people, places or events. Non-verbal people with dementia can even sing songs they once knew when they are otherwise unable to speak.
- Do not argue with them. Arguing with a confused person is rarely productive and leads to frustration and agitation.
- Use a clear, low (but not quiet) and loving tone. High-pitched tones and soft tones are difficult for someone with impaired hearing to understand. Plus, an overly loud voice can come across as harsh or angry; therefore, do not talk louder than necessary just because they are hard of hearing.
- Use non-threatening, factual words. A person with dementia is not the least bit concerned in discovering why they behave the way they do. Rather than asking why something was done, focus instead on the more concrete questions of who, what, where, when and how.
Remember, you are amazing…
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